Everyone had something they were aspiring to be while growing up.
At the very least, no one desires to remain in college forever. Everyone wants to ascend the ladder of life and climb as high as possible.
No matter who you are, there is always a nagging question of what you want to do with your life?
When you were young you probably had various aspirations and desires. However, as you grow older, you might find these dreams to have changed and some of the aspirations become unattainable. There are several possible reasons for this, ranging from personal changes, societal or family pressure, among other things. Yet, while some people never achieve their dreams, there are still some who not only find their purpose but also reach the peak of their careers. Such people get to live the life they have always dreamed of. So how can you choose a career and become successful at it?
Here are a few helpful tips to guide you:
- Create a plan: the first and arguably the most important step to achieving anything is to have a plan. Failing to plan, can be likened to planning to fail. Having a plan helps you to organise your life, prioritise your activities and make important decisions, so that life does not catch you unaware. And even if you deviate slightly or entirely from the initial plan, it will never be too far for you to re-strategize.We now live in a fast-paced world and those without a plan might realise that they have been left behind. Sadly, it may be too late to catch up by the time you come to terms with reality. While it might sound cliché, answering simple questions like “where do I want to be in 5 years (or more) from now?”, “At what age do I want to stop working?”, “Where is my current path in life going to lead me?”, and so on, will help you get things in perspective.
- What is your passion?: What are you zealous about? What is it you have a fervour for? You should not go into any career you do not have passion for. Passion is what keeps you going when the situation becomes tough in your chosen career path. Let passion, not money or fame be your driving force. Those who are focused on money might find themselves plucked out of their chosen career path to more lucrative ones in no time.
- Use your holidays wisely:instead of being idle during holidays and breaks (especially summer), search online for companies that have vacancies for interns and check if you qualify to intern with them. Trust me, no knowledge gained is lost. Taking advantage of opportunities like this will help you learn how to work with others, build interpersonal relationships, and all other soft skills before getting a real job. You could even get a permanent job if the company thinks you are worthy to be permanent staff.
- Get skills: while in college or at university, you should spend your holidays and free times on learning both hard and soft skills. Typically, hard skills help you with landing a job, while soft skills are what are required to stay and excel in your job. Examples of other soft skills you should get are communication skills (which includes written, oral and sometimes visual), problem-solving skills, etc. You can also learn how to build networks and connections.
- Build your CV: your Curriculum Vitae contains all your achievements, publications and work experiences. Your CV is not only your key to landing a job, but it is also a reflection of your career and the better it gets, the further you get. Hence, you must start building your CV as early as you can. A good CV can earn you a good impression even before saying anything to your potential employer.
- Mentorship: the importance of mentorship in the current age cannot be overemphasised. Nobody makes it in isolation, and believe it or not, whatever you are aspiring to be now, some people have been right where you are at some point in the past. Once you have identified your area of interest, search for people who have been successfully doing the same thing or something similar. This will have a lot of positive effects on you. Mentorship can be either direct or indirect. In direct mentorship, the person recognises you as his or her follower. In indirect mentoring, you might have no direct relationship with your mentor. If well studied, the right mentor can be your greatest opportunity to succeeding in your career.
- Certification: you must develop yourself in every way that will make you valuable and indispensable in your field. You should consider taking courses and writing professional exams relating to the career of your choice. While it is impossible to learn everything about your field in one go, taking one course at a time will help you to become a master in your field in no time. Remember to update your Curriculum Vitae once you get your certification.
- Read books, read journals: be up to date with the happenings in your field of choice. New events and happenings occur each day. You must always be abreast of the latest happenings and be willing to broaden your horizon. Being inquisitive and flexible enough to embrace changes in your field will help you stay relevant.
- Do not be in a hurry: Never allow fear to make you think that you are lagging. Never let hastiness rule your decisions. You should not jump or resign from a job without considering the horizons to be explored and the opportunities that await such jobs. Incessant job hopping is one of the biggest hindrances to becoming a master in a chosen field. Every job change must be well thought out and carefully executed.
Growth is a process and it cannot be skipped. When you climb a ladder from the top, you either descend or remain stuck there. So, be positive in your thinking, be determined to be the best at what you do, be on top of your game and very soon with consistency and commitment, you will be at the peak of your career, successful and fulfilling your dreams.