We're all so used to scrolling past titles promising legit life hacks and tales of legendary figures rising from the ashes wearing robes of golden courage. We've had to hear these stories even when screens weren't keeping us from the reality 24/7, and at one point this supposed push factor crossed the line of utter annoyance and got warped into becoming a heart-rending angst instead.
Having to realise how others have already imagined your future for you, and how you might not be able to even make it halfway in meeting their expectation is an existential crisis we're more or less familiar with. The epiphany that you might have your own rough sketch of a dream job that you want to pursue against their better judgement is another.
Now, the solution is simple enough, even though it may be the last one you want to hear about; you have to sit down and plan every step as meticulously as possible. For a BBA student, the next step they're directed to are familiar roads taken routinely, options highlighted and ranked, choices limited in words of advises and directions pointed out through careful guidance. That's where it gets tricky.
According to Ramim Ahmed, a final-year student of Institute of Business Administration, Dhaka University and the global winner of Battle of Minds 2018, comments “I think one of the biggest dilemmas that university students face is when choosing a career path. I've been through the same. Do I start my own business or do I try my best to join an MNC? There is no right or wrong answer. You have to find out what's right for you. It's best to gain as much experience and try out as many different things as possible within your first 2 or 3 years in university. By then you will have gained enough knowledge about the relevant fields for you to be able make an informed decision. And then you start focusing on what you want to do. Remember if you're planning to start your own business it's not going to be easy. But you'll have to be determined and resilient. And if you want to work in an MNC you shouldn't be looking for a job that just pays the big bucks. You should be looking to join an organisation where you plan to develop your career as well as grow as an individual.”
You'll find yourself having to take on risks as you plan out the outline of your career map. Risk-taking is inevitable in the line of business, and is a major step in boosting your confidence level in your own plans, not only to prove to others but to yourself as well. Playing it safe can only get you so far, it's important to realise every aspect and constraint that you might face beforehand and learn how to prepare for it.
Jannatul Tajree Mumu, a third-year BBA student at Jahangirnagar University, thinks risk taking is crucial for career routing. “I think it's important to follow your passion, even in a strict corporate lifestyle. Ultimately your ardour is everything that'll content you fully, not money. And for that, I know I'll have to take risks. Money and success will follow,” she says.
Career mapping is a well thought-out, structured approach to your plans. It's a step-by-step codex of your professional needs, a staircase building on your vocational education, skills, and overall individual growth. Keeping that in mind, career experts think choosing the direction you want to follow at the starting point should be prioritised, especially for BBA graduates. That simplifies the next steps, be it fleshing out all your goals, or rationalising every route until they're visibly manageable in your eyes. The full-fledged knowledge of your personal objectives is the engine, but you need to be behind the wheels as you weigh every step you plan to take. Accept the twists and turns that come your way, career maps nowadays are rarely linear. Of course, a trusted unit of support system is a must-have for anyone lost in their own map. To have the right guide, the right team and right leader to look to when confused is sometimes all the help one needs to complete a well-built career map.
Nawshin Nawar, a third-year Marketing student of Faculty of Business Studies at Dhaka University, says, “To me career development simply means self-development. I believe the increasing competition and globalisation demands flexibility and a diverse knowledge portfolio. So, for career development I am focusing on multiple things at the same time. For example polishing my writing skills in case I chase a career in content writing, running a startup to better equip me with experience in the corporate world, brushing up my marketing skills as I am majoring in Marketing, and teaching if I am to pursue a teaching profession.”
We tend to use maps to better understand the routes we want to take, to visually conceptualise our destination and have a mental picture of the journey ahead. When you're making the map of your career paths, it's even more convoluted and filled with uncertainties. But as long as it possesses the scope to allow you to develop and learn along the way, meet opportunities, and make continuous gradual progress, taking the risk will always be worth it. Opportunities for self-improvement will lead to success, even if they may lead you astray to foreign career prospects. Dream big enough to adapt to those opportunities as well.
Mashiyat Iqbal is a sad procrastinator, a sad coffee-addict and a sad insomniac whose friends say she is hopelessly optimistic but she begs to differ. Send her pity at firstname.lastname@example.org