Careers in early childhood education reflection

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I see myself finishing school and continuing to be an early head start teacher. 

Prior to beginning work on this assignment, review the Career Planning Step by Step
 Download Career Planning Step by Step

Early childhood education is such a vast field of study including opportunities for many diverse roles and positions. Your desired profession likely played a major role in your selected field of study and the degree you plan to earn. While you might know exactly what you want to do with your degree, there are still typically required planning elements. Often times, we know where we want to go, but the path is not always as clear. For this journal assignment, you will conduct research and set clear goals to make sure you are on the correct route. To get a realistic handle on what it is going to take to achieve your career aspirations, it helps to create a “roadmap” that outlines the steps you need to take to reach your goals. As you conduct your research and begin planning, you should consider all of the courses you have taken and will take in the future, your prior experience both within and outside of the field of early childhood development, and any brainstorming and research you may have done so far in considering career options.

For this journal, you will research the requirements for your potential career path, reflect on your current skill set, and begin to examine the steps necessary to reach your career goals. The purpose of this journal is to help you create an organized career plan using the resources provided below.

To prepare for this journal,

· Utilize the Job Market Research (Links to an external site.) and Short-Term & Long-Term Goal Setting tools
 Download Short-Term & Long-Term Goal Setting tools provided by Career Services.

· Use this Individual Development Plan
  Download Individual Development Plan to outline a plan after your research.

In your journal,

· Summarize your job market research by including details you found on the job boards.

· Discuss your short- and long-term goals.

· Where would you like to be 1 to 5 years from now?

· What is the industry and role you would like to pursue for your career?

· Examine the skills and qualifications related to this type of role.

· Identify the qualifications you already possess.

· Identify the new skills, knowledge, certifications, or trainings that you still need to acquire.

· Discuss your Individual Development Plan and include details about your development goals, activities, the support required, and the timeline.

Suggested Assignment Length

· Two to three double-spaced pages (not including title and reference pages).

Research and Resource Expectations

· Sources are not required for your journal assignments. However, if you need to cite information, you must cite in APA format and include a reference page. Refer to the Citing Within Your Paper (Links to an external site.) and Formatting Your References List (Links to an external site.) resources created by the University of Arizona Global Campus Writing Center (Links to an external site.).

Writing and Formatting Expectations

· Syntax and Mechanics: Writing displays meticulous comprehension and organization of syntax and mechanics, such as spelling, grammar, and punctuation.



What obstacles might be encountered as you

What resources can be used to

overcome each obstacle?


A good career plan begins by answering 4 simple questions.

Answer the following questions to begin creating a detailed &
realistic career plan.

What are the common steps
that others have taken to
prepare for the occupation I
have chosen?

Search LinkedIn and view
profiles of those in field

Search Occupational Outlook Handbook to
learn more about career paths and insights

Consult with recruiters who hire
people in your chosen field

Talk with those who are in field

How long should it
take to complete
each step identified
in the first question?

Assigning a start and end date to each step is a
critical part of making sure that you are on

Carefully consider how long each step
should take and plan accordingly.


What step should I take first, second, third and so on to
reach my ultimate career goal — to land a position in my
chosen field?

To begin planning, start your
“Career Development Plan”

The University’s programs and services are designed to prepare students and graduates to pursue employment in their field of study or related field; however, the
University does not guarantee that students or graduates will be placed in any particular position or employment. Any statistics referenced on the website and attributed to
a source other than the University have not been independently verified by the University. Career Services abides by the principles of professional conduct set forth by the
National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE)

  • What are the common steps that others have taken to prepare for the occupation I have chosen?
  • 03.
    • How long should it take to complete each step identified in the first question?
  • 04.
    • What step should I take first, second, third and so on to reach my ultimate career goal — to land a position in my chosen field?

Explore job boards to find out what employers are looking for. and Career Builder are great places to start, but don’t forget to look at
niche job boards as well. Carefully fill in the table below by looking through 15 job postings of similar roles. By looking at 15+ job boards, you can
identify some common themes and discover first-hand what employers want.





  4. Desire Position:

Goal setting is a critical part of the career planning process. Ultimately, your goals allow you to create a roadmap to succeed in your career.

Goals can be divided into two categories; short and long-term. Short-term goals are typically smaller goals that plan into the larger long-term goals.
For example, if your ultimate goal was to end up in a director position in a new field, you would first need to gain experience and finish your degree
(these would be the short-term goals that feed into the long-term). Goals should be realistic, specific, and include a time frame.

+ time frames + time frames

  1. Short-term Goals:
  2. Long-term Goals:


An Individual Development Plan is a planning tool to assist you in taking charge of your career by identifying action steps toward achieving your short or long term career goals.
Once you have identified your development areas, you can begin your development plan. Your plan should include the competency/skill you wish to develop, development
activities that can help you develop the identified skill, the learning resources, and the timeframe.


Development Goal Development Activity Support Required Target Completion Date

Example: Training
experience/certification for

• Locate and complete a training

• Find an area of expertise to design and
deliver a training



December 2019

  1. Development Goal:
  2. Development Activity:
  3. Support Required:
  4. Target Date:

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