Career Strategies

How will you achieve your stated career ambitions?

Your career is likely one of the greatest means you have of achieving the things you want in life.

Developing an effective career self concept and direction positions you well for developing a strategy to find and land jobs that suit your personality, temperament, development and experience. Having an effective strategy will help you avoid wasting time applying for jobs that don't suit you (and that you wouldn't get).

While many people, situations and events will contribute to your career, the responsibility to develop and live it out in the most beneficial ways, is primarily yours. While many others can and may influence, advise or even guide you, no-one can determine what your career ought to be. It is your responsibility to choose.

Leaving aside (for the moment) opportunistic flows of circumstance and serendipity, if you want to approach your career using a logical methodology, your career vision, objective and ultimate goal come first. Your strategy— i.e. how you will get there — comes second, flowing from your idea of what career you want to have.

Not every step will be a predictable path

But your career strategy is also more than an articulation of how you intend to reach your primary career goals. It is what you can and will do to arrive where you would like to be. In this sense, your career strategy is the path you tread, on your way to reaching your stated destination.

Bear in mind that, from where you are now, there may be no single, best, already-articulated career path for you to follow, even though there are likely to be some guides, common sections of road and the collected wisdom of others in your field.

It is likely for example, that anyone who desires the career you have chosen, must be prepared to take certain predictable steps. For example, if you want to be a teaching professor in a big medical school the steps along the way would certainly involve readily identifiable steps and milestones such as getting into the medical school of a major university, doing well in exams and practicals, and gaining significant teaching experience. Would it also involve extensive clinical experience in a major hospital? Perhaps. This may depend on the particulars of the post and other contextual matters.

If you're interested an academic career, watch this short video from Manchester University on How to Become a Professor.