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Choose wisely – or the job may not be what you dreamt of

E. Balaji | Updated on January 28, 2013 Published on January 28, 2013


“Find a job you love and you will never work a day in your life.” - Confucius

A large part of your active day will be spent at work, once you join the corporate world. It is very important to understand the same and have a long term perspective in deciding career options. Students today are faced with the problem of many and tend to use salary as the main criteria to pick jobs. All it takes is a bit of introspection, honest assessment and courage to embrace change to identify and pick the right career or job. This article is to help you with a simple guideline that will provide clarity and help you in the career direction that will create a happy work life.

Do you know yourself?

Ask yourself some fundamental questions that will help in your job search plans. Often, the most difficult questions are also the most basic. What are you looking for? Try to figure out where you want to be. What are your strengths and skill sets? What kind of people, culture and work environment interest you? Moreover, your friends or professors will be able to help you better if you know what to ask for.

Build skills early

Once you figure out what your interests are and what makes you happy, start looking for jobs that call for the same skills. Do not set unrealistic goals and timelines, allow sufficient time to build your skills and do pilot project to showcase your skills. Take baby steps to achieve your goals and do periodical assessments to see what you have learned from taking those steps.

Learning Vs Salary

Prioritise a better job profile and learning opportunities over salary for your first job. In a dynamic and competitive environment, it is this investment in learning will help you gain knowledge and be useful through your career.

Use internships well

The other factors which you may include in your checklist could be work culture, opportunities being offered to build your personality, insurance, and global assignments, if relevant.

Internships, both paid and unpaid, are the best way to learn about a job position or a company. They can provide a realistic view on what the job profile entails the pressures in execution and potential career paths. Also, internships offer a great resume boost, use them well.

In order to survive in today’s job market, you have to master the art of networking. Talking to those who have already proven themselves in the field you are interested in will give you a realistic view of the job.

Network, on- and offline

There are many online communities that have opened up opportunities to interact with CEOs, thought leaders and domain experts to discuss and validate your opinions. Also, the visibility of your social profile through quality contributions in the form of blogs and discussion forums will help in your job search.

Most career decisions are swayed by peer pressure, financial prospects and family responsibilities. For career longevity, it is imperative to work in a job that you will love or atleast one that leads to it.

Don’t compromise, follow your passion and the money will follow!

(The author is the CEO and MD of Randstad India, a leading HR services company.)

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Published on January 28, 2013
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