Get Your Career Decision Right

In schools and colleges we're taught many subjects but it is surprising that many of life lessons are hardly included in the curriculum. Consider the case of choosing a career. In very few cases we can find institutions or courses offering formal career guidance. So more often than not people have to make uninformed career choices.

Choosing a career is one among the most significant milestones in our lives and one should be fully equipped to make such an important decision. The world today is much different from the world of yester years. Our country has also changed a lot in the past few decades. With increased globalization and liberalization, there is vibrancy in the economy.

Industrialisation is gaining strength and new jobs are being created. The service industry is also expanding, generating employment for millions of people. For many corporations of the world employees' nationality is a non-issue now and they are willing to hire persons of any nationality as long as they meet the required criteria. Job seekers are moving across cities and nations to fulfill their career aspirations.

More and more organisations are becoming global and diversity is being encouraged. This has brought much more opportunities in realm of careers, at the same time has made the job of career selection a lot challenging.

Job or career? The more clear a person is about her career aspirations, the easier for her will be to make a right decision in the matter. Many times people don't differentiate between a job and a career. A job is an assignment which may be taken for a long or short period. It is more of a position, designation or role. When someone says that she is a computer operator in public works department, she is talking of a job.

Career has a wider canvas. A person may choose a career in banking, defence, human resources (HR) or in any other area/ organisation. Our long term planning should be for career. Of course, we'll be learning from our experiences and may be required to change our career strategy, in some cases. Career and personality Ideally your career should match with your personality.

Every career requires few personal traits. Before we decide to enter a particular career, we should find out if we have the matching personality. For example in selling, marketing or public relations employees are expected to be extroverts because the requirement is like that. If the required traits are lacking there are two options- to explore some other career or to develop those required traits. It is possible to bring changes in our personality. It requires willingness, efforts and discipline.

Around you, you can find people who have brought changes in their habits and personality after they felt a need for this. Get the question right It is true that people work for a living. But this doesn't give us the complete picture. In most of the cases money can be one of the motives, not the only motive. The other motives can be understood when we ask this question-'What are the things I look forward to in a career?' Is this money, power, prestige, complete job security, freedom, growth opportunities or something else?

There are many bright students from prestigious institutions like IITs and IIMs who under campus selections, were offered fat financial packages by national and global companies. They could have been assured of a comfortable life by accepting such attractive offers. But these students preferred to choose the path of entrepreneurship, of being on one's own which is considered to be risky and demanding.

A person who wants to go into academics, supposedly is not a power seeker. Some people seek quick promotions. You must know your preferences. Explore options You know what you want. The wiser thing now will be to explore options. Take the example of a career in banking. For many people it means working in a nationalized bank. But opportunities are also available in private sector banks which consist of old age and new age private sector banks. Then there are foreign banks, cooperative banks and regional rural banks.

A global career is possible with World Bank and Asian Development Bank, of course with requisite qualifications and experience. If you know all the options then only you can aim for the best option. If somebody wants a banking career only within public sector that also should be clear. In certain fields people know the opportunities available at state level though there may be better opportunities at national and international level.

Research and gather information to choose right and avoid disappointment it is necessary to do some research and gather information about the career stream or the organization which you're willing to consider. One shouldn't be superficially impressed or caught by the glamour. Don't assume. Find facts. Working in five star hotel or airlines may appear to be highly attractive for many. It is better to know the exact nature of work, work conditions and the future opportunities. In career magazines and electronic media you can find interviews of people from diverse fields giving relevant input.

You can also talk to people who are already working in those industries or areas in order to get a clear picture. One should not only look for the opportunities but should also be aware of challenges in a career. In terms of organisations it is advisable to know its reach, growth opportunities, transferability and other human resource policies which have some relevance for you. Open up, discuss with people and you may come across valuable information for your own benefit. Consider employers' expectations While choosing a career you shouldn't consider your interests only.

Employment is a contract in which all parties have some expectations. An employer hires you to accomplish business goals. You will be selected if you're found capable of making such contribution. If a person is looking for lesser work, minimum responsibilities with usual expectations of good pay, benefits and job security; she is not being fair or reasonable. A career has to be undertaken to perform, produce and give results with adequate responsibility. This is a genuine expectation of the employer and has to be respected.

Expand your horizon although things are changing, there are some young people in villages and small towns who are not willing to move out on one pretext or the other. The human tendency is to like to remain in one's comfort zone. But according to researchers in human development, real growth happens when you move out of your comfort zone. So prepare yourself to think big and face challenges. Don't put unnecessary restrictions on yourself.

Look for the opportunities by expanding your horizon and make best of your situation. Often our narrow and limiting thinking becomes the biggest road block in our path of progress. It is necessary to evaluate our inhibitions and develop a progressive mindset. You've to create a future for yourself. There is no perfect or ideal career. You should focus on a career which is best suited to your interests and aspirations.

The current trend is to choose a career one is passionate about. The old saying goes, 'If you love what you do, you don't work a day in your life.' If you're passionate about your job, it becomes an outlet for expression, a way to shape your environment that makes you fulfilled .If not in the immediate term you can consider this your career strategy in the long term.

In our society, generally a person's career determines her identity and social status. While choosing a career this aspect can be borne in mind. But more important is the fact that our working life lasts for 35-40 years and if we make a wrong choice of career it can be a cause of long lasting frustration which may lead to other problems. By choosing a right career we derive immense satisfaction from our work life .It also helps to realize our potential.

Source: Employment News - Weekly


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