Introduction A series of systematic steps are needed in a very complicated world. The steps need to aligned to career choices and objectives. There should be a systematic method in collecting data related to such choices. This becomes essential for the simple fact that more focus will enable one to be armed with the right kind of information.
In this article, the focus is on a) identifying what data to collect b) sources of all data collection/ dimensions of further action and c) Data collection/Action with firm career objectives in mind.
Identifying what data to collect This is the most vital step. There are different types of graduates and their needs and career aspirations are different at different points in time. For instance, the only daughter of a school teacher with limited means mentioned a few days ago that after graduating with a BA degree in Criminology in 2019, she wanted to crack the Civil Services Examination.
My advice to her was to choose her options and start studying from day one. She has no choice. Her data collection for her study would pertain to the best choices of subjects. She then has to collect all data pertaining to the subjects chosen, even from those who were successful in the examination. She would also have to collect all data regarding science, arts, history, international events, major political changes and so on, as the Civil Services examination has a lot to do with general awareness too.
Another perspective. A graduate with an ordinary BA(English literature) degree is forced to accept a BPS job. Chances are that even this absolutely new to him. He has his task cut out. He should collect all data about the ecosystem of BOP companies operating in India. He should also understand what it takes to succeed in a career. He also needs to understand the skill-sets required to jump to a career in Information Technology. This is the natural sequence of career planning available for any person today. The trick is to collect all data related to the particular career interest.
A B.Com graduate aspiring for a successful career in Finance needs to know everything about all companies in India. Yes, all companies. The question is: why? The answer is that the skill-sets in accounting and finance and in specialized areas like Capital Markets are those that can be applied across various organizations in different contexts and across industries across the world. For example, the hugely successful professionals have already occupied the senior most corner office positions in Finance, in various organizations in Africa or the USA or the whole of South East Asia and so on. There is thus the need for a very comprehensive data collection.
Hence, data collection is hugely person-specific and industry-specific. It is also career-specific, as explained above.
Sources of data collection The real world is the most important source of all data collection. By meaningful interaction with a number of proven professionals, any person can gather a lot of data. This can also motivate the individual. Such frequent interactions will also through up additional sources of information about new careers. For example, there is a course called the CIMA course, which is an international certification course in professional accounting. By passing this course, the person can easily go up the career ladder very quickly.
Attending career conferences and seminars is also very important. This will give the individual some insight into the various career options that one can exercise, given his or her current economic realities. For example, after joining ordinary accounting jobs in Mumbai, most professionals realize that there is a big world waiting for them, after acquiring additional qualifications. These are available on the weekends from the University of Mumbai. The next step is to jump to the organizations where one can easily add value in terms of both the job and also in terms of far better salary and perks.
Data collection and action with career objectivesThose who are left out of the mainstream, and study in fairly unknown and unbranded colleges, do not even have campus interviews. They are raw graduates from some recognized university. Period.
There is absolutely no problem at all. If they follow some basic steps, such graduates can also play the catching up game. What is required is a lot of tact and street-smartness. It can also mean that alternate careers will soon open up. For instance, those who have the customer interface experience in some BPO job can easily jump to receptionist and front office jobs in the Five Star hotels. This is exactly the kind of action that is needed.
Those who wish to pursue different careers can also do something very intelligent. They can easily take up courses in sunrise sectors. One such sector that will simply zoom in the years ahead is the profession of Supply Chain Management. Even a short-term internship in a travel organization will teach any person the intricacies of the profession. This can be easily followed up by a certificate or diploma course from a good institute. The trick is to first get the job and then do the professional training. There are two or three private Universities that offer good Diploma courses in Supply Chain Management through correspondence. This will open up many doors for further career advancement. The various dimensions of action are explained in Converting Data into knowledge and skills for Industry preparedness
Readers are requested to read this article in conjunction with the aforesaid article to understand the entire picture and then become totally ready in terms of industry preparedness.
The career objectives will vary from individual to individual and will not be the same for even the same person. This is because of the very dynamic career options and also the very demanding skill-sets of different careers in a globalized world.
Conclusion At the end of the day, success counts. It is quite possible to zoom ahead in careers with the right sort of information and the right action.