Think two steps ahead for career
Be clear about career decisions. Today's decision needs to work in tomorrow's context. It is good to have career aspirations, it is also important to...
Be clear about career decisions. Today's decision needs to work in tomorrow's context. It is good to have career aspirations, it is also important to have a Plan-B, which will come handy in case first choice does not work
Here are two stories of young career aspirants. Let us see what we can learn from them.
Story-1: Divya messaged me: "Sir, I am preparing for bank exam. Hope I will get through. Need your wishes!" It was a simple message and not very difficult to reply. But I was upset. Divya completed her BCom and then went on to do her MBA in Human Resources Management. Having successfully getting a post graduate qualification, why go for banking exam? I wished her good luck for her exam and then enquired about her career in HR. Her reply was that the offers that she was getting were not in sync with her liking. She was got roles of recruiter, HR coordinator, HR help desk assistant and so on. The titles were not certainly attractive though they were about HR. Would it have been better for Divya to choose some role in HR and then look for growth? Or completely moving away and joining a bank as a probationary officer would be better? If you are aspiring for career in HR, why are you getting into a bank? And if you wanted to get into a bank, then why did you go into MBA in human resources management?
Story -2: Balakrishna (Balu) had aptitude for Mathematics, Logic and Computers from very early stage. He completed BSc in Computer Science and scored good marks. He then insisted his parents to send him for higher studies. Though they could not afford, his parents borrowed money and helped Balu to complete his MTech in Informaton Technology. When he was about to leave the Institute, he got an offer for a teaching assistantship in the same Institute. He declined the offer saying pay was too less. He tried for corporate jobs, but owing to his personality he could not get through. Moreover, software companies considered him as over qualified for entry level jobs, where they require only engineering graduates. When Balu's desire was to get into software industry, why did he go for MTech?
In the meanwhile, he started getting job offers as Assistant Professor in engineering colleges. Owing to the pressure from parents, he took up one such job. He gained good name as a faculty member and received good feedback for his teaching skills. One fine morning, he quit the job and went home saying teaching is not something that he wanted to do. Balu has been waiting for two years now and yet to decide what he wants to do. Parents were worried on two counts: one, the financial burden and second, the future of their son. They too have the same question � when you did not want to get into teaching or research, why did you get into MTech and spent time and money?
When we look around, there are many youngsters who may be similar to Divya and Balu. All of them struggle with lack of clarity about careers. They take decisions about studies that may not fit into long term career aspirations. Even if they have clarity, they seldom have plan-B. For example, Divya needs to reconsider her choice of a career in a bank as a probationary officer. One might say that her family conditions might have influenced her to do that. Fair enough! But then why did she do MBA and spent time and money? She could tried for bank jobs with her BCom and started her career much earlier. Similarly, Balu should have understood the requirements of software industry before opting for MTech. Having realised that software industry was not welcoming him; he should have quickly worked out plan-B, which was teaching.
Key lessons from these two stories are:
- While making a choice of study or career, you need to think two steps ahead. Your today's decision need to work in tomorrow's context.
- While it is good to have career aspirations, it is also important to have a Plan-B, which will come handy in case your first choice does not work.
These two principles make your career decisions more pragmatic! They make you more prepared for your career and equip you with the ability to face any surprises!