As strange as it may sound, most people take a lot of undue chances with their careers. And ironically, they don’t even realize it but go through their professional lives thinking that they are on top of things. This doesn’t sound like you, does it? Maybe it does; maybe you never looked at your career from the perspective that I am about to share.
Here is a transcript from a chat that I had with a senior professional some weeks back (pseudo names of course to protect the identity):
Me: Hi Rajiv. How long have you been working?
Rajiv: Around 18 years.
Me: Can you run me through your profile?
Rajiv: Sure. (He talks about the different job changes he has gone through and the rationale behind it).
Me: Whew, 12 job changes in 18 years…that’s a lot isn’t it?
Rajiv: I wanted to gain exposure of all aspects of my job from sales & marketing to operations to quality to planning to human resources. Hence the jumps.
Me: So, what is your value proposition? What do you bring to the table?
Rajiv: Immense all-round experience and a strong capability to handle all aspects of my job. Also, a management qualification from the best business school in India.
Me: Impressive. In simpler words, you claim to be a jack of many trades, right?
Rajiv: Not really. That is an overused phrase. I call myself a professional who understands all aspects of his job well.
Me: So, what kind of a job are you looking for now?
Rajiv: Not sure. I will look at the openings available and then come to a decision.
Me: Shouldn’t it be the other way round? That is, you target companies and/ or profiles that you want to pursue and then start applying?
Rajiv: Oh…that’s utopic. In the real world, it doesn’t work that way.
Now does it sound familiar? The point that I am trying to make is that most of us start digging the well when the taps run dry. I.e. we start looking for jobs only when we want to change our current professional engagement. When we do that, we leave a lot to chance.
What are the chances of good organizations in your domain having openings when you are looking for a change?
What are the chances that the openings are for your profile?
What if an apt opening was available just a week ago but you missed it simply because you were not looking?
If you were to approach your career path strategically, then you would do these things differently.
- For starters, you would keep yourself aware of the organizations that desire your profile (which includes your professional and academic strengths).
- You would also make a list of organizations that you would love to work with (based on their business policies or products/ services or even employee benefits).
- Then, you would look at what they desire in their prospective employees and ensure that you acquire the required skills/ certifications.
- You would keep an eye open for developments in these organizations and job openings. If any.
- You would also connect with important people from the targeted organizations on social media platforms like LinkedIn and exchange views and opinions with them.
A career coach can partner with you to create a strategic approach to your professional journey and help you find the sweet spot where your skills and experience can lead to your exponential growth. At Change Ur Story, we believe that chance is best left to ‘Snakes and Ladders’; your career path is best strategized. Our discovery sessions are designed to help professionals find the proverbial lighthouse amidst the storm. Be it resume writing or salary negotiation or any other aspect of your professional life, we are there with you all through your journey. Call us today!
A vacation is the lifeline of many working professionals in the fast paced corporate world of today. It is the time to unwind, relax, de-stress, pamper yourself and most importantly – explore. Our ancestors were explorers in all walks of life. Finding new lands, discovering new tastes and cultures allowed them to open their minds and live a happier and fuller life. However, most of us have forgotten the importance of exploring and try to stick to the beaten path. We tend to visit similar places every year since we do not have the time or bandwidth to explore. This is also reflected in the way we approach our careers.
Right from the beginning of our careers we are smitten by the idea of following a career path that has been tried and tested by many and desire to outperform our peers and grow at a steady pace. However, this approach usually lands us in a spot where we keep working without enjoying the journey since we are fixated on the destination. This eventually leads to stress or lack of job satisfaction and even sudden disinterest in our jobs.
I once knew a banking professional who had exceptional knowledge about cars, right from the mechanical details to the design and style components. However, his profession didn’t expose him to cars and he never delved deeper into this domain. During the ‘Discovery’ session, I was surprised to hear car-related analogies coming from a banker. On probing further, I realized that he had a keen inclination towards the four wheeled monsters and suggested him to mentally explore the possibility of a career switch. He didn’t look pleased since his banking job offered him stability and security which he was reluctant to let go. Cutting the long story short, he is today doing well as a car design consultant and is a much happier and a satisfied professional.
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