5 Tips For Career Planning

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Paul Ainsworth

Paul has been writing for the Teacher Toolkit website since 2012 and is the author of 'No Silver Bullets: Day in, day out school improvement'. He is a system leader supporting primary schools, secondary schools and MATs currently with with Infinity Academies Trust as Education...
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Where do you see yourself in five years time?

As you laze on a lounger somewhere, whether in your garden or on a beach, I wonder if you are gauging the success of your school year? You may be thinking of the relationships you built with children and colleagues or the progress the pupils made. You could be considering your future career direction.

Are you thinking about looking for a new role this year, either at you current school or a different one? Just as you may spend part of the summer holidays redesigning the working walls in your classroom or writing new lessons, you can also spend some productive time on career planning. You will then be in the best place if a new opportunity arises.

Here are five ideas which you could have a think about at over the next month.

1. Write a career plan

Have you sat down with a piece of paper and planned what you would like to achieve in the next five to ten years or even over your whole career? Some people have a strong wish to become a Headteacher – if that is you, how are you going to get there? What are the rungs on your career ladder and when would you like to get there?

If that’s not part of your long-term plan, what is?

2. Research a role

Consider the next role you would like to do and do some research about what it entails. Use a job website and find an advert for the type of role you are interested in. It doesn’t matter where it is or if it is not the type of school you are looking for. What you are looking at is ‘how do you compare to the job description or person specification?’ What elements do you have experience of and what are you missing?

Try and think about what you could do during the next year to try to fill these gaps.

3. Read at least one education book

Consider your analysis of what areas you’d like to improve your experience in and see if there is a book that contains information on this area. You could read a very specific education book such as a guide on a career role or one considering a specific topic such as progress and feedback. You could have a look at a more generic leadership book, which isn’t in the education section. Just see what grabs your interest.

Whilst you are reading, try to make some notes on how you could apply the information in the book.

4. Seek some guidance

It is always useful to have some mentoring. Sometimes this is better from someone who isn’t at your current school. There may have been a leader that you worked for in your previous role or during your teaching practice or a colleague who has left your school. Tell them that you are thinking of looking for a certain role and ask them what advice could they give you. You may be able to find them on LinkedIn or Twitter.

5. Think of a project

Think of a project which you could deliver in the new term. It could be a piece of training, an information event for parents or a project for the children. You could start to plan and do research during the holidays and ask for people’s advice. Then at the start of the new term, you could ask a leader at your school if they would be happy for you to run it. It actually doesn’t matter if they say ‘no’ because you have raised your profile by sharing your plan and as a result, they may ask you to do something else.

If you are able to lead it, then hopefully it will give you good experience to draw upon in applying for a new role.

One thought on “5 Tips For Career Planning

  1. Nice article! whether you are student or employee career planning is must to get right direction in your career. Hence for this you have to prepare at the right time. Career planning surely help in getting your dream job or career. Thanks a lot for sharing this!

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