Resources are the Bread and Butter of Career Planning

Take a look at the diagram below of the Career Planning Process. Did you follow this process in your own career? Did you know a model like this even existed when you were making critical decisions in your career planning? At Horizon Point, we use this model to train educators and career counselors as part of a Facilitating Career Development course, and we spend a lot of time focused on the center of the diagram: resources.  


Looking at the basic model, resources are generally defined as materials you can lay hands on, whether print or digital. There are fantastic resource materials available through the National Career Development Association and National Association of Colleges and Employers. If you are a student or educator, there are likely resource materials available through your institution. 

Resources also include people. Teachers, counselors, coaches, mentors, friends, family. People we learn from, people we live with, people we know through someone else in our personal or professional network. Resource materials are necessary, but resource people bring materials to life and practical application. Who are your resource people? 

The career planning process follows 7 steps that repeat on a loop throughout our lives. Each step requires the use of resources. Let’s explore potential resources. 

Step 1: Become aware of the need to make a career decision

Typically the first step occurs at or after a milestone like graduating high school or college, losing or quitting a job, moving to a new city, etc., and resources are likely heavily weighted in people like our friends and family. 

Step 2: Learn about and/or reevaluate yourself

Resources for understanding the self can be both material and people-oriented. There are many formal and informal assessments available in print and online versions, and there are trained career coaches and counselors who can drive critical thought around self-exploration. 

Step 3: Identify occupational alternatives

Step 4: Obtain information about identified alternatives

Step 5: Make tentative choices from available occupations

Step 6: Make educational choices

For steps 3-6, the quickest resource is of course the internet. A great, free tool is My Next Move through O*Net. However, the most comprehensive resource is a career coach or counselor who has detailed information and insight about occupational alternatives and which might be the best fit. 

Step 7: Get a job

Getting a job also requires the use of resources such as resume guides and recruiter relationships. We know from research that about half of all jobs are filled through relationships, also referred to as the “hidden job market”, as opposed to the “public job market” of online job boards. People resources are equally critical to career planning as resource materials. 



Every decision we make relies on resources. The questions for you to consider today are: What resource materials do you use or need? Who are your resource people and/or how can you grow your network to include more people resources?

Jillian Miles Massey

Leave Comment :