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Managing a career

 

Until a few years ago, people believed that once you get a job, life is made. However, times have changed. With the workplace becoming increasingly competitive and organizations having to restructure themselves continuously to cope with dynamic and uncertain market conditions, it is naïve to presume that one’s job is stable. In this situation, if you are thinking only in terms of a job, chances are that you are not planning your professional life.

Given the changing nature of the workplace, career planning is not a luxury but a necessity. Its not an ‘extra effort’ that you can make if you wish to. It is one of the essential tasks you must perform to remain employed. 


Components of the effective career planning and development process include:

  • Being self-aware: To have an effective career you must be aware of your personality, interests, aptitude, self-concept, skills, etc. Most people try to learn about these by reflecting on their experiences. However, there are many other activities and instruments that can aid you in this process. These involve creating situations that will prod you to intensively reflect on yourself and on your career objective. 
  • Getting information on available opportunities: To develop a career path, you need to know what opportunities are available and how you fit into them. For this, you need to keep a track of the emerging jobs, the changing face of technology and its effect on employment, the kind of expertise available in the market for different employment opportunities, etc. 
  • Preparing for the opportunities: Preparation for opportunities has two aspects: domain related and non-domain related. The former would require updating your subject knowledge and finding out how it can be applied. The latter includes soft skills such as interpersonal skills, communications skills, teamwork skills etc. To facilitate the process one must undergo skill assessments, network with professional groups and research organizations, do projects with organizations, read business magazines, etc.
  • Developing one’s career: Career development happens when you are fairly confident of your career objective and career plan. Before you reach this phase, you might have hopped from one career to another and in the process might be surer of which career best suits you. If you are still unsure of the career most suitable for you, you can undergo career counseling. Career development may require you to create assignments for yourself (challenging your limits), reflect on and enrich your assignments, develop conceptual models relevant your task area, and so on.



To have an effective career you have to undergo all these components simultaneously.

To conclude, career development is not a one-time activity. It does not depend so much on what a person starts with but how she starts and how alert and learning–oriented she is. To have an effective career a person needs to focus on personal resources as well as environmental resources and opportunities.

For further information on how you can effectively manage your career and your protégé’s career please visit http://www.careercampus.net/ 


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