Career Planning

Explore - Returning to School

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Career Planning
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Making Career Decisions
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Ask Yourself Some Specific Questions and Write Down Your Answers

Step One - What is my current situation in regards to:


  • How much money do you have and do you have access to it?
  • Compile a list of any checking, savings, mutual funds or 401K's you may have. What is liquid money (you can get to and spend at any time) and what is not. 401Ks are long-term retirement savings and in order to get it, you'll have to pay 10% interest and 10% penalty to the IRS for early withdrawl (if you're under age 59-1/2).
  • Figure out how long you can survive on the money you have immediately available. Write down your monthly bills or use the form we have developed to see a minimum amount of money you'll need just to pay your regular monthly bills (rent, mortgage, utilities, food, gas, loans, etc.).
  • Did you receive a severence package? How long can you live on that money?
  • Will you receive unemployment compensation? How much and how long will it last?
  • If there's not a lot of money, you need to focus on your job search immediately!
  • Figure out how much money you need not only to survive, but to THRIVE!


  • Are you degreed?
  • Close to getting a degree and need to go back to school to finish?
  • Need to start on a degree?
  • Will a degree help you at this point in your career?
  • Or do you just need to update computer skills?
  • If you've decided to change career paths, what education do you need to fulfill that dream?
  • How much will it cost and how will you pay for it?
  • Will it be worth it?


  • How old are you?
  • Close to retirement?
  • Just getting started in your career search?
  • How much time do you have to try and achieve your career goals?
  • Do you want to go right back into full-time work or attempt to work part-time while you go to school?
  • Do you want to work nights, weekends and holidays or do you want to work Monday through Friday 8 - 4:30?
  • Can you start a business at your age and live to see its success?
  • Family Responsibilities
  • How old are your children and do you need flexibility for their schedules?
  • Are you a newlywed or have a spouse that doesn't want you away from home too much?
  • Can you travel in your new career path and be gone from home for days (or weeks) at a time?

Personal Hopes

  • What do you want to do with your career?
  • What do you want to change with your job or your life?