If you browse through a bookstore’s self-help/self-improvement section, or look up books written in the last couple of decades in this genre, you may find a certain factor common to all, one specific thing that everyone is looking for in life when it comes to work and career. Any guesses? It’s a one-word answer.
Some of the most successful people in the world, the likes of Bill Gates (Founder of Microsoft) and Warren Buffett (CEO of Berkshire Hathaway) who are in possession of great wealth and run successful businesses, cite one thing as a major factor behind their success:
The definition of success can differ from person to person. However, regardless of which field you’re in, what job you’re doing, or what feats you’re trying to accomplish, focus is what bridges the gap between you and where you want to be.
With the current state of economies around the world and the rising unemployment, an increasing proportion of people are resorting to whatever occupations they can get, merely to bring bread to the table or to have their name on a wall, without giving much thought to their career. This issue needs to be given a deeper thought. Where are you planning to go with the occupation you’re doing? Why are you doing it? Where is it going to lead you 5-10 years from now? Are your contributions to your industry or your company a sacrifice or a dream? What career opportunities do you have in the future?
To have focus in your career planning and growth is quite important. It provides direction and helps you choose work that drives you and is meaningful. You shouldn’t end up hopping from one job to another through your life without any specific aim. This practice makes work unsatisfying and distasteful. Plus, when you’re not comfortably settled at a workplace, your working hours become excruciatingly long, harming your work-life balance.
In fact, before choosing your career, doing some self-exploration to know who you are and where your aptitude lies can go a long way. Simply choosing the right career is not the only step in career progression. There are more aspects to consider when choosing the right career path. The following guidelines will help you get clarity on your intention and provide direction towards a more fulfilling career:
- The Right Career – Most people start out deciding their occupation based on the title they’re aiming for, such as ‘Chief Executive Officer’, ‘Senior Surgeon’, ‘Marketing Manager’, ’Financial Analyst’, or ‘Corporate Lawyer’. While this might seem like the way to go, it could actually backfire if you don’t know what work you’ll be doing and how you’ll be progressing. Some occupations often lead to dead-ends if you look closer, such as customer-care representatives, caregivers, travel agents, or even IT professionals in some cases. On the other hand, occupations such as chartered accountant, senior lawyers, cancer specialists, or expert surgeons require many qualifications and specializations to be fulfilled before you can reach that desired position. Thus, it is important to map out a career for yourself before you start off in a direction. Based on that you can decide your career goals and career path. Regardless of the occupation you take up, if you’re planning to walk long enough on a single road, you might want to pick a path which is meaningful, leads to a particular desired destination, and is enjoyable for you. Thus, choosing wisely is essential for career building and can help avoid job stagnation.
- The Right Industry – Choosing the right industry is an important, but often overlooked, part of identifying one’s ideal job position. Industry matters because of two reasons: first, it has an important association with your core values and life goals. If you’re in the healthcare industry, your core values and goals will lie around treating people; if you’re in the accounting and banking industry, you will be dealing with numbers, and so on. As your experience grows in a specific industry, the more skilled you become in that area. Second, organizations prefer specialized and experienced professionals. People with experience in a specific industry know the ins and outs of it and are well-versed with the way it works. They are also aware of the demands and drawbacks of that industry. For example: if an automobile company is hiring for the position of an executive salesman, they would prefer someone who’s experienced in this position and knows not only how to deal with customers, but also what is in demand in the automobile industry, what customers look for, the details of car specifications, etc. Such a person will have both the aptitude and the attitude required for the job. To have these merits increases his/her chances of working at an industry-leading company, thus maximizing their career growth potential.
- The Right Role – Once you have decided on your best career and industry, next comes choosing the most favourable job role. You can narrow down your options based on various aspects such as skills, aptitude, and personality, but more specifically based on the opportunities available in the industry for the role you are looking for. Researching your job role, its responsibilities, and what it might take to get there is of importance here. You may use platforms such as Glassdoor and LinkedIn that provide data and statistics on different industries, companies, and job positions available in different regions. Decide where you want to be in 5-10 years and take counsel of someone who’s already there. Knowing where you want to go and how to get there brings a sense of purpose, meaning, and fulfillment in work.
At Korporate Ladders, we guide you at each and every step in not only finding the right career for yourself but also optimizing your path to success. Based on your personality, interests, and career choices, we provide you a detailed layout of how to progress in your career quickly and profitably. This leads to a more focused growth in the career you have chosen and enables fulfilment through work. Focus is, after all, what separates the most successful individuals from the rest.