Life After College: Managing Your Career

We have finished school, what next? What has the world has to offer to us?

Most of us think already of life as a one way track. We finish our studies, get a job, probably marry, have children, then spend the rest of our retirement collectibles in the house where are dreams were built.

But we are less halfway there. Finishing our studies just equips us with the theories we need to face the employment world. These theories however are useless if not put into practice and put into good use for us to be able to achieve our aspirations, goals, and a great career.

Careers may vary. Some of us would like to take the path of corporate tycoons, developers of sky scrapers, national artists, Pulitzer award winners and of those others which we hope will define us. Being a genius or having a piece of diploma will not map our success in the achieving a great career. It is your performance in the field you see yourself in.

Career is not synonymous to work, job, or occupation rather it encompasses all of these and more. One’s career is the variety of experiences of learning and work which includes both paid and unpaid. All these accumulated when you did volunteering for a group of orphans to organizing bazaars are part of your career. The true question is, how does these experiences be an advantage to you?

Building a career seems to just a flick of a finger but it does take great effort as much as acing those exams to graduate. Our careers are influenced by many things. These would include our age, gender,and ability and disability as well as by our environment like families and cultural values.

Although these are factors that can affect your decisions, having a