Friday, March 11, 2011

Career Development

I was overwhelmed with the information I have acquired a while ago. I cannot contain my excitement so I am already blogging what I have learned. The topic was all about career development. Our speaker is a six sigma blackbelter and is successfully working in a reputable company in the country. To explain, six sigma is a business management strategy and a ‘six sigma blackbelter is someone who practices six sigma fulltime.

She told us that career planning starts even before college. A student entering college should not look at college as merely a four-year course to finish but rather a career to develop. Of course everybody wants to be marketable after graduation. Better choose a course in line with what you want to be so that you can be at your best.

Our speaker told us that there are four major things to consider in career development.

1. Passion

Passion means you do a job not because you are obliged to do a job. Rather it is your passion to do it. You love doing what you do and you enjoy doing it.

2. Skills/Talents

A skill can be learned but there are innate talents. For example, a man loves to play basketball and he loves basketball so much. But are these premises enough to conclude that he can play at the NBA? What if the man is just 4’11” tall? This only means that you should also match your innate talents with the person you want to be.

3. Personality

In career planning you also have to know your personality or your characteristics because you will match these characteristics to the profession you will be taking. She also said that your course when you were in college DOES NOT determine your career path. Our speaker, for example, is a Computer Science graduate but is now into people management and is very successful at it.

4. List of preferences and essentials

This sum up what things are more important to you and what things can be considered when applying for a job. She enumerated seven things under this category and are listed not in order.

a. Compensation package

Can the compensation package presented to you be able to support you and your family? (If not living alone.) Also consider the non monetary part of the compensation package like the medical benefits, insurances etc. Take note also of the bonuses and the profit sharing (if applicable).

b. Location! Location! Location!

She told us that a person should have a scope on location. For example, if it goes beyond my boundaries I would not consider sending my resume to them. It will just be a waste of time.

c. Work hours/Travel

It is also important to look at the work hours. Will you consider a job with shifting schedules? Will you consider a job that requires you to work on Saturdays? Will you consider a job that will require travel?

d. Office set-up

I honestly considered this when I looked for a job myself. I am a very observant person when it comes to the workplace. I asked myself this question before signing the contract: “Will I be able to work at this environment?”

e. Reputation

It is a must that the company you are working for has a good reputation. You don’t want to be looking for another job just because the company folded-up after two years, do you?

f. Career path

Do you see yourself being promoted for the next two years of your stay in that company? Is there a career growth at that company? Are you seeing yourself successful when you work at that company?

g. Training Opportunities

Most companies offer trainings to their employees. As an employee you should not take these for granted. Attend those trainings and get the most out of it. It is one benefit you should maximize. Make time for trainings.

Here are the tips.

Before going to the interview research on how much the current rate for the position is and don’t be ashamed to negotiate. For as long as it is reasonable then they may be able to give it to you.

You should have a winning resume. It should be noticeable and attractive but don’t lie about your citations and achievements. The contents should be significant and are (as much as possible) related to the position you are applying for. Grammar and spelling are very important.

Practice interviews. Anticipate questions and practice answering them. Common questions will be as follows:

o Tell me something about yourself that s not included in your resume.

o Why do you think should I hire you?

o Why did you leave your job?

Package yourself in a way that you standout among the rest.

Dress properly preferably smart casual.

If you landed a job CONGRATULATIONS! But never forget to grow continuously and acquire new skills. The best three thins to develop while at work are as follows:

  • · Initiative – being pro-active
  • · Communication Skills – English is very important when dealing business
  • · Critical thinking – being able to analyse and deliver a correct solution

Lastly, and probably the most important reminder, FIND A MENTOR. Have older and wiser friends so that somebody can coach you on what or what not to do. You can have as many as you can as long as you have.

Point to ponder: Never tire of learning new things.

~Till then.

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