FOR many students it is the same story. As soon as they finish their college, they get caught in a vortex – a swirling, chaotic cycle of filling up forms and giving job interviews. “They are calling me to Bengaluru for meeting with the head of HR in the XYZ IT Company,” you say breathlessly to your father. “Have they told you about the salary they will offer or the title that you will have?” the father asks. In most cases, the fresher from college would not have an answer to this question.
It is easy for anyone to loose his bearings when there is such a whirlwind of form-filling, appointments, interviews going on. You might forget that your first job can have a decisive impact on the way your career evolves during the rest of your life.
Rather than accepting a wrong job, it is better that you remain unemployed for few months. A wrong job will not only spoil your resume, it can also have an impact on your emotional health. In case you pick up a job that you don’t like, you might not have the time or the energy to look for another job, and you could find yourself being stuck at in bad position for few months if not years. Research before you job search. Instead of relying on second-hand information about sectors, you should try to find the truth by yourself.
After leaving college, most people look for a quick route to success. They get disappointed when the path of their career growth is slower than what they expected. We are also prone to constantly comparing ourselves to our peers, and if our progress seems to be getting undermined by faster advancement of someone else, it leads to heartburn. The financial rewards are never enough, and compensation is always short of our fast growing aspirations.
Planning for professional life
When you start planning your career, you have to reflect on what kind of working environment would you like to have. There is no point in joining a company in hurry, if you know that the working environment or the kind of work profile that you are going have will not be suitable for your needs. You should never allow yourself to become an accountant trapped in a sales executive’s body. Your first job should not have you doing something that you may or may not have real talent for, in an industry that does not really interest you.
In case you leave your first job in few months, you will have a lot of explaining to do with the hiring manager at the next place where you give a job interview. The hiring manager will want to know why you left your first job so quickly. He might even suspect that you are prone to keep switching jobs. So what are the best ways of finding the best possible job for you? The job should be such that it not only enables you to life comfortably; it also provides you with a sense of satisfaction.
If you wish to find out what job would be most suitable for you, perhaps you should begin by asking the question: “If all jobs paid the same, what work would I do?” And you could also ask yourself, “If I could try someone else’s job for a day, what would it be?” Instead of job titles, you have to be motivated about job ingredients. You should be telling people, “I am looking for a job that involves these skills, this knowledge, and this working style.” Such questions will allow people to make creative suggestions rather than just responding to your stated job aims.
Discovering your best career
You can’t discover your best career, until you have knowledge of your own potential. All of us are good at something in life. It is possible that you have a good set of interpersonal skills, or you could be good with tools, with computers or with information management. When you have gained an insight into your true potential, you will be set for making proper career choices.
Once you have discovered your natural ability, you have to align your strengths with careers that you feel passionate about. You have to keep your feet firmly on the ground while you evaluate all the options that are available. You can project any particular job over the next ten, twenty or even thirty years. You can take a look at the people who have been working in that industry for many years. What is the level of progress that they have made? You must have a basic knowledge of the way the industry is evolving, and where it will be few years down the line.
There is absolutely no substitute for hard work if you want to become the absolute best at what you do. It is also important to work smart, so that what you offer is unique, valued, and indispensable. Because you are tapping into your true potential, you are most likely to excel at what you do. And because you have passion, chances are you will be driven and you will not mind the hard work. Very few people manage to get what they want from life. Most people get stuck in a rut, and live in what Henry David Thoreau calls ‘quiet desperation’.
You can beat the odds, if you are focussed on working on a career path that is in sync with your potential.