Content Sponsor Edumilestones: It is an India, (Bangalore) based company. They provide a premium career assessment platform and career counselling certification courses named Certified Career Analyst (CCA) and Certified Counselor for International Studies (CCIS) to over 1400+ professionals across 80 locations in India and abroad for over 10 years. They are official members of APCDA and IAAP international organizations. Their team consists of qualified and experienced top experts from psychology, education, design and IT, investing in extensive research and development. This month author Aparna Abhishek Iyer is sharing must follow ways to work towards setting your career graph right, rather than depending on your employer. She is emphasizing that simple step for career choices for women can do wonders and the prime mover in your career is YOU only-
Women between in the age groups 27-35 claim to experience a sloppy career graph. Their workplaces do not seem to be challenging, nor do they facilitate a work-life balance. In certain cases, the organizations are to blame but, in most scenarios, women need to reiterate to themselves that the decision to take on the job role was two-way. What did these women fail to validate at their career start points? More so, even if they did validate their needs versus what the organization has to offer, what are the implications did they not expect to envisage? If you are in your mid-20s and resonate with whatever I have expressed so far, well, you will need to check these boxes before you enter your workplace tomorrow!
- Is this your dream job? Do you wake up every day feeling the urge to get to your workplace?
This question seems clichéd and yet, rooted! As a career coach, I have come across many clients asking me what careers are best for them and most likely, they are not surprised by the results that come up in their career assessment. I believe that a dream job is the first thought that strikes your brain while you are contemplating career choices! If choosing a career was this effortless, why do most women choose the wrong careers? The conservative belief of mapping a whopping paycheck to success in career leads many young women to take misjudged decisions. Sadly, almost 90% of women who have chosen a career path that is not their passion, fail to even realize that they have compromised their careers. They succumb to the daily routine until their frustration peaks, after which they take up all means to change their careers in vain or eventually, even quit from their jobs.
Haven’t we all heard- “Better late than never”? Act now if you feel you have chosen a career that is not your dream. But, if you are someone who is following your passion, you may also appreciate the fact that you strive to be better at work every day and this not only benefits you as an individual but also the organization that you are working in. Also, if you are on the verge of choosing a career, ensure that this criterion is satisfied as choosing a wrong career affects not only you in the long run, but also cascades to hinder the growth of your organization and sometimes, even the harmony of your personal life.
- Does a regular work day tap your potential entirely?
Every woman chooses her personal life over her profession at any certain point in her career. However, in anticipation of the phase that makes your career take a backseat, do not limit yourself from taking on challenges at work. You have been chosen by the organization over your male counterparts for your expertise in the domain and by restraining yourself from taking on uphill tasks, you will not be doing justice to the role offered to you. If you are a woman who is working in the Manufacturing Industry, you may diverge from my opinion. You may not be permitted to perform certain kinds of job roles owing to your gender. For whatever reason, do not let out your job roles to any of your colleagues, treasure them and aspire to ace them consistently. Most importantly, do not feel content with your daily tasks and break out of your comfort zone.
If you have been doing this consistently, you may note that there was never a point in your career graph that slowed your growth and even after being committed to the job for several years, every day at work seems as exciting and novel as your first day in the company!
- Are you completely self-aware of your five-year career plan?
Women are great planners, aren’t they? They meticulously guide and nurture everyone who is closely associated –be it at the workplace or at home. What most women fail to prepare is their personal career plan. Regular work days at the workplace can be engulfing their mental and physical energies, but women nevertheless, do not extrapolate this success to career plans. As a result, the organization perceives such women as being directionless and do not assign challenging and demanding projects. In the long run, this results in a flat and sloppy career graph. In such cases, mentors, superiors and senior management can pitch in to help young and new women employees plan their careers set professional goals. Women, in addition, need to be self-aware and form plans for themselves, based on their annual appraisals and work duties. This initiative can benefit only women who are ambitious and self-driven. Hence, it is important for young women to develop this characteristic inherently.
The benefits can be perceived as two sides of a coin. For one, women feel secure of their careers, irrespective of any future commitments from their personal lives. Additionally, the organization can take pride in having loyal and focused women workforce.
- What were your expectations from the job while you were absorbed in the company and Lastly, were you aware of the expectations held of you by the company?
This is the primary and foundational criterion that needs to be itemized by each woman who is about to enter the workforce. It can be fascinating to attend interviews and interact with executives from reputed companies, but there are cases where companies fail to set concrete goals for new employees. The failure to verify the alignment of your goals with that of the companies’ will only compound, resulting in loss of interest and frustration. I do not recommend being insistent, more than the required limit, but the least that a young employee can do is to set expectations from her new job role and substantiate them with the prospective manager.
The best method to define the expectations is to research about company’s growth profile, interact with existing employees about employees’ growth curve and ensure to align them with your career plan. Further, post assuming the role of a full-time employee, redefine your expectation after each annual appraisal in such a way that it challenges your roles in the job and also, coerces the company to create a more interesting profile for you.
Have you satisfied these criteria? An insight from Sheryl Sandberg’s TED Talk on “Why there are very few Women leaders?”: “Do not quit before you quit”. Do not give away what you have accumulated over many years of experience. Work towards setting your career graph right, rather than depending on your employer. A simple step in favour of your career graph does wonders. The prime mover in your career is YOU.
Aparna Abhishek Iyer is the Co-founder of Grassroot Education and performs the duties of a Career Coach, an IELTS Trainer and also conducts Entrepreneurship workshops for aspiring Business Owners.Follow Womenlines on Social Media