Career is the most important aspect of every individual. And planning a career is at the top. In our childhood, we often say we want to be an engineer, a doctor, a pilot, and the list goes on. But when the actual time arises for choosing a career, profound thinking and research about your career is the most significant thing to do. Everyone will ask you to plan your career and you know that it cannot be ignored. It is Something which will help you to grow, help you to get your dream job and plan your future.
So, the first thing you do is a search on the internet and thousands of results from various websites appear. Almost each and every website shows more or less the same steps and then you get confused or disappointed that you did not get what you were actually looking for. Everyone will tell you what steps you should take to plan your career, but no one tells you about how to really do it. Everybody will tell you to identify your strengths and weaknesses and all those typical steps. But no one will tell you about the real challenges you face while planning the career.
Today we will talk about the real challenges one faces while planning his/her career and how can one possibly overcome them. So, Let’s Start.
This is the first step everyone tells you to do. Everyone will ask you to think about what you like, what you enjoy, what motivates you and it continues. You will think about it and if you do not get an answer, you will try those quizzes, and personality tests, etc.
The most common problem one faces here is underestimating themselves. After seeing the assessment results, individuals think that they are not capable to do anything. They doubt themselves; they forget their past achievements and they get depressed. Another problem is they think that what if what they want to do is something which society will not accept. We are talking about the rural areas and middle-class people who fear to do anything different. For example, if a male think that he wants to be a female make-up artist or female hairdresser, society will not accept it easily. Many will laugh saying this is women’s job, why do you want to do it?
But don’t let what people will think affect your dreams and career. Do not fear the society unless you are doing anything wrong. No matter what you do people are there to stop you. When you try to do something extra ordinary, people will always pull you down and try to stop you. You must fight the battle against these people and win it.
The next step is research about your area of interest and your strengths. Figure out what are the options and choices are available for your interest and strengths. Make a list of all the available options and prioritize as per your strengths and skills. Find out what are the top companies, what are the top countries, how is industry performing, what is the future of the industry, etc. Make a detailed analysis of all such details.
The problem is individuals think “Is my area of interest something which can be a career?” “Is it worth doing?” Sometimes the job you are looking for, does not pay you much. Sometimes it seems there is no long-term career in what you want to do. Sometimes it seems like a dead-end after a certain point. And people tend to give up their desired job.
The solution we think for such problem is just go for it. Even if it is not going to pay you much initially, do something which will solve the problem. Do what you love and money will follow. If the job you want do, does not exist, create one. If there is no employer who offers the job, be the one.
Set Short-term & Long-term Goals
No plan starts without having a goal. For better planning and results you must set a short-term goal and long-term goal. Having a set goal will motivate you to develop a plan and strategy. Having a set goal will make it easy for you to make the right decisions.
The problem with setting a goal is often that most of the times objectives are not clear. If your research is not proper, then you will not be able to decide exactly what you want to do. Another problem is setting unrealistic goals. Most people set unrealistic goals and have very high expectations. And when they fail, they feel like they cannot do anything. Sometimes people just feel that what if I fail and that stops them from setting bigger goals
Have a clear objective. Always keep in mind that goals should be realistic. You can’t say that after starting my job, in 5 years I will have my own house, car and everything. You cannot achieve everything in one night. Start with small goals and gradually increase them. Don’t fear if you fail, keep trying. Don’t think much about results before putting your efforts.
Create an Action Plan
Now you have the goals set, it is time to have a plan to achieve those. Now it is assumed that you have already figured out whatever is required. Plan can be created only when all checkboxes are marked. Again, a career plan must be realistic and time bound. A plan should cover every aspect. The plan should be flexible enough so that it can be changed as per the situation.
The most common problem in starting a plan is getting started. Most people don’t understand how to start planning. Most of the times plan is so rigid that it becomes very difficult to stick to the plan and follow. Or sometimes plan is so boring that there is no motivation to continue.
The best way to create a plan is by listing down the steps. Prioritise the steps. Set a deadline for each task and try to follow it. You can start from your final goal and work backway to set the milestones. Visualise your plan or have a trial of your plan. Also, the most important thing is to have a backup plan ready. Keep monitoring the plan.
Review Your Plan
Last but not least is reviewing your plan. It is a very important step. Any plan cannot be successful if it is not reviewed. It helps you to make necessary changes to your plan, identify the loopholes, etc. Get feedback from someone or talk to someone about your plan. Have a mentor if possible.
The problem is evaluation is sometimes people do not accept the fact that their plan is not correct. They do not accept that their plan has some loopholes. Sometimes, people don’t want others to know that they failed, and they keep telling everyone that everything is going well. Another problem is people do not understand how to evaluate and what to evaluate. They waste time in some useless evaluation and believe that it is perfect.
The best way to evaluate is to ask questions. How much I have succeeded, where I have reached, what are the milestones I have achieved and where I have failed, etc. Ask such questions so that you can evaluate your plan.
Career Planning is something which you have to keep doing again and again. You cannot just do it for one time and relax. You need to keep looking for the opportunities, keep looking for development and keep working on yourself. You need to have a goal to start but not necessarily those goals will always remain the same. Goals can change depending on the situation, opportunities and many such factors. Career planning is a process and not a one-time activity.
A career involves multiple jobs. One can change from one job to another at any point of time. You should not be afraid of changing jobs. Not only jobs but you can also think of changing the Industry or changing the type of job or from being an employee to become an entrepreneur as well.
Career Planning is not an easy task to do. You will have to overcome many changes while planning your career. At one point you may even feel this is a useless thing to do. But don’t give up. If you are not able to do it on your own, talk to someone whom you trust and think he/she can help you. Don’t compare yourself with others. Not everyone has the same abilities and interest. Most of the times people fear to do something different by thinking why take the risk. But you will not succeed more than others if you do not take the risk. Here are some useful tips from our side which will come handy for you-
- Keep updating your resume
- Keep looking and searching about your industry and other related industries
- Don’t stop working on your Interpersonal Skills
- Don’t just go for the money, see what do you like the most and keep working on it
- Note down your achievements
- Keep your eyes and ears open
- Try to adapt to the changes rather than complaining about them
- Don’t let your personal life affect your professional life
- Seek help from others but do not depend on them
Career Planning starts in your mind, so be prepared