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The span of February to July remains crucial for a student as well as a career aspirant. It is the period when term-end exams are over and some of you are planning for getting admissions in new courses/classes and some are looking forward for a decent livelihood. Be it clearing entrance tests for higher/professional studies or carving a niche in life in terms of a career, a well planned strategy and its careful implementation should always be a part of your career. A thoughtful step or a well-planned leap is always better than any hasty move.

Gone are the days when career meant just finding a suitable job. The contemporary age is the age of cut-throat competition marked with targets and perfor-mance. It also ends up in doom’s valley for those who cannot take the challenges of the market. There is always an upward ladder for those who prove themselves. In a nutshell, career has become much more than mere employment. It is a package encompassing attri-butes of different aspects of life. One’s physical and mental health, marital bliss, secure future of children, social respect etc. all are now linked with a suitable career.

Recently, some of the socio-economic trends of our contem-porary society have given a new shape to the meaning of career. Emergence of a corporate culture, arrival of Multi National Companies (MNCs), emergence of a wide range of upcoming employment opportunities and amazing development of media and information technology have jointly reshaped and redesigned the concept and dimensions of career. These trends have on the one hand, opened a big market of employment and have also necessitated developing a professional attitude and professional approach for survi-ving in the contemporary employment market.

With so much changes and development, now career is somewhat you become or achieve in life with the help of:

Care+ Ambition+ Realism+ Esteem+ Energy+ Rationale

Care: Planning and executing your career carefully in view of your strengths and weaknesses, oppor-tunities and threats.

Ambition: Have an ambition, a desire to move the upward ladder of growth. Without a conviction, one cannot ensure progression.

Realism: A realistic plan has to be prepared keeping in view one’s strengths and weaknesses. Daydreaming leads to nowhere. Never plan some-thing that is too big or too difficult to reach. It is true that Tata and Ambani dreamt big and their dreams came true but they had a humble beginning based on a long term vision. An extraordinary growth, of course followed.

Esteem: This implies one’s level of motivation and self confidence. How much can one trust oneself and how big one can dream?

Energy: How much one can devote oneself to reach one’s goal. In other words, it indicates the hard work required to make one’s dream come true.

Rationale: With what reason and rationale have you selected the avenue for yourself. What considerations did you take into, what were the decisive factors, was it a decision based on thorough thinking and conviction? Did you select your goal in influence of others or under pressure?

Before beginning your career take help from 3 Ps i.e. Plan, Prepare and Perform.

1. Plan: A plan is the projected course of action to be executed with the help of your resources. Since this aspect will show the right path to you, let’s do it systematically.

1.2. Goal setting: Your first step should be goal setting. There is a hierarchy of goals shown with the help of following diagram:

Goal

Objective

Strategy

Activities

1.2.1. Goal: This is something related to your long-term planning. In other words, goal is your long term objective. For example, you may have the goal of earning a name in the field of health and medicine or make a significant contribution in the field of health and medicine. One must remember that such long term goal at times can take a life time span because earning a name or making a significant contribution in the field of health is something infinitive and there is no end to it. After making one achievement in this field, you will crave for another and thus there will be no end.

1.2.2. Objective: Objective is something which is seen immedia-tely before your eyes. In the perspective of career, it refers to what you want to get in the short run. Let’s continue with the example cited in the goal segment. If you move ahead with the goal of making a significant contribution in the field of health and medicine, then your objective can be that of becoming a good doctor. This will not take much time as compared to goal because you can become a doctor in a span of 6-7 years.

1.2.2.1. Take help of the following question words for determining your goal and objectives:

What do I want to become in life?

Why do I want to become that?

Where will it reach me (what chosen by me)?

When Can I achieve that?

Who will/ can help me in that?

How will I reach there?

1.2.2.2. Having analysed yourself with the help of the question words, now undertake a SWOT analysis which will help you in under-standing ‘you’ in a better way. SWOT stands for:

Strength – In what respect one is stronger than other aspirants. What qualities does one possess (even if one has more physical strength than average), may it be command over language, voice quality, ability to express, good analytical ability, your knowledge of the field you have chosen or knowledge of computer and internet etc.

Weakness – Assess what your weaknesses are. Try to overcome them if it is possible in your present circumstances. Do not be disheartened if you could not overcome it; just go for the area where these weaknesses do not matter at all. Enlist such weaknesses and try to overcome them gradually. For instance no knowledge of computer- you can learn it very easily with the help of your friends or family members or can even take admission in a short term course.

Opportunities – Explore the opportunities around you. Are you a local person specialising in a particular field? Can you be the first person to grab the opportunity? A new kind of business is opening in your city and you are the person having know-how in that particular field, be the first person to grab the opportunity.

Threats – Asses threats also. Not only professional hazards but also others like lifespan of a particular trade, competition from other aspirants, legislations against any kind trade or job and goodwill of employer etc. If such threats exist what is your alternative plan of action? Many of civil services aspirants who even after passing two written exams and having failed in personality test suffer unemployment just because of having no alternative plan.

1.2.2.3. Only a SWOT analysis of your career is not sufficient. It should be assessed in the light of CROW.

Concrete – You are not supposed to build castles in the air. Keep your vision clear.

Realistic – The profession or career chosen by you should be realistic based on analysis and hard facts.

Objective-oriented – a well-defined objective should guide your approach.

Workable – The chosen field should be full of working potentiality.

