Career Path: Do you have one?

In the course of doing CV reviews, I have received emails with messages as follows (I have simply done a cut and paste of these messages and haven’t changed anything);
‘My career path is banking industry and telecommunications’
‘I am looking for a job in the telecoms or oil and gas sector’
‘I am looking for a job in a bank’
‘I am looking out for any multi national organisation or oil & gas etc’
‘I intend working in the Construction  industry’
‘I’m looking for job in an oil and gas coy’
‘I will do any kind of job’
‘I’m interested in the telecoms industry’

Whenever I come across messages of this nature, I immediately wonder if perhaps most of us are unable to get jobs because we have not figured out exactly “what I want to do”.

If you look closely at those message excerpts listed above, you will notice one thing in common – these individuals have stated the ‘Where I want to work’ and not ‘What I want to do’.


“What I want to do” relates to your profession (Solicitor, Accountant, Journalist, Architect, Engineer, Marketer etc). By identifying what you want to do, you have essentially identified the most important component of your Career Path.

In other words, Career path is mainly about what you do (or want to do) and NOT where you work (or want to work).

I believe it is more productive to focus on what you want to do rather than focusing on where you want to work. Focusing on what you want to do will enable you cave out a focused career. Also, this enables you to develop the core skills and professional qualification/certification/training that is required for a Career in your chosen field. By so doing, you have succeeded in laying the foundation that is necessary for you to achieve progression in your chosen profession.

On the other hand by focusing on where you want to work, you stand the risk of accepting jobs that take you away from your career path and away from your area of interest and competence.

If you tell me ‘I want a job in a bank’ I will immediately wonder, what is it you want to do in a bank. Banks can hire people from different professions such as IT, Finance and even Law.

However if you said, I am interested in developing a career in IT or I want a career in Finance etc, my next enquiry will be to check your skills and competences in your stated area of interest (such as the professional qualifications you have, years of work experience etc)

You can see there is a huge difference between these approaches. When you focus on what you want to do, your options become clearer. You’ll find yourself applying for jobs based on your abilities and most importantly, you’ll notice and take up opportunities to improve yourself in order to achieve a very balanced career with well rooted foundations (which leads to progression).

Always remember that recruiters give jobs to those with the necessary skill and competence to carry out the job and NOT to those with merely an “interest” in working in such a place. (Please refer to my interview with a featured “Professional of the Week” to see the importance of skills in career development)

Do you have a Career Path?

 
 
 
 
 

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