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Set career goals and plan your moves

Views 2 Views    Comments 0 Comments    Share Share    Posted 28-08-2009  

Let’s face it. 90 per cent of the professionals today are sticking to their current job only because the market is not offering them favorable opportunities.

Whether it’s across a coffee table, during lunch breaks or at the smoking corner, it is not uncommon to come across confessions about the lack of job satisfaction, frustration levels being on an all-time high, being stuck in the wrong job and so on.

With increments and promotions getting frozen, and layoffs and salary-cuts doing the rolls, the last few months have not been very encouraging for most people. Everyone today is waiting for the market to pick up as they are already ready for the next leap! While reasons for changing one’s job may differ, is it the right move?

“95 per cent of the masses switch jobs for a small increment,” says career counsellor Swati Salunke While there is no denying the fact that an occasional boost in monetary benefits can keep you going and motivated, it is not the only factor to be considered before switching jobs. Most young professionals today are struggling to step into the fast track and scale the corporate ladder in a short time span. In this quest, they tend to forget what they want to do.

Have a vision

To begin with, it is important to have a vision for your career and work every move towards it. A vision is a clear picture of what you want to do and where you see yourself in the future, this could be in the next five years, 10 years or even more.

“Not having a vision will lead you nowhere,” asserts Kavya R, an in-house career counsellor with a leading IT firm, “To achieve your goal, you should have one in the first place. If you don’t have a set goal, you will be following the herd mindlessly. ‘The herd’ maybe on the right track; but you may suddenly wake up to find yourself lost in a mad maze!”

One of the main barriers to success is lack of purpose, and having a vision will give you this purpose along with the thrill and excitement you need in order to keep going. It helps you overcome supposedly not viable obstacles and keeps you motivated when the going gets tough.

“A vision is not necessarily limited to an organisational culture. It includes geographic location, number of work hours you are willing to put in, how you plan to strike the right balance between your personal life and professional life, work-reward assessment, position in the corporate strata, etc. In short, it will incorporate everything that matters to you as an individual, and not just a professional,” adds Kavya.

Ask yourself

Is this the kind of job profile you are looking forward to? Do you think it will be a stepping stone in achieving your vision? Will it be a learning experience Will it help you to chart your career graph? What are your strengths/weaknesses? Are you ready for the kind of responsibilities and the challenges it will bring along?

Food for thought

You might come across many opportunities that may be too tempting to let go. But it’s time to stop and think.“If money is what’s in your mind, it’s time to rethink. Changing your job for a small increment is a short-term plan. Think about the future and make a long-term plan.

Consider factors like do you have the required academic background, does the job profile suit your skills, with your current skill sets will you be able to take up the new responsibilities, etc,” advices Salunke.

She further adds, “If you think there are areas within your company that you wish to explore, give it a shot. Terms and conditions can always be negotiated. Jumping to a new organisation is not the only way out.”

Wind up

Identifying a career path that is at par with your areas of interests and passion will keep you content. “Therefore, never follow the herd mentality,” advices Salunke.

Set your targets based on factors that give you maximum satisfaction. As you work towards them, you will inadvertently direct your career path.

As they say, ‘change is constant’ and you should learn to use them in your favour. So before you make your next move, don’t forget to complete the statement: “I want to…”

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