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“If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there”, goes the popular saying. And it is especially true when it comes to employees who don’t know where they are headed. Think about it: who is responsible for your career? Is it your manager? The HR department? A colleague? A rival in another organisation? No, it is all You! Only you can accurately say where you stand on the career ladder, where you need to be in the future and how driven you need to be to get there.
If you find yourself fretting about this more often than not, here are a few key steps that can help you chart a successful career path:
Introspect: According to Confucius, “Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life”. The onus is on you to pick a career that appeals to you, and for this you need to do a self-appraisal. You need to ask yourself tough questions such as: What are my goals? What skills do I currently have to achieve these goals? What motivates me?
Build on your skills: Once you have identified the skills you have, consider what you need to do to grow. You may enrol in a degree programme or achieve a certification. In terms of job assignments, think carefully how your assignments can lead back to opportunities in your target discipline; then ask yourself whether the strategies you initially embarked on are still right for you.
Grow your network: Once you gain transferable knowledge, expand your web of personal relationships with your peers and colleagues. To paraphrase a slogan, “Organisations don’t hire people. People hire people.” The more people know you, the more they will think of you when there is a vacancy.
In the words of Alfred Montapert, author of The Laws of Life, “Your life will be no better than the plans you make and the action you take. You are the architect and builder of your own life, fortune and destiny”.
– Jason Pereira
The writer is an HR professional at a multinational company.
First published in the Careers Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on June 2, 2013.