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Career Investments

Career is the most important investment in one’s life. Experts show you how to nurture it and realize your potential.

Whether you have just got a job, or are well-settled in your career or are still wondering which path to choose, the following advice is relevant for you. 1. Set a career goal Just like you plan for your financial goals, you need to plan your career goals meticulously. Ideally, the planning and goal setting should start when one is a student. However, awareness about career options continues to be low among students. “Nearly 72% of students were confused about career

Most youngsters base their career decisions on what they hear being talked about around them. So while they might want to become a doctor, engineer, chartered accountant or lawyer, they have to understand whether they are equipped for it.

“The first thing in a career planning is to understand your strengths and weaknesses.”

2. Continuous learning Most people tend to think that everything is settled once they land a job. “Just because you have got a job it doesn’t mean that you have achieved your goal and all learning can come to an end. Please note that you need to keep on pushing the career goal,” says Neeti Sharma, Senior VP, Team Lease Services, a human resource outsourcing and staffing firm. “You need to invest in continued education and learning.

3. Think like an entrepreneur Once you begin to climb the career ladder, you will realize that your existing skill sets are not sufficient. For instance, most people get into the IT sector as programmers and then get promoted as team leaders. The next level is management and it calls for going beyond coding skills.

4. Networking Networking was always a basic necessity for career growth. “Around 50% of the hiring happens through networks. Career prospects depends on marketability and reaching out to people,” says Bhasin. These contacts can be through alumni groups, former colleagues, etc. Social media platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook have made such groups more close-knit. 5. Ask for help or seek a mentor We seek help when we need it in most situations and there is nothing wrong in taking outside help for career planning. “The ability to ask for help is a requisite quality for career enhancement,” says Chahal. As explained earlier, prospective job seekers can take the help of counsellors at their own institute or other professionals who provide this for a fixed fee.

6. Don’t ignore grooming Prospective candidates have to concentrate on aspects which may not appear connected to the job in question but play an important role nevertheless. Maintaining physical fitness is one such aspect. Appearances— dressing properly or presenting an attractive CV— are other factors one needs to take care of. Why should prospective employers bother about such things? “Perception is reality and please note that most employers hire based on their perception about you.

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