When it is about planning, people are always more comfortable with the idea of letting a professional deal with it unless they are professionals themselves. Wedding planning? Call a wedding planner. Holidays planning in an exotic place? Call a travel agency. Interview planning with a TV journalist? Better prepare with a communications coach. But career planning: whom you’re going to call?
That’s right, for career planning, your options are not so obvious. Of course, you could call a career coach or career counselor, but this usually costs a lot. Furthermore, depending on whom you call, you may not have support for all the steps of your career, such as job search or course search. You could also ask some people in your entourage. But you probably don’t have enough experts among your acquaintances to advise you and answer all your questions. Unless you are already a VIP with an army of specialists at your service.
Career planning is undoubtedly a complex topic, as there are as many answers to questions like “What is the best for me?” or “Where do I want to go?” as there are people. This blog post will propose the solution we built at Jinn to answer such questions and help people who wonder about their next career move.
Table of Contents
The different stages of career planning
At this stage, I need to emphasize what I mean by career planning. So let’s consider all the following steps that everybody goes through at some point in its life:
- The search for information about potential career opportunities. This includes what career, skills, and degrees necessary for that occupation, career path, companies proposing such jobs, working conditions, location, and expected salary. Such search can be done at all times, even when you are already in a position (in that case, you are a passive job seeker), to assess the market, compare one’s situation with the average, prepare an annual interview, request for a pay increase, or align with competitors.
- The assessment. In other words, how far you are from what you have discovered in the first stage, and most importantly, which action should you take to close the gap. For example, do you need extra training in a specific area to get some skills for the job you aim for? How much more experience should you have to apply for a particular role? Is your salary in line with the market average?
- The adjustment. Once you have identified what needs to be done, you act until you align with what is required to achieve your goal. Acting can be learning that missing skill you identified, volunteering, getting a degree or a certificate, or getting involved in a project to acquire the experience you need.
- The take-off. Whatever move you have decided, you take off to your potential next destination, for example, by submitting your application for a new job.
- The cruise. This is when you are in the recruitment process
- The landing. When everything is good, you finally get your wished position and enjoy it.
What does career planning look like today?
The analogy with flight is intentional. Pilots have to prepare a flight plan before.
They go through similar stages: the search for information includes the definition of the flight itinerary, the alternative itineraries, the airports to use in case of emergency, the amount of fuel, the weather conditions, or the cruise altitude. The assessment is replaced by the aircraft and crew inspection and the welcome of passengers. Any corrective action could be refilling or defrosting the aircraft or removing a crew member or a passenger… As for the other stages, no need to explain them.
But pilots are professionals.
Most of us understand and manage the phases from take-off to landing (apply and wait for the feedback). But we don’t have as much information for the first phases as pilots who prepare for their flight. In other words, our potential destinations are limited.
For example, most people would turn to Google to collect the information they need about a specific career. But then, they would be redirected to countless websites saying more or less the same things, but in so many different ways that they would end up confused. Then to a course platform, a university, or a professional training institution to get missing skills, then to a job board to look for the dream job, or directly on the company career webpage.
That’s a lot. Imagine a pilot who decides to change the destination during a flight or embark on more passengers and their belongings. He might be too short on fuel to reach the goal because he did not prepare for such a scenario.
The benefits of Jinn in career planning
With Jinn, we do not want to accompany our users only when looking for a job and later let them alone, just like many other job boards. Instead, we want to be on their side at any moment of their career, whatever the steps they take to do that.
We think one of the main issues to sort out is the access to information about jobs. Today, this information is scattered across many websites (ESCO in the EU market, O*Net in the US) or behind paywalls.
Our job encyclopedia
Our approach is to collect similar data from reference websites and contributions from our members and build a “Wikipedia of jobs and careers.” With our career encyclopedia, we can propose a job database whose data about jobs are provided by experts working those same jobs for the benefit of all. Indeed, every article has an “Edit” button so that anyone can modify it to improve it. And we ensure the quality of the article before publishing it so that the content remains useful for everyone. Finally, of course, these data are made available free of charge so that everybody can enjoy them.
Our career test
This approach has many advantages, but it also risks submerging users in an ocean of data. Therefore, we developed our career test.
In short, you answer a few questions about your current and past jobs, your educational background, and your interests. Then, our algorithm suggests relevant jobs, their required skills and knowledge, the gap with your profile, and even the career paths they offer you. Thus, with all these new and unique tools, we hope that everybody can set a destination or a career objective that is the most suitable and the most rewarding.
We are continually working to provide you with new and more effective tools to make career planning easier for you. For example, we will be adding more tests in the coming months, which you can find here. And, of course, we strive to make these tools affordable to as many people as possible. Right now, they are all free, so hurry up and sign up to take advantage of them! And don’t forget you can also contribute to our efforts by editing and improving the job articles in your area of expertise!