7 Tips for Career Success

Career Discovery

As an HR professional, very early on in my career I had privilege of working with our former President APJ Abdul Kalam who was at that time one of the members of CARE Foundation and Research Partner with my first boss Dr.Soma Raju , they both share the Padma Shree for the invention of economical stents used for (Cardiac) patients ,their contribution significantly brought down the cost of heart surgeries in India.
       So when Arun Tiwari, the co-author of “Wings of Fire “ an autobiography of APJ Abdul Kalam interviewed me, selected me and offered me a role of an HR officer, my happiness knew no bounds ,I felt as if I had accomplished one of the biggest tasks of my life, by landing myself in a job.
      Little did I realize that I had taken up a job as an HR officer, in a leading cardiology institute with no background in science ,the environment was scary, people way beyond my age and experience, even though the campus was a huge hospital with latest facilties,  I a non science student, found it difficult to understand the difference between cardiologist and a cardiothorasic surgeon, besides tthis, every day I ended up seeing people being wheeled in and out of operations theaters, or diagnostic labs, with family members running behind, these highly emotional and dramatic scenes unfolding before my eyes, made me sick and within 6 months I quit and started looking for another one, finding a job in 2004 was not as difficult as it is today , the demand and supply equilibrium was just good, but my struggle was more with my own understanding of self, where my interest lies and what my strengths are, and how to lewerage it, this struggle continued till many years into my corporate career.
        A lot has changed in these 14 years, but one factor we all still continue to challenge us is the skill gap and employ-ability index, which has now even started to show its impact on the economy.
      However, I personally do not have any solution to this complex issue, but through this article, would like to share few practical tips that could assist my readers to avoid mistakes which I did, the intent is to guide and advice “YOU” arrive at better decisions related to career choice.
Tips to make better career choices :
  1. Move beyond  – Engineers and Doctors are not the ONLY jobs that offers lucrative job and career growth, there are plenty of jobs and roles which can still fetch you a fat paycheck, lots of perks & benefits, including a great career growth, all you have to do is  MOVE BEYOND and identify it!
  2. Know your strength – ensure you understand where your interest lies, if you find it difficult, seek help, reach out to experts or people who can guide you and whom you trust ,don’t not opt for Math,Economics, Physics or any Science stream just because the whole world seems to chase it and then apparently  end up wasting precious time of your life understanding it .
  3. KSA – success in jobs are not due to the knowledge you had gained at college, it is just ONE of the factor among the many, there are multiple other factors at play which can make or break your career, so don’t think what got you a job will also get you a promotion or career growth.
  4. Invest in yourself; you are fortunate to be born in a period of Google and Wikipedia which holds an enormous amount of information on any career choice you have in your head, it could be as weird as a Happiness officer to as common as a Teacher, invest your time in learning which career choice offers what.
  5. All jobs are priced, and the price is arrived after considering compensable factors like hardship involved, skill requirement, knowledge, and cognitive ability, a neurosurgeon is thus paid higher than a general physician, similarly, a truck driver in hilly regions have a high tariff to those driving in the plains.Next time when you compare a job and aspire to earn a lot, keep in mind the method of how jobs are priced which can help you build the right expectations.
  6. Skills: Do you know, we all are slowly moving towards industrialization 4.0 phase, this is an era with the lowest skill life, where we need to continuously learn, unlearn and relearn, in short being a perpetual learner is now more a necessary skill to survive than a selective approach.  Make sure you learn this art as soon as possible to avoid being obsolete.
  7. You own your career: you could be someone working in an MNC or a mid-size firm, a Startup, a freelancer, an Independent consultant or someone struggling to find a job, no matter who you are and where you work, always remember this mantra “You own your Career”. It simply means an organization can offer you a job, but a career will always be designed, built, sustained and retained only by you, and to do effectively you need to go back to Point 1, which is to identify it.

 

Conclusion: my corporate journey ended 2 years ago when I was laid off after a sudden end of a project, despite the tags of SHRM SCP or PMP I could never find another job, past two years were very tough for me ,but amidst these adversities I found the courage to pursue my dream, because I took charge, discover and identified what suits me and my skills and now as you read, I run an organisation name Guide & Advice doing more than I ever thought I was capable of .

I owe my success to my adversities, but I want you to succeed, therefore condensed my experience into practical tips, which will assist you to move beyond in a much more easier and effective way.

Beyond the tips, if you still find yourself looking to discover which careers suit you best or skills you need to hone, or just want to share your thoughts, drop in a line at Mehnaz or sign up with us.

Looking forward to hearing back from you.

Happy Reading

Mehnaz Amjad

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