Without proper career planning and development, the busy fast-forward lifestyle today has led to many people ending up with careers that are least suited to their style and aspirations. According to Susan Adams at Forbes, “Unhappy Employees outnumber happy ones by two to one worldwide”. So if you too also fear in winding up in the former group, then here are a few tips to help you mold and shape a better career for yourself.
The first and foremost step towards career development is to know yourself. You can start by asking yourself
“Where do I see myself 10 years from now?”
“What am I good at?”
“What are things I can improve”.
Be honest with yourself in answering them and try to get an idea of where you stand and where you need to be in order to achieve what you want.
Evaluate your jobs
Choosing the best job out of all available can be tricky and a wrong decision effectively controls the life you are about to lead.According to a study by Kim Thompson at Chron in 2011, a bad job can make you less qualified for a good one. Career planning and success are closely knitted.
To make the right decision it’s necessary to evaluate the jobs on your needs, for instance:
“Is the pay good enough?”
“Is there scope for growth?”
“What are the benefits of working here” etc. Know your facts and in case of any doubts or second thoughts do not hesitate to meet with the employers and sort it out before making the final call. If you aspire to be an entrepreneur then do your research and have confidence in yourself. Remember when there’s a will there’s a way.
Get your priorities straight
Maslow classifies needs in the following manner:
This is known as a hierarchy of needs and according to Maslow a person fulfilling a particular need will be motivated by the needs directly above it in the pyramid. So it’s very important for you to determine what motivates you.
Is it job satisfaction? Is it the big bonus at the end of the quarter?
Or is it about doing something for the common good and giving back to the society?
Get your priorities straight, and set out in that direction.
Assess and Motivate yourself
Sometimes a job or career may look very shiny from the outside, but very difficult to attain, perform and maintain. Actors, footballers, singers may look like the happiest people on the planet with unlimited free time and cash to spare, but remember most of them started from scratch and dug their way through burning the midnight oil.
Though talent is unobtainable, it can be matched with a strong will, hard work, and dedication. Everybody has limits, but knowing them and still trying to give it your best is what separates the brilliant from the ordinary. Don’t ask yourself “Can I?” Say “I can!”
Ideally, you should choose a workplace where there is a social diversity and there is plenty to learn from the people around you.
According to Michael Dell, CEO of DELL Inc,” Try never to be the smartest person in the room. And if you are, I suggest you invite smarter people … or find a different room”.
It’s commonly said that the people around you affect and mold the way you are. At work, you’ll spend a lot of time with people at the office, site etc. Know the situations you are comfortable with. If you are an introvert it’s best you work in independently in familiar conditions or at home. If you love making friends and meeting people, professions in photography, cuisines, sales, marketing may be your cup of tea.
Hire professional help
It’s possible that sometimes you might be coming short on ideas for the future or may find it difficult choosing between two options. Rather than giving into your neighbor’s gossip about her sister’s uncle’s son’s career, hire professional help.
Being in this competitive age a person needs to know all the options he/she has before they can begin career planning. Only a properly chosen career will lead to a mutual improvement for the individual and the organization.
A career counselor can identify your aptitude for success in different jobs and can guide and coach you for the same.Talk to someone who is in the same line of work
Is your career choice unconventional? Or is it too common for good?
Only 60% sure that this is the career you want?
Just speak to someone who is currently employed in the same line of work you wish to do in the future. Sometimes you will end up getting the person’s personal opinion of the job but this is a very good way to get factual information like salary, increments, work hours, workspace quality, flexibility etc.
Get first-hand experience
If you are still having second thoughts after having the conversation with the above-mentioned person, then just shove past it and get in the field. Apply for an internship or a part-time job and see for yourself. Showcase your skill set and explore the sector you want to spend your time in and pick up valuable new skills and experience in the process.
It’s not about being the best; it’s about being better than yesterday. You might have chosen the right career, but you’re unable to perform due to personal traits or something pulling you down.
Identify them and get rid of them.
Keep calm and perform
When you’ve done everything you can from your side, and things still aren’t working out for you. Your neighbor’s son just got promoted at a desk job when your first business deal just fell through?
Thinking of shifting to a 9 to 5 job? Be patient and show fortitude. Remember Rome was not built in a day. Things will slowly fall into place and work out. Set higher goals every day, keep a methodical approach and plan out everything well in advance and success will be yours!