No matter how old we are, or what stage of our life we are in, we often get asked this one question – “Career mein kya Karna hai?” Translated to English, it means “What do you want to do in your career?”. If others asking us is not painful enough, we keep asking ourselves the same question over and over again. The only problem is – there is no clear and standard answer to this question.
Let us break down this question, and then attempt to answer it. Let us start by defining the word ‘Career’. Career simply means a long-term plan to keep yourself occupied and have the means to afford the life that you desire. Sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it? It actually is that simple. The key to this statement is knowing what you desire. Hence, the starting point of knowing the kind of career you want is self-reflection and understanding yourself better.
Everybody desires different things from their career – some want security, some money, others want to make friends at work, some others see work as their lifestyle, while yet some others may want a career where they make a difference to others. As you can see, there are so many things competing with each other, and each one seems more relevant than the others. Let me share with you what I would like from my career. I essentially want three things: Learning, impacting others positively, and earning money. I have come to this conclusion after a lot of thinking, and every decision that I make in my career will revolve around these three factors. It might the readers to think through what they would like from their careers. In case you struggle to do this by yourself, then seek expert opinion from career experts. There are also online platforms which will help you with this.
I spoke to the following experts in the industry, far more experienced than I am and whose suggestions hold great weight –
Anita Rajan – Vice President, Tata Sustainability Group
Mallika Galani – HR Manager, Sun Pharma
Abhiraj Singh Bhal – CEO, UrbanClap
There is an overwhelming feeling that a career is a lot of luck! Yes, luck has a role to play in everything but it is called luck for a reason – one cannot control it. It might hit you positively or negatively, but you can never plan for how and when it will hit you. What you can plan for, however, is working hard towards achieving all your desires. Like a house is built on a strong foundation of mud and cement, a career is built on the twin foundations of hard work and perseverance. The people you read about, see on news channels and hear about on the radio have worked extremely hard. Yes, some may have not have worked too hard and taken what we call “shortcuts”, but that is being lucky. Remember, however, you cannot plan to be lucky!
Once we realise what we want from our careers and are willing to work hard towards achieving our career goals, the road ahead becomes quite straightforward. It will be important to build a fantastic resume and cover everything that you have done. Nothing is irrelevant. Make your resume the best resume that a company will get.
Based on your career choices, send your CV to the companies that you have shortlisted. Avoid sending your CV to companies outside of your interest areas. It is better to have broad interest area, and apply to companies in those, than sending your CV to every company which has an opening! It is always better to have a friend or even an acquaintance in the company where you are applying so that someone in the company can vouch for you, and you can get first-hand knowledge of the organisation.
Once your interview calls start pouring in, prepare well and look your best! There are 3 things that every interviewer will expect you to know: About the company, about the role, relevance of past experience. Prepare very well for these questions. Wear good clothes – formal clothes, pastel shade and neatly ironed. Avoid being too jazzily dressed.
If you do not get too many interview calls, it is no reason to worry. It simply means that you need to develop a skill for the industry in which you are looking to work. There are several skill development organisations in your neighbourhood which will offer you these skills. Many of these organisations are also partners with the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), and you can rely on the quality of NSDC partners. Most of these partners also offer fantastic placement opportunities post completion of training.
Once you are in a job, work extremely hard and work in a team. Both of these are well within our control. Working as a team is important because it will result in the entire team doing well, and getting recognition, including you! Avoid 2 things at work – taking credit for everything and bring personal issues to work. You will be on your way to a fantastic career!
Summarising everything that I have written, as a checklist for a building a great career:
- Clarity on what kind of career you desire
- Value hard work and perseverance
- Build a great CV
- Shortlist companies in your potential interest areas, and reach out to them only
- Prepare well for interviews, and look great
- Develop a skill if required
- Work hard and work as a team, in a job
- You are on your way to a great career!
To know more about how to build our career go through our Blogs
I hope this post regarding building a career helps you! Wish you all the success.