It doesn’t matter if you are freshly out of the undergrad college, finished your masters, or obtained the coveted doctoral degree! The importance of career planning is forever foremost. Career goals change from time to time.
At one point, it will be about getting into the best college. Later, it would be about getting a top-notch position in your organization. Career planning becomes all the more pertinent in today’s era of extreme competitiveness. Let’s look at the various aspects of career planning, and some essential do’s and don’ts.
What exactly is career planning?
“A goal without a plan is just a wish” – Antoine de Saint
This small adage describes the importance of a career plan on point. Career planning is a continuous self-growth journey obtained by establishing objectives and deciding the strategy to achieve those intended objectives.
We live in a world full of a gazillion distractions, and a strategic career plan is a key to staying structured, focused, and organized throughout the quest for professional accomplishments. Please remember that it is never too early nor too late to start setting career goals. Maybe you arrived late on the launch pad due to a family responsibility or discovered your passion lately. In any case, today is the apt day to start planning for the future of your dreams.
Some points to be considered while setting career goals are:
1. An honest self-assessment
You know your strength as well as weakness. One of the fundamental components of ensuring a successful career plan is to be realistic and honest about one’s strengths and weaknesses. No one can evaluate you better than yourself. Take a blank sheet, and make two columns, write your forces in one column, and the gap in the other.
2. Take advice from experts
Before chalking out a career plan, take advice from experts available or through self-improvement books. One of the revolutionary books in this genre is Atomic Habits by John Clear. This phenomenal book talks about making 1% improvements each day over a long period to achieve what you desire in your career and life in the long run.
3. Look for the goal’s feasibility
One of the biggest reasons people fail to achieve success is setting unrealistic goals. Those of our peers or seniors might inspire these goals. We need to understand that every one of us has unique, innate potentials and limitations. Being ambitious is alright, but being realistic in setting career goals will save you from a lot of suffering. Keep your goals following the talents you possess. Take risks but only the calculated ones.
4. Make a daily schedule
To ensure maximum efficiency, make a schedule that suits you. Your plan should have space for everything that you do daily, like the morning routine, sleeping, eating, office hours, leisure hours, grocery shopping, and study hours.
In this world full of chaos, gift yourself a few serenity moments by practicing simple mindfulness techniques like deep breathing for durations as short as 5 mins. A short walk in the park also refreshes you and helps refocus on the task at hand.
6. Be happy
In the rat race to achieve the goals, we forget to be satisfied with what we have. While it is the need of the hour to strive and work diligently to reach heights in a career, it is essential to be happy and appreciate our personal life. Depression and anxiety are common in today’s youth and can be life-threatening. Please understand that you should be satisfied throughout the whole process and after the process as well. Don’t think that only the achievement of goals will bring happiness because it isn’t so!
7. Never stop learning
We become old the day we stop learning. Technology has made remote learning possible through several online educational platforms that allow you to learn from anywhere and according to your pace. One such platform is upGrad. upGrad offers certificate/degree courses from reputed national and international Institutes in online mode.
These courses have a duration of months to years (1-2 years). A diverse range of courses in the domain of Data Science, Blockchain, Machine learning, Digital marketing, and MBA are offered on this platform. Besides these courses, excellent placement support is also provided by upGrad.
8. Get that extra edge
Don’t be surprised, but your career goals and destination coincide with many other people’s intentions. So, how do you ensure that you get that extra edge? The answer is by developing new skills and a knowledge base following the latest expectations. Learn new software, working on computers with different operating systems, a new coding language, creative writing skills, public speaking, or a new language.
9. Make yourself visible/Networking
Well, we are not talking about wasting time on social media surfing. Instead, be a member of professional networking platforms such as LinkedIn. Make an engaging profile. Follow organizations, communities, and people who are successful in the field of your interest. Give as much information as possible about your skills and accomplishments. Ask your peers and seniors to recommend your skills to potential recruiters.
Even the companies making billions of dollars rely on customer feedback to improve their goods and services, so why not you? It doesn’t have to be formal documentation. Instead, it would help if you informally asked what others opine about you. By ‘others,’ we mean the people you can trust and are honest critics who want you to achieve your career goals. Accept compliments with grace, but most importantly, work on the criticism received to be a better version of yourself (personally and professionally). Do not get offended!
All the points mentioned above will help you achieve your career goals. Piloting a career plan isn’t a cakewalk. It needs persistent effort to keep your focus on your career goals. It would help if you were proactive in ensuring that the desired goals are met because no one else will do it for you. The day you realize the importance of every action of yours will be the day you’re one step closer to your goal.
Talk to our career guidance experts if you need guidance.