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Career Planning: Turn A Passion Into Your Career

By Amit Bhanot | 11/22/2010 1:12 PM Monday

Gone are the days when securing a degree was treated as the passport to a successful life. There was a time when after passing the 12th standard, students would face either engineering or medical competitive examinations. Rigorous hard work for the next 2-3 years would follow and their future would be secure with numerous job offers. In a contemporary world, it is not that this formula has failed but it is only half the battle won. Today, more emphasis is laid on planning rather than mere execution and this holds true when we speak of an individual’s career development. To achieve what you aspire to be, you must be able to think things through and then plan accordingly so that no opportunity is missed in this fiercely competitive world.  The long and short of career planning is that first choose the right career and then make the appropriate moves so that you can breeze through the various stages of progress successfully.

Keep a long term perspective to avoid confusion
In the present era, we come across various distractions in every field and building a career is no exception. In fact, when a student walks out of his/her academic institution and enters a professional setup, various “luring opportunities” seem to vie for his/her attention. In the majority of cases, these so called opportunities become successful in grabbing the attention and valuable time of a young aspiring professional. These are short term career prospects that go nowhere but unfortunately an individual may only realize this after literally wasting years in the pursuit of such dubious occupations. A perfect example of this is opting for a job in a BPO firm that today entices thousands of youth. Considering this, it is very important that you plan  your career in the early years after deciding what you like the most. We live in a world of over information but in order to avoid confusion, dissemination of appropriate data regarding one’s career is a must. It helps to keep a long term perspective in mind when selecting a particular profession. Needless to say, an analysis of your future 10-15 years down the line is crucial.

Explore possibilities and learn from your mistakes
The best way to enhance your career is by exploring the possibilities present in the professional arena. While doing so, you should not be afraid of failure and wrong judgment. “I have seen many of my students who get into the wrong job even after graduating from premier institutions like IIM. But then, many of them explore the opportunities available to them and ultimately get into the right groove that is best for them and more importantly, according to their liking. In the present competitive world, doing an MBA doesn’t mean that person can only work in finance, marketing or HR,” remarks Dr. Devi Singh, Director, IIM Lucknow. “This process of selecting, rejecting and shuffling career preferences usually takes 2-3 years but it ultimately boils down to a scenario where a professional has a job in his hand that is most suitable for him and then his growth is usually brisk,” he adds. Another aspect of career planning is retrospection. This usually helps you identify the mistakes you have committed in the past and also allows you to correct them in the long run. Hence, no matter how busy you are in your occupation, try to set aside some time everyday to analyze where your career is going and whether your professional aspirations have been met thus far.

Switchover but beware
If planning a career is the most important stage of one’s professional life then the second crucial level would certainly be preparing for a switchover. Nowadays, many people treat switching jobs frequently as the key to success. This phenomenon is so rampant in many fields that it has taken an ugly turn. In fact, in fields like management, IT, engineering, media, etc., job hopping has played havoc with the careers of many young professionals as they don’t gather the required experience during the initial years and have to pay the price in the later years of their professional life. “A very big misconception among youth today is that frequent switchovers can enhance their career growth. In fact, staying back with a company that has  a good reputation and management principles pays more in the long run,” informs Devi Singh.

 

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