Managing your career some tips
Each individual wants to have a pleasant career path throughout one's life. They strive to build a career that truly suit their desires and exhibits their potential.
However, many fail to enjoy it because they choose careers on a short-term perspective.
A career expert says people should make career choices based on personal needs, wants and capabilities.
“A fulfilling lifelong career is a rarity because many people, especially the youth, make career decision on short term perspectives,” says NEA Shibly, chief executive officer (CEO) of Pro-edge, a leading management and human resources (HR) consultation house in Bangladesh.
“They often make fundamental decisions before they realise the full implications of their choice.”
In our context, there is no one formula that will provide a person with a 'good' career. The objective should be to find an excellent 'fit' between what the person is and what he or she does.
Universally, an individual's wants and needs vary greatly. For example, an apparently successful managing director of a multinational corporation may be totally dissatisfied with his or her jet-set lifestyle and desire to move into a far less stressful occupation, while a middle manager of a local company may long to be promoted to a managing director's role, says Shibly.
Shibly, who has over 25 years of experience in HR, says finding the right career is serious business, as a 'good' career is the outcome of a struggle to fit personal needs, wants and capabilities into what the world has to offer.
It is also essential to learn how to make sound decisions at key moments. People who enjoy a good career teach us that there are stances, attitudes, skills and competencies that help to fashion a better fit between a person and their work, he adds.
Unfortunately, people tend to become victims of habit, and close their minds to personal development. There is a lot of scope for career development, but it is not infinite. No matter how much an individual wants a particular role or achievement, there are objective limitations and constraints.
“A youth who is unable to sing a tune simply can't be a singer, and an intellectually dull man can never be a university professor,” says Shibly, who also teaches in a couple of leading business school in Bangladesh.
“Almost all of us face major career decisions at different points in our lives.” Typical examples include women who want to take up work again after having children, people made redundant at middle age and people who want to exploit their latent potential.
Shibly, a certified human resources professional and a former army official, urges careerists to consider three key issues -- look inward: who are you; look outward: what does the world want, and then, fit into the world while making a career decision. So, he suggests pursuing the following steps to manage one's career successfully.
While looking inwards, the first step will be to decide, 'who takes my career decision?'
Secondly, one should identify the main 'career drivers' as careerists are energised by motives that drive them.
As a third step, ask yourself, 'How effective am I?' It helps one to reach valid conclusions about the strengths, non-strengths and weaknesses.
A fourth step would be to ask, 'How satisfied am I?' That is the job satisfaction.
The fifth step will be to ask, 'What are my talents?' For careerists, the task of identifying talent is especially important, as talent means currency. Personal talents are coinage in your purse. So, It is crucial to identify, develop and exploit one's own talent and transform into marketable competencies.
The sixth step to ask is, 'What constrains me?' One has to explore the dark side: these are the factors that constrain and confine personal choices.
In looking outwards, careerist should ask only one question, 'What organisation suits me?'
That is the seventh step after having reflected upon the most important personal factors that determine the direction and scope of the career choices.
In fitting yourself into the world, the eighth step should start with the basic question, 'What is my aim?'
Where do you go from here -- paint a picture of it. That is, one should create a 'vision of the future' and the vision should be long term, bold, speculative, and partly derived from intuition.
In the ninth step, the question should be, 'What are my objectives?' It is time to transform the vision into action and develop concrete objectives so that one can move forward.
The crucial question in the tenth step-- 'How should I develop myself?' This is about building competence. The easiest way of building a progressive career is to be offered a succession of desirable opportunities -- the trick is to be 'right' for the promotion.
The last question would be, 'How can I best exploit the present?'
A careerist should make the best of the present in a current work role. 'Today is the first day of the rest of your career. Each day, you should ask how I can get most out of doing this. That is the way to making progress -- each day you are nearer to your vision.'