Career Planning STEP 1: Know Yourself and Know Your Context ~ SELF-COACHING GUIDE ~ Your March Week 1 TASKS  

Free Career Planning Program 5 STEPS - flower image


Welcome to MARCH ~ Month 1, Week 1 and STEP 1 of the 10 Months 2019

Free Career Planning Program

After launching this program on the 28th of February via this blog, I am excited for us to start on March actions.

PLEASE NOTE: The main platform to access all materials for this Program and 4 years-worth of  FREE Life coaching materials and self-coaching guides is: Facebook Page –

🌟 Career Planning STEP 1: Know Yourself and Know Your Context ~ SELF-COACHING GUIDE ~ and March Week 1 TASKS

 OPENING THOUGHTS – DEFINITIONS – What is a Job/Work, a Career and Career Planning?

JOB/WORK – Many people equate a job or work to a career…that is not correct. A job or work is an occupation. It is a series of tasks that you do, organised to achieve a particular goal, which you are paid or not paid for. A job or work is also known as an Occupation.

CAREER this is a combination of all your life roles that you play at any given point across your life span, and these include for example, son/daughter, student, worker, spouse/partner, homemaker, parent, leisure role and citizen. It is not only your Occupation, which is defined simply as a combination of work tasks (a job or work). Career planning is a structured process of exploring and collecting information about who you are, your interests and abilities, as well as the job market, that you either are part of or want to be part of for purposes of making informed decisions, setting career goals and taking actions to achieve them.

There are two ways to do career planning: for those not exposed to career services, the approach is usually focused on a JOB and decisions are made based on any of the following context-specific approaches:

  • I will go for whatever seems marketable or will quickly get me a job
  • I will follow the best possible route presented by subject choice limitations
  • I will do whatever the loudest voice tells me – friends, family, cultural expectations
  • I will study as much as possible until something comes along
  • I follow a path based on random or happenstance opportunities and actions determined by income needs (no offence intended).

The second is a structured professional approach that is based on career planning tools, models and approaches. Most people who have not been exposed to any career guidance, career coaching or any career services, use the first approach. As a result, often, for example: people share with others the results they have from High School, or what they have studied and ask for direct responses to the question: “What do you think I should study?”, or, “What job do you think I can do?”. This is a difficult question to answer without exploring and gathering information about yourself, the sobering realities of your context, the roles in your life, what work means to you and what would keep you engaged and motivated in your future job and career.

This Free Career Planning Program is an opportunity for those who participate in it actively and do the work, to follow a structured approach of reflecting and developing this context and self-knowledge as it relates to a career. This data, when used together with information from STEP 2: Know Your Market, it will help you to make informed career decisions about the path you may wish to take or the best opportunities open to you that reflect your life roles as well.

🌟 SELF-ASSESSMENT – Career Planning STEP 1 ~ Know Yourself and Know Your Context

In this Step 1, the intention is for you to gather information about yourself and your context, which will help you with career decision-making, developing a plan of action, implementing it and managing your career on an ongoing basis. We will do this in the form of a Career Self-Coaching Guide. This means, without the Career Coach, you can coach yourself through using the guidance provided.

Career Self Assessment

🌟 SELF-COACHING GUIDE – Career Planning STEP 1 – Know Yourself and Know Your Context

❗❗ Self-Assessment Instructions:

Using the questions and sample responses provided, reflect and capture your answers. Use a notebook or an electronic device to keep your responses as you will need them in STEP 3 – Career Decision-Making. If any of the questions do not make sense to you, I urge you to still answer as best as you can and trust the process and journey you are on. Also do not hesitate to contact me with any queries –


Career Planning Goals

  1. What are your goals for participating in the Free Career Coaching Program?

(Please share responses with Ennie via e-mail or inbox to help her design the program)

 Sample responses: you need to have a clear end point by December when we finish

  • To start a career – I have never had a paid job so I need career guidance
  • To start a new career – I have been employed before and I have some skills
  • To change jobs or career paths – I am currently employed but need a transition
  • To advance in my career – I want to grow in my current job or get a better job
  • To shake up my career – I feel stuck or stagnant or overwhelmed
  • To deal with life pressures – I need to change jobs so I manage other life roles
  • To leave a toxic work environment – I need
  • To advance my education – I want to decide what to study
  • To be equipped to manage my career in a fast-changing world
  • To learn for personal development and fun 😊
 2. What do you hope to gain or achieve from 10 months of FREE Career Planning?

(Please share responses with Ennie via e-mail or inbox to help her design the program)

 Sample responses: think about the tangible and intangible gains you will review in December

  • I want to gain knowledge and skills in career planning and self-coaching
  • I want to know myself and develop my own vision, life purpose and values
  • I want to gain knowledge about developing and using a Professional Network
  • I want to produce a Career Plan
  • I hope to get a job and to get a promotion
  • I want to know about personal branding and social media
  • I want to be helped to produce a Career Portfolio, a CV/Resume and Cover Letters
  • I want to balance my work and my life
  • I aim to be equipped to make an informed decision about what to study
  • I want to gain career management and transition skills ~ that is, the knowledge and capability to follow a process of career planning on my own in the future, and to cope with any life or work transition when it occurs.


 Your efforts in this program will happen in a context. It is important to deeply analyse what this is from a career planning perspective and note the positive or negative impact it could have on your career goals. This will help you to understand barriers and opportunities (strengths) that affect your plans, to do realistic planning and to also have realistic expectations.

Life Environment

 3. Do an analysis of the context or environment in which you are doing your career planning now

 Sample responses: for each bullet point list your BARRIERS, OPPORTUNITIES (strengths) 

1. Geographic location – local (e.g. Gweru), national (e.g. Zimbabwe), regional (e.g. Southern Africa); global (e.g. able to work in most African countries and the following Northern countries….)

2. Your bio-data – age, gender (male or female and expectations on you), marital status, children, other dependents you have, fully able or physically challenged, ethnicity, religion, local or immigrant etc

3. Access to technology – easy, expensive, erratic, limited etc

4. Education level and qualification/s

  • Formal and Certified – Ordinary level; Advanced level, Certificate level, Diploma, First degree, Masters, PhD/Doctorate, Professional Certification etc
  • Informal education and training – online courses; workshops attended etc

5. Work history –

  • Paid – jobs you have held relevant to your career goals; NB: have your CV ready
  • Unpaid – jobs or roles you have held that have not been formally recognized and remunerated with a salary; NB: any social roles and being a housewife count here.

6. My top 3 key skills – this is what you have knowledge and experience of using

  • 3 Technical skills – the ability and knowledge you have to perform specific tasks, which are practical e.g. farming, teaching, engineering, analyst, IT, nursing etc
  • 3 Essential (soft) skills – these are skills “that people need for learning, work and life. They are used in the community and the workplace, in different forms and at different levels of complexity”.

7. Political environment – local, national, regional and global governance factors that affect your career goals and this planning process;

8. Economic environment and trends – local, national, regional and global availability of jobs and graduates absorptive capacity of local context; regional/global; research rate of unemployment and underemployment;

9. Socio-Cultural environmentlocal, national, regional and global social context that will impact your planning, decisions and actions e.g. cultural expectations on you.

10. Career Guidance, Planning and Development support – who is available to support you on this journey; what learning resources are available to you e.g. books, videos, podcasts, free courses, articles, notes from past programs or workshops your have attended etc.


Career is defined as the sum of all your work and life roles. It is therefore important to explore all your work-life roles as part of Career Planning Step 1 – Know Yourself and Know Your Context. Career is a lifestyle concept that involves the sequence of work, leisure and learning activities in which one engages throughout a lifetime”. (Arthur & Collins, CERIC, 2015) What happens in each of the intersecting roles that make up your life, has a huge impact on your work or job (a collection of tasks that make up an occupation).



These roles are the spaces we express ourselves, create meaning in our lives, and practice decision-making. We therefore need to do a thorough analysis of how we are “showing up” and being experienced or experiencing these spaces as part of the career planning process. 

1. For each of the 10 major life roles outlined below, where applicable,

  • Describe the role as you are currently playing it in your life.
  • Analyse how the described role interacts with or impacts your Worker role, and vice versa. E.g. how Parenting role impacts Worker role and how Worker role impacts Parenting role. All this data is important for career decision-making.
  • Note some life roles you have temporarily assigned to others e.g. hired Help

2. Assess how much time, energy and value you give to each role

  • Time and energy – calculate the number of hours per week you devote to that role – this is called bandwidth. Assume you sleep for 7 hours, so total hours per week to use for this exercise are = 120hrs.
  • Assess the value or importance of that role in your life right now. This has no direct relationship to the rime spent on the role. This is called salience. Also note the intensity of investment in that role.
 4. Describe the roles in your life as they are today, using the guide (1-3 above).

1. Son/Daughtertime and energy devoted throughout life to relating with parents

 2. Sister/Brothertime and energy devoted throughout life to relating with siblings

 3. Relationtime and energy devoted throughout life to relating with extended family

 4. Studentparticipating in any type of formal or informal schooling or learning program

 5. Worker working to earn an income or to gain experience

 6. Spouse/Partnerbuilding and maintaining a satisfying relationship with another person

 7. Homemakermaintaining the place where one lives and being responsible for household management

 8. Parent – raising children and maintaining a relationship with them

 9. Leisure Role (Leisurite 🙂)involvement in planned and unplanned recreation; social events

 10. Citizen devoting time and energy to civic, school, church or political activities.

🌟 Life-Role Integration and Management = your Career

Bowsley and Lisansky, note that, very effective and self-actualized people have high capacity for time and role management. This exercise is also critical because your life roles overlap and interact. You play several roles simultaneously in several spaces. E.g. your occupation (JOB), family, leisure and community contribution have a strong mutual impact. The stress and satisfaction one experiences in life is often directly related to the number and combination or roles being played and how well they are working together. Success in one role, positively impacts other roles and vice versa, difficulty in one role negatively impacts other life spaces. Finally, a well-balanced integration of student, any family role, worker, leisure and community participation roles has a direct bearing on career satisfaction. The successful blending of roles, which is career planning, is therefore an important lifelong task.

Reference: JoAnn Harris-Bowsley and Ruth S. Lisansky – Take Hold of Your Future – Career Planning Guide


 😊 Remember this requires commitment, to reflect, plan and work on your CAREER. Be gentle with yourself and seek support if you need it. Inbox me if you need help.

🌟 How to get in touch, participate and SHARE ANY IDEAS YOU HAVE

📲 +27 82 305 0550



I look forward to your active engagement and…

Thank you so much for joining the #Career #SelfCoachingChampions


Let’s Shake Things Up Together in 2019

Career and Life Coach🔥


4 thoughts on “Career Planning STEP 1: Know Yourself and Know Your Context ~ SELF-COACHING GUIDE ~ Your March Week 1 TASKS  

  1. Thank you Ennie for this great and generous initiative . I am sure we will learn a lot. God bless you richly as you give of yourself freely


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