How To Choose and Plan a Career

How To Choose and Plan a Career
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When you choose a career, you are making one of the most important decisions of your life. A career refers to your progress or course during life. However, before starting with a career, you need to be clear about your objective in life. Usually, when you think of a career, the first obvious thought that crosses the mind is about looking for a job. However, you need to understand the subtle difference between a career and a job. Although a career and a job are often mistaken as one entity, you need to understand the distinction between them to prosper.

A job refers to the work / regular activity that you perform in exchange of payment. A job is just restricted to the position you are currently employed in. However, a career is a wider term that covers not only your present employment status, but also is a pointer to the past and indicator for the future. A career is a progression path, which builds on your experience and learning.

Planning a career:

Choose A Career is a process that continues throughout your life. It includes choosing an occupation, getting a job, growing in the job, possibly changing careers, and eventually retiring. The process of choosing a career may happen once in your lifetime, but it is more likely to happen several times as you define and redefine goals. You can decide on a career during the phase of education. Different people have different perspectives on career. For some, a career means an automated source of income. But for others, it implies accomplishment and recognition. It may also entail using your creativity and talents to the fullest.

You can broadly say that the career fulfills the following objectives:

Economic Independence & Choose A Career:

Any chosen career must ultimately provide you with adequate earnings to make you economically independent. As you progress on a career path, encountering new roles and challenges, you gain experience. With increase in experience over time, your income may also rise.

Opportunities to Learn:

A chosen career path must provide ample opportunities for you to learn. Once you loose the zeal to learn by self, you may well have reached the end of your career. Therefore, you must always look for opportunities to grow, take up new roles, explore, learn, and derive satisfaction from your career.

Potential for Growth:

A career must provide opportunities for self-development and growth, in terms of variety of roles, learning, and financial growth. A career without potential for growth will soon become monotonous and unattractive, leading to dissatisfaction.

Job Satisfaction:

One of the most important things a career should provide is the satisfaction of pursuing the career. At times, there might be dissatisfaction owing to factors, such as the lack of clarity of role and growth potential. Clarity of roles in workplace is a major cause of concern for youngsters, who often expect clear-cut roles at the workplace. However, you must understand that you may usually have to carry out a variety of roles in a career. For example, you may be required to do maintenance programming, give demonstrations, train and support end users besides performing some non-IT tasks, such as some administrative routines. Moreover, you must also explore avenues for taking up new responsibilities, opportunities for learning and growth, thereby sustaining motivation and deriving job satisfaction.

Planning a career

Planning a career is a task that requires utmost attention and care. Getting started with a career plan is not always an easy task. Career planning involves exploring and gathering information, which enables you to synthesize, gain competencies, make decisions, set goals. and take  action. You may repeat all or parts of the career development process at various points in your lives as values, interests, abilities, and circumstances change.

Career planning: firstly requires you to spare your time to getting to know yourself. You should be able to identify your inner strengths and feelings. It is very important to find what you really love doing and are capable of doing.

The following pointers can serve as guidelines for career planning:

  • Create one plan and stick to it.
  • Take action.
  • Follow it through one step at a time.
  • Do the best you can.
  • Have a positive outlook with a determination to succeed.

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