Most important steps to follow and implement in Career Planning

Irrespective of whatever career a person chooses to follow, there are several aspects of any single career that one needs to understand in a particular context. A number of options may emerge but to be fixed on one certain option is the wisest thing to do. Certain aspects of these options, in terms of steps, are sought to be discussed in this article.


Picture this situation. You have always had a passion for Physics. You had expressed this to your parents. They have encouraged you all the way and you are now in the first year of college. Since you are in the first year of the three year degree course, from say, the Vivekananda College, Chennai, which is among the best for this course in India, you have achieved nothing.

The real challenge starts now. Look around. When you zero down on career options, ISRO would automatically come to your mind. And for this, your undergraduate degree would never suffice. There are rules and regulations for you to enter ISRO. This is one choice. What is the second? Obviously, teaching. These are the two choices. You do not have too many choices unless you go abroad and then qualify yourself in more areas. For example, artificial intelligence, for which, the most advanced courses are available only in the USA.

Now, calm down your mind. You positively need to look at your family resources too. If you are hard-pressed to take up a job immediately in India, and a course abroad cannot happen in the near future, you have to stick to this option. You must get a good First Class Master's Degree in Physics and enter into the likes of ISRO. Or you can take up teaching. Next comes the question: where do you teach? In a school? If yes, you need the B.Ed degree to even enter a good school in the private sector. You can't demand salaries.
Entry-level salaries are not much. You have no choice to accept whatever is given and then work your way up. Yes, you must do the doctorate and this cannot happen without your total dedication. This is all the truer if you want to teach in a college, for which you also need to qualify in the NET and the SLET examinations too.

In this article, the focus is on a) Being clear about careers within a particular domain b) Choose different and alternate careers if you are sold on the idea c) Specializing within the chosen field to the ultimate degreed) Making further progress through intellectual excellence and e) Making the most of variables in any given situation.

Being clear about careers within a particular domain

This author was stumped to know that many teachers of Civil Engineering, in a famous Engineering College in Coimbatore district were unaware that there exists an apex institute called the Institute of Construction Management and Research at Mumbai, which offers a variety of good courses for Civil Engineers. In total contrast, even a casual conversation with three Economics under-graduate students of the prestigious Loyola College, Chennai,who this author met in a marriage hall some three months ago, had a good deal of information not only about the London School of Economics, but also other good colleges not only in UK or USA but in the whole of Europe. They had visited the office of Campus Abroad, a Chennai-based consultancy offering consultancy services for students wanting to do their education abroad, and knew the financial cost, the cost of travel and living expenses, the world-class refereed journals on Economics at the International level and so on. They had a good grounding on several aspects of applied economics and it was interesting to note that they spend a lot of time at the Madras Institute of Development Studies (MIDS).

This is exactly the kind of domain knowledge that one should be thorough about. Such knowledge is fundamental and should be on one's fingertips. There is absolutely no choice here.

Choose different and alternate careers

You look around and find that those who do their MBA from any of the IIMs are far better in terms of planning and execution; name and fame and in terms of salary packages and even opportunities abroad. So, even when you have just enrolled for the B.Com course, you have already decided to study for the CAT examination, knowing jolly well that it is already very competitive. You are sold on the idea. No issues. Go ahead.

However, unless one is sold on the idea, it is not at all advisable to even think of entering the particular profession. For instance, in so many cases, mechanical engineers who did not like the factory environments decided to just get into the electronic media by trying to focus on their natural acting talent. They first start presenting some program and then enter into acting in some TV serial. Today, for instance, it is just about enough if one acts in a good serial in any of the South Indian languages, in the SUN network, managed by the Maran family. This group is an influential network, having cornered a significant market share in the media business. In particular, the Tamil TV serial market on Sun TV is a game-changer for several thousands of actors. Hence, the simple logic is to launch into such careers, all of which are alternate careers, if you are sold on the idea. Even a marketing career after the MBA degree is not a core career, which takes shape through experience on the shop floor.

Specialising within the chosen field to the ultimate degree

Some two decades ago, on Sun TV, in Tamil, we had a program run by a famous anchor whose name was Uma. This program had Pepsi as the main sponsor. Her talent was simple: she would engage every single caller in lively conversation and finally ask them what song and from which movie, that particular viewer would like to see. This lady went on to become so famous and her body language, her positive attitudes, and every single move was watched by millions. Today, she has her own event management company, with a turnover running into several crores of rupees. This is exactly what is meant by specialising within the chosen field to the ultimate degree.

Those with an economics or psychology or sociology background need to publish at least two hundred research-based articles in refereed journals. There is absolutely no choice here. And if the professionals have at least five books to their credit, getting good jobs in the best of deemed universities, even at the age of sixty, is quite easy. The world is full of opportunities, provided one is able to be prepared and is also far ahead of the competitors. This is a hard fact of life in career planning.

Making further progress through intellectual excellence

When the game-changing book called "Competing for the future", was published by C.K.Prahalad, who co-authored it along with Gary Hamel, the former, who hailed from Coimbatore, was already in his mid-fifties. Yet, years of hard work paid rich dividends. Years later, his new concept of Profits at the Bottom of the Pyramid, caught the imagination of the entire corporate world. Today, in any field, there is a big scope for innovation and only those who come up with highly innovative ideas can succeed in any field. Even in teaching, those who are successful are those who teach in simple ways and can help the students connect to the real world, more than ever before.

Hence, it is imperative to hone one's intellectual skills to a far greater degree than ever before. One's career success will automatically depend on this vital requirement. There is no choice here.

Making the most of variables in any given situation

What will be variables for success in the IT field today, for example? The most important variable would mean going in for careers in Cloud Computing, artificial intelligence, Data Analytics, Business Analysis, and allied technology areas. The entire world is starting to specialize in these areas and. for business transformation, only professionals who have superb skills in this field will succeed. In every profession, it is wise to chase the latest field, where the scope is global and where one can make a good career for the next ten or fifteen years.


Some vital points to be considered in Career Planning, given the dynamics of different carers, have been discussed above. One should always seek more information and act on such information for career success in their chosen field of specialization.

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Author: DR.N.V. Srinivasa Rao06 Sep 2019 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 2

A good article from the author and very useful to the students who are planning their career. Actually one should plan his education based on his career plans. We should plan our career well in advance and then choose the correct course which will be suitable for your planned career and at the same that subject should be interesting to you. Unfortunately, many of the students will not have a proper understanding of the various career options they have. This is more so in the case of people from a rural background. Many of them feel that after SSC there are only two options. One is Inter with MP or BP. They don't know that there are vocational courses also at the intermediate level. Parents take the decision and decide based on their wisdom.

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