Thursday, August 18, 2011

No formulas. No boundaries.

Unlike in statistics, there are no ‘fixed equations’ in career. This is because we have different skills, interests and goals; no two career professionals are the same. So yes, do whatever it takes to succeed as long as it won’t hurt anyone.

Your career development plan doesn't have to follow a formula in order for it to be 'functional'. Whether you’re currently aiming for a promotion or a job seeker, let help you develop a good plan.

Here’s the thing: The more personal your approach, the better results you will get. Let’s start with the most basic aspect of career planning: think about the demands of the field or the industry you’re eying for job prospects. What difference will this make to your job hunting? Think along these lines:

Sales jobs = negotiation skills
Public relations jobs = presentation skills
IT jobs = computer skills.
Engineer jobs = precision skills
Design jobs/ writer jobs = creativity
Accounting jobs = expertise in dealing with numbers.

You'll know which among your skills you need to market more to land a job the soonest – that’s the thought. If you're already working, the benefit of doing this is it’ll pinpoint which from your skills you should prioritize in developing for faster career advancement and promotion.

Goals vary per individual. Listing down your goals will help you go further with your career pursuits. Having a clear goal in mind will keep you organized and thus, increase your productivity a lot. This is also a plus point for job hunters. Just imagine if your goals correlate with the pursuits of the company you’re applying to -- that's a match made in heaven.

Your small working preferences also matter so take the time to write them down and then see them against the overall demands of where you're looking for openings. These things may seem unimportant, but job seekers, truth is, they are in some way. A mismatch in interest can be toxic. Do you find a cubicle environment too constrained? Perhaps you prefer a laissez faire working environment over a corporate one? Or maybe you’re more into freelance work? Writing jobs, for instance, have plenty of dimension -- many industries offer such job posts. If you prefer freelancing, we suggest you consider writing jobs in the industries of IT, Media or Journalism as you might feel constrained under Banking or Medical Services. If you’re already working, doing this little exercise will help you decide on whether you need a career change or not to move forward.

We all want to achieve career success the soonest time possible, but we don’t suggest total ignoring of fun-causing elements just for this. When it comes to career development talks, work-life balance is out of the question. Career building is never easy and can be very tricky so be good to yourself. Whether you’re a job hunter or an employee, it’s for your good to include elements of fun in your schedule like an interest class or a regular bonding time with your family. Doing this will motivate and make you function better. Although they usually come with a hefty price tag, there are many benefits to attending interest classes. These events are an excellent terrain for networking, for one. Our families, on the other hand, are the best therapists for career stress, admit it or not.

Job dissatisfaction is the number one cause of career change. This can be avoided with proper planning at the beginning or for career changers, the second time around. We may not be career counselors by profession, but these are time tested tips that can point you to the right direction. Career planning for success is tricky so try to weigh in all these factors before making anything final. There's no harm in trying after all.