As BA students looking forward to life after graduation, building a good career is surely a topmost priority on your mind as this is one of the determining factors of how well you do with life. The anxiety to succeed raises a lot of questions like, how can I improve my career advancement? how can I be the best at what I do? There is no need to be overwhelmed as there are easily practical and logical solutions at hand.
WHAT IS A CAREER?
A career can be defined as a person’s progress within an occupation or series of occupations. However, a career is more than just a job, work, or occupation. It also includes progress growth and development in vocational and avocational areas all through life.
Many of us think that there is only one occupation that is best suited for us, but there are many good choices available to us all. The secret is to identify those occupation in which you have a high probability for success and happiness. As a college student, whether your career goals are accounting, theatre arts, or environmental sciences, there are general skills which will be required regardless of the career you pursue. These skills include the ability to read, write, compute, think critically, and communicate in an effective manner. For the most part, these skills are developed and/or sharpened in general education courses. These skills, along with effective career planning techniques, and the ability to cope with ambiguity in a changing environment, will enable you overcome obstacles throughout your work life.
There are few steps and guidelines in the career planning process, these steps include:
What is Self-Assessment?
Self-assessment is essentially, a way to enhance self-understanding. It is being able to describe your unique characteristics clearly and accurately regarding your skills, your values, and your interests.
2: Career Exploration
It is difficult, if not impossible, to make a rational decision or to evaluate and consider specific careers without an accurate information base. Career information gathering is an integral step in the process of career planning. Initially, you will need to generate a list of careers which you may want to consider. Most students admit they have limited knowledge about careers and find it difficult to list or describe more than one career.
Sources of career alternatives include, career publications and suggestions from other people such as faculty and staff, parents and friends. Don’t forget to take into account those careers you are merely curious about exploring. After developing the list, you will need to briefly research each career alternative and judge which of them seem potentially suitable for future employment. Also, ensure to measure how your skills, values and interests correspond to the types of work you are considering.
If you have investigated a number of career alternatives, you are now ready to target a primary career goal. Initially, it may be easy to rule out several choices as obviously inferior or inappropriate. With the remaining alternatives, it may be very difficult to select the one that fits you best. Additional research regarding the career options, your skills, values, and interests may be necessary.
Any decision, career or otherwise, should be approached with sufficient information.
4: Career Preparation
Once you have made a career decision, the next task is to begin planning how to prepare for the career, how to get experience in it, and how to actually enter the field. At this stage, it will also be useful to identify the degree of effort and all the things which are required to be successful in your chosen career.
5: Marketing Yourself
There is a great deal to be learned regarding obtaining employment, even after you have prepared for a career field. Graduating from college with the right credentials offers you no guarantee of an appropriate position, your degree will open many doors, but it’s up to you to obtain the type of employment you desire.
Finding the job, you want at an attractive salary and in the desired geographical location, is the result of using effective job search techniques. Each requires the same conscientiousness, discipline, consistency, and commitment. Job hunting is in itself a full-time job, and should be treated as such.
6: Career Management
As you identify your desired career position; one that utilizes your skills and satisfies many of your personal values and interests. Keep in mind that one job cannot offer everything you seek, whatever needs are not met by your paid employment can be actively satisfied away from the job. Likewise, an ideal job should be one that educates and prepares you for an even better one. In times of rapid change and rampant obsolescence in occupation fields, you must remain flexible. At some point you may begin to ask questions of yourself about your present employment. You may wonder whether there is something better available; or as your skills, values, and interests change, whether another position would better meet these factors. If and when this occurs, the career planning process has completed its cycle. You can return to Step 1: Self-Assessment and begin anew the process, anytime during your working years as often as you desire. Remember, the key to success is being prepared.
Finally, anyone can learn the technique of systematic career decision making which is easier in approach and a flexible guide on how to make good career choices.
The technique of systematic career decision making can be described as a series of five tasks and this five tasks are listed below:
- Define the decision to be made
- Identify all choices to be considered in the decision
- Gather information on each option
- Evaluate the potential outcome of each option considered
- Make a selection of the most appropriate option. By following this approach, the likelihood of making good career decisions are increased.
So, if you are a BA student out there and you haven’t started making any plans on how to build a career, then 2021 is definitely a good year to start.