Right from childhood, we have been told that we need to study well, get ‘good’ grades so that we get admission into a ‘good’ college. Graduating from a ‘good’ college means getting a ‘good’, well-paying job. Once we achieve that goal, we are meant to be working and performing consistently to get a promotion, a salary hike, a fat bonus, etc. And thus begins the journey of the never-ending cycle of working and getting paid. No doubt, it is important to earn money so that we can manage our expenses, go on that vacation, buy that thing and maybe even save a little for a rainy day. But what does that ‘good’ really mean? Does it mean doing what we have to or doing what we want to? This is where the importance of career planning comes into play. The importance of career in life cannot be emphasized enough. We need to plan in order to actually get the ‘good’ out of our career. Just blindly following a certain set of pre-defined steps will not help us achieve the goal that we really want from life.
“It is better to look ahead and prepare than to look behind and regret.”
- Jackie Joyner - Kersee
1. Understanding the importance of career planning helps you in finding your passion
“The only way to do good work is to love what you do”
- Steve Jobs
We are all apprehensive about our future. Having a career that not only pays well but is also equally fulfilling and satisfying is essential. Otherwise, it can lead to a lot of unnecessary stress and anxiety. Techniques to manage stress can help you get out of it, but why get into it in the first place when it comes to your career choices. We spend the majority of our time at our workplace. Hence wherever we decide to work, or whatever we decide to work on, should bring us joy as well as be rewarding. When we embark on this journey of finding a job, we first need to be clear on what is it that we want to do. Ask yourself what is it that you are truly passionate about. This is where the importance of career planning assumes a role. Before you do anything, plan. Or at least give it a thought. If you just act without even thinking, it can be damaging either in the short or long run. Understanding the importance of career in life will help you to create a roadmap for your future. It will help you to avoid making bad decisions that are often the result of a lack of planning. Further, it will also help you in finding your passion and working hard towards achieving it.
“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”
- Mark Twain
2. Realizing the importance of career planning helps you to unlock your true potential
“Create the highest, grandest vision possible for your life, because you become what you believe.”
- Oprah Winfrey
When you understand the importance of career planning and invest time in it, you are able to unlock your true potential. Doing something you dislike or even worse, doing something you’re not good at, can cause you more harm than do any good. This harm can override the joy of earning money. It can affect your physical, mental, and emotional health and well-being. No amount of money can compensate for that. This is the importance of career in life. It can literally save your life. You don’t need to or have to figure it out all at once. Nor will it happen overnight (unless you’re really that lucky). But for most of us, it will take time. All we need to do is keep this goal at the back of our mind i.e. finding what we truly love doing or what we are really good at doing. This is how the importance of career planning can teach you to unlock your true potential.
“It is not what you achieve, it is what you overcome. That is what defines your career.”
- Carlton Fisk
3. Importance of career planning starts with making a list
“Successful tomorrows are the result of clarity of vision and purpose today”
- Scott Manning
It is important to first sit down and make a list. Make a list of things you enjoy doing (that can get you paid). Access your talents and skills. Decide whether pursuing a short or long-term course can further enhance these skills. If not, maybe getting a job where you can utilize these skills can be beneficial in enhancing them. Make an informed decision here. Decide what you really want to do and not just what you have to do. If you are in a situation where you don’t know what to do as yet or if you are in need of a job urgently to pay off some bills, no problem. Pick up any job, earn the money that you ought to, but keep your goal at the back of your mind. Having a goal in life is essential. Keep doing what you have to until you can finally do what you want to and /or until you finally know what you want to do.
“He who fails to plan is planning to fail.”
4. Importance of career planning includes focusing on your skills, not just on making money
“It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop”
This is not the stage to worry about money. Of course, you need to get paid for your efforts and services, but let that not be the only driving factor. In the beginning, focus on deciding what you really want to do. And after you have decided that, focus on sharpening and enhancing your skills. Only possessing knowledge in a particular field or stream is not sufficient. Putting it to practical use and utilizing those skills is what is important. So having understood the importance of career planning, spend sufficient time in knowing what is it that you really want to do in life, so that you not only become financially independent but also become emotionally independent as well. Having a job in a career that you choose just because you were pressured will get you nowhere. In fact, it will only burden you with unnecessary stress and make you unhappy and discontent with life. We all have some or the other talent that can be put to productive use. We just need to realize that potential and then work towards making the most out of it.
“The best way to predict the future is to create it.”
- Abraham Lincoln
Having realized the importance of career planning, if you still find yourself confused or lost, do not despair. Where there is a will, there is a way. You cannot ignore the importance of career in life. Have a goal, chalk out a plan, and make it work. Don’t wait for things to happen to you, make things happen for you!
About the author -
Dealing with the separation of his parents at the age of two years and battling crippling anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) at the age of twelve years are just a few of the challenges that Aman dealt with. With a burning desire to learn “how to be happy in life” despite there being so much suffering, Aman began a life-long journey of studying under various global personal and spiritual growth masters, such as Eckhart Tolle and Tony Robbins. With this was born his tried-and-tested Bulletproofing-HappinessTM formula, and he uses the same to coach seekers across the globe on how to overcome challenges and live a truly happy life.
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