You are the architect of your career...

Sole responsibility: In order to become successful in one's career, it is important to exhibit professionalism, writes Vijay Prakash Srivastava

You are the architect of your career...
For many of us, one of the most important goals in our lives is to have a successful career. You may have come across the saying ‘Nothing ventured, nothing gained’. To build a great career, the foundation should be solid. This foundation is made of both education and personal qualities. When you’re evaluated for a job, it is not just your qualifications that matter. You are judged for your personality also. As a matter of fact, in most cases, qualifications become secondary to qualities. Your qualities are expected to make you a good employee.

These days, organisations have become very careful in choosing their workforce. During days of industrialisation, human resource was treated no differently than other resources like raw material, capital etc.

Perceivable change

When it was found that with similar investment of capital different units in the same business were producing different results, efforts were made to understand why some units are performing better and some not so. After elaborate research, it was found that though other things remained the same, there was difference at the level of human resources. Workers in units which performed better had higher motivation, they were more committed, and thus could produce more.

This revelation led to the idea of human resource development, which is one of the most important sectors in Management Science. Organisations now very well realise that people engaged by them are most crucial to their performance. It is through people’s contributions, that organisations are able to achieve their goals.

Like other fields, the job market too has become fiercely competitive in our country. On one side are the employers whose focus is to find the best fit for the organisation. On other side stay young aspirants who expect a lot from their professions.

Most young people feel that their college or university degree and, in a few cases, their professional qualification should be enough to secure  employment. But when they start trying, they get surprised to find that organisations have in addition to the requirement of defined qualifications, their own parameters for selection. Had it not been so, there was no need for organisations to conduct their own selection process and they could have taken people based on just their academic performance.

From campus to corporate, there is some distance to be covered. It means that along with being qualified, you should also be job-ready. In a recently organised Human Resources conference at a management institute in Mumbai, students asked industry leaders what they looked for in a potential employee. Their answer mainly focused on the following:

n Willingness to learn: Learning ability is the most expected quality in an employee. When you start working, you need to know the systems, processes and
technology. The quicker you understand these, the better it is for you and the organisation. Moreover, with continuous changes taking place in today’s volatile business
environment you should be open to new knowledge and learnings. You should keep yourself updated and relevant. As you grow in your career, depending on the situations, it will become more important to unlearn and relearn. Curiosity will make you a good learner.

n Ability to work in a team: During your student life, you usually study on your own, whereas in organisations, people are required to work in teams. In fact, organisations are made of teams, and teams consist of people. To become a good team player, you need to respect others’ individuality.

Don’t expect everyone to be like you and to agree with you. Listen to the opinion of others and respect it even if it is different from your own opinion. Offer your fullest cooperation to the other members of the team and be clear about your role in the team and organisation. Organisations are promoting diversity in a big way. You may be required to work with people from different cultures and ethnic backgrounds. Adopting culture and gender sensitivity will make you a good team member.

n Resilience: The general observation is that the new generation wants quick success and is not willing to accept failures easily. However, the fact remains that failures are as much part of life as successes.

If you’re afraid to fail, you‘ll remain hesitant to make efforts and your chances of success will also get reduced. Failures offer learning opportunities and keep us grounded. In many interviews these days, candidates are asked about their failures and how they handled it. So, be ready to talk about your failures and lessons learnt from these, when you go for your next interview.

n Commitment: Earlier, there were not too many job opportunities and people were satisfied with what they got in the first instance. But the situation is much different now. People from this generation have no qualms about changing jobs often. As a result, attrition has become a major Human Resources issue in many organisations. In many cases, it has been seen that new employees lack energy and commitment. They treat their current employment as a stopover, working half-heartedly. But this attitude does not do them any good as they cannot elicit a positive recommendation from their employers. Whatever be your tenure with an employer, you should always try to give your best.

When you apply for a job, you should be able to convey possession of the above traits. This will improve your chances of selection. Your career requires a well-thought strategy and its execution.

External factors will contribute, but it is you who is going to be the real architect of your career.
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