Use Time Off to Create a Career Development Plan

career professionals
career professionals

Use Time Off to Create a Career Development Plan

Through furlough or some other circumstance, you find yourself with some time off. It probably doesn’t feel much like a vacation; you can’t go anywhere or do anything. But time away from work can be a good time to look for better work.

What are you doing with your time off? It’s a great time to plan for the future. Follow these 3 Steps to get started:

1. Start Your Career Plan with a Self-Assessment

Did you have a job you loved or were you just clocking time waiting for something better to come along? If you didn’t like what you were doing—and now you can’t do it anyway—maybe it’s time to decide whether you deserve more. Maybe you got stuck in a retail job because it was all you could find and then you stayed and stayed. Or maybe food service is something you’re good at because you’re good with people. Whatever job you had, it doesn’t need to be the job you keep. If you’re ready for a real career, there’s some good news. You may already possess the transferrable skills you need for a better career.

  • People skills: If you are good with people, there are lots of careers that demand that trait. For example, healthcare jobs like Medical Assisting and Dental Assisting involve direct patient care. You need compassion, empathy, and a real ability to get along with people from all walks of life.
  • Technology skills: Some people just have a knack for computers and technology. Does that sound like you? If you’ve always been comfortable around technology, there are tech careers that you can train for in less than two years. CAD Operators take the ideas of architects and engineers and turn them into technical drawings and blueprints that are used across industries. And skilled Computer Systems Specialists help keep computer hardware, software, and systems running smoothly.
  • Kinesthetic skills: Do you like to work with your hands and keep moving? Then you probably don’t want to spend your day sitting behind a desk! If you’re good with your hands, but also like to think, a career in the skilled trades might be right for you. Plumbers, Electricians, and HVAC Technicians all need to work with their hands and their brains.

2. Consider Career Training Programs

You’ve taken a good look in the mirror. You’re proud of your natural abilities. Now it’s time to take those personal abilities and add to them the technical training you’ll need for a new career. Research programs that will provide you with the career skills that will help you be successful. Look for a school with a longstanding reputation of training people who go on to find good careers. Make sure the institution is accredited and then visit the school. Talk to the staff. See if you can meet an instructor or two. You want people from the industry who are eager to share their knowledge with you.

3. Prepare Your Professional Portfolio

While you’re still in school, start to look for jobs and build your resume. Regularly look at job boards. What are the skills employers most want? Those are the skills you should hone throughout your training. They are also what you’ll highlight in a cover letter and resume.

Is an externship part of your training? Make sure to take notes while you’re there so you can add the responsibilities and experience to your resume. If you want a plan for your future, it starts today.


YTI Career Institute offers a wide variety of career programs in York, Lancaster, and Altoona that can help you prepare for a real career. Don’t waste downtime by feeling down. Get ready for a better future. Request more information today.