1.2.2.4. Self-assessment is necessary:

Self-assessment is very easy. At any given night, before going to bed just note down details of your day’s activities like what have you done today, what time have you devoted on each activity and what were the outcome of those activities (it is Gandhian approach too!). Note down the entire positive and negative aspects of the day’s activities and to which activity you have devoted maximum time, think if put in right perspective; can it be helpful in pursuing the related career? For example you watched the Indo-Pak test series whole day, you skip your studies just to watch cricket; yet you are not any good at playing cricket but there can be other possibilities of exploring the opportunities such as writing features on cricket or pursuing careers as a commentator or scorer or analyst or even an umpire. Photography is your hobby then why not you become a photographer? Just because you fear what people would say – son of a doctor is a mere photographer? This is a wrong thinking; there are many examples around who had made the profession respectable just by excelling in it. Remember, Excellence is the key to
success.

1.2.3. Strategy: This refers to your way of doing things or your methodology. If you have an objective of becoming a doctor, your strategy or your modus operandi should include as to how to plan and execute your activities.

1.2.4. Activities: These are the small or big tasks that you accomplish under your strategy in order to achieve your objective for reaching your goal. In the context of making a significant contribution in the field of health and medicines, you will take up several activities like admission in coaching classes, self-study, maintaining a watch on related examinations, filling up the forms of examination, appearing in the examinations and interviews as per the criteria of the related institute, taking admission in the medical course, completing the course successfully etc.

1.3. Resource mapping: In simple words, resource means something that is useful for you and can help you in your work. Usually the resources are determined with the help of a formula called MAHU

Money

Material

Human Resources

Analyse your resources with the help of this formula. See what financial resources are available to you for pursuing right career. It can be your parents property, some saving plan gifted by your parents that is about to mature or availability of educational loan. In fact, this is the most vital resource not only for career selection but for any other work. Secondly, look for the things that can help you. A motorbike to take you to coaching institute, a good storage of reference books in your home, a good library in your college or an internet facility in your neighbourhood which helps your to enrich your knowledge etc. are the examples of material resources. Human resources imply the physical, mental and intellectual potential of the human beings that can help you in one way or the other. A relative with a very good knowledge of computer, a motivating teacher giving information about a good coaching institute or a friend well-versed in information technology who can teach you in this line; are the example of human resources.

Enlisting the resources is not enough. It also necessitates, how do you access them basing upon their distance from you. Following diagram can help you in determining your resources:

1.4. Time planning: After planning your resources, this is the time to plan your activities based upon your resources. You can prepare it quarter wise or year wise depending upon the type of activity chosen by you.

2. Prepare: This is the phase wherein you make arrangements for the execution of your plan. This relates to preparing oneself for the chosen path. Here also, you need to be systematic, so please do not be haphazard. The segment of preparation requires a well designed monitoring and evaluation mechanism in order to assess yourself and your preparations.

3. Perform: This is the ultimate point to give a concrete shape to plan. This implies the activities like appearing in the examination, getting through it, taking admission in the related institution, completing you studies successfully and then a successful launch of yourself. This phase also need a systematic approach which should begin where ‘prepare’ stage comes to an end. Let’s begin with the assumption that you have cleared the entrance process for 2 years Business Management in ‘X’ institute. Merely completing the course successfully will land you nowhere because at the end of three years, the job market would have taken a different shape. So do not confine yourself to mere studies. Keep a watch on the latest trends of the job market.

Please keep in mind that career is something which is going to affect the entire life of yours and your family members. A good career means a good life and an adverse one with a career taken up without care. So, always work on the formula of KASH that is Knowledge, Attitude, Skills and Hard Work.

To summarise, always keep the following points in mind:

Assess yourself on SWOT basis.

Identify your field of interest, as it is very easy.

Adopt pragmatic and positive approach.

Stop daydreaming.

No career is mean or downgraded.

Try innovative ideas.

Keep the things in their right perspective.

Be sure what are you doing.

Do not make decisions in a hasty manner.

Job satisfaction should be your priority (not becoming an overnight millionaire) and that means you should become what you always craved for. This develops interest in job and this improves your efficiency and in turn, it gradually elevates you in your career ladder.

There is always a certain element of failure in your endeavour, so keep an alternative plan ready.

Update yourself. Keep a pace with the latest developments in the contemporary world.

Discard escapism because it will lead you to nowhere. It is pragmatic to face the challenges and look for the solutions instead of running away from them. Remember, in order to overcome a difficulty, you need to face it.

Create and nurture tangible and intangible treasure of knowledge. Inculcate a habit of collecting, preserving and studying books and materials.

Don’t be bookworms; gather information wherever it comes from.

Learn to listen and listen to learn. Listening and learning always pay dividends.

Be honest with yourself.

Believe in “everything of something”, instead of something of everything. It is always better to be master of one than jack of all trades.

Be systematic in everything you do. Avoid the attitude of ‘take it easy, ‘chalta hai,’ ho jaega’.

Always follow the key – activity breeds success.

Read good books on confidence building and motivation. It really works.

Your interest in a job makes you satisfy and your employer happy. This increases your efficiency and in turn, your career prospers. Just go for excellence in whatever you know or are interested in. Make it a career of your choice not chance.

(Hena Naqvi is PTI correspondent in Gorakhpur-Salman Haider is correspondent with All India Radio Gorakhpur)

Source: Employment News
Author: Hena Naqvi & Salman Haider

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