Making a Career

Careers are essentially hope filled endeavors that can improve people’s lives and result in knowledge that all people can share. Your own goals will determine which academic or professional degree is most appropriate for you.

Many people find satisfying careers in a variety of positions after high school, 10+2 or after the bachelor’s degree.

Others find to a master’s degree equip them to professional careers. For research and / or teaching at the university level, a Ph.D. will be required. Of course, there is a limit to how carefully students can – or should – try to plan for an unknowable future. It appears that careers proceed in a more or less straight line, beginning with an undergraduate degree and leads directly to the position you anticipated.

But most career paths are neither straight nor predictable. Careers can have sudden turns and new directions as life itself. Even your earliest steps along this path will probably be guided by accidents of timing and opportunity as much as by intention. Career seeds in a student’s life are sown as early as in fourth – fifth standard and then slowly the career bifurcations become clearer with disciplines of study.

Days are gone when children are generally used to opt for their careers on the experienced advice of their parents or other relatives. Some time these options may backfire and it is better that every child makes a choice for his own career on the basis of his potential, motivation and self assessment.

It is the purpose of this guide to help the readers in laying the foundation for his / her journey, no matter how many turns the path takes.

Selecting a Discipline :

  • Think about your strengths and your weaknesses; make a list of each.
  • What are your career goals, and what school fits those best? Does that school offer an opportunity to obtain a broad education, including the acquisition of career skills outside your primary field.
  • Make a list of reasons why you like to study a particular discipline and a list of reasons why you don’t. Compare the two lists.
  • Develop a schematic of your educational and career plan, imaging what you will be doing in 5, 10, and 20 years.
  • Review the current career market for your discipline and sub discipline and for interdisciplinary areas that include your own.
  • For each career option that appeals to you, what skills ( academic, social, and other ) are needed.
  • As an undergraduate, talk with faculty and students in potential graduate and professional programs and discuss potential programs with students and faculty and via Internet bulletin boards.
  • At both the undergraduate and graduate levels, take courses outside your major and primary field that you think will be useful in your career.
  • Plan ways to complete your degree expeditiously.

Selecting a Career :

  • Remind yourself that planning your career path is ultimately your responsibility.
  • Start thinking as early as you can about where you might work. Once you have had your degree, start looking immediately; it might take several months to a year to secure a position.
  • Make a list of the positive and negative aspects of various careers in which you are interested.
  • What do your strengths and weaknesses tell you about the appropriateness of each career.
  • Seek a volunteer or internship position in a career area that you are considering.
  • Seek help from people who work in careers in which you are interested and ask them to have lunch with you so that you can ask them about their work and how they got where they are today. How do they spend their time? What do they find most satisfying and most disagree – able? Does the life that they describe appeal to you?
  • If you’re an undergraduate, talk with several graduate students; if you’re a beginning graduate student, talk with several advanced students or post – doctoral students. Ask them what they have learned that they wish they had known early in their careers.

General Suggestions :

  • Take charge. Although you seek help from your school’s counseling center and from friends, your job search is in your hands.
  • Recognize that finding a job will take a long time, and prepare your resume and start looking for jobs early. Do not lose heart. Although a lucky few may find positions before leaving school, finding a good job normally takes time and hard work.
  • Develop a network of contacts, both inside and outside your discipline and both on and off campus, to help you to under – stand the full range of opportunities available to you.
  • Volunteer for communication and leadership activities within your current activities; in a disciplinary society, student organization, class, or laboratory.
  • Use computer aids to evaluate your attributes and improve your public – speaking skills. Be aware of new opportunities & trends and constantly review advertisements in magazines and journals, in newspapers in cities where employment centers are, and on the Internet.
  • Know yourself so that when you see an opening, you can market yourself – your education, skills, and attributes.
  • Take occasional classes ( perhaps through distance – learning techniques ) that maintain your level of understanding of both your field and others or that add new skills ( e.g., in management and accounting ) of use in any field.
  • Review your career performance and satisfaction once a year throughout your life.

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