Career Planning

Steps for career planning

Whether you are preparing for your first job, wanting to acquire new skills to return to the workplace, change careers or go for a promotion, you can use the following steps.


It helps if you can understand a bit more about yourself and what you want. Start by making a list, using the following questions to guide you:

  • What are you good at?
  • What interests you?
  • What do you value?
  • What's important to you in a career? For example, financial success, helping others, work-life balance, having meaningful work.
  • What sort of lifestyle do you want?
  • Are there any other circumstances you need to take into account?


The next step is to find out about the types of careers that match your skills and interests.

  • Use sites such as for information on different industries in Australia and associated jobs.
  • Look at the Industry areas on this website. Career and course information is listed for each industry.
  • Make a list of the industries and jobs that interest you.

Now research each job in more detail:

  • Visit to find out what each job involves, the personal and educational requirements, employment prospects and the salary range.
  • Go to the Courses section on this website to find details about the training involved.
  • Talk to people who work in jobs that interest you.


It's time to identify alternatives and make a choice:

  • Make a list of positive and negative points for each job. Keep in mind what you've learnt about your interests, skills and values.
  • Talk to family and friends.
  • Talk to an NSI careers counsellor - they can help you to identify your options and guide you towards your career goals.
  • Choose which career direction seems best for you.


Now that you've made a decision, think about how you'll get there

  • List the things you need to do.
  • Set realistic dates for achieving each step.
  • Contact NSI or speak with employers to find out about your training and work options.
  • Put your plan into action.

Remember that career pathways plans change and grow throughout your life. You can use these planning steps again at any stage of your career.

At any stage of this process you can contact a counsellor at the NSI Counselling and Career Development service to work through any of the steps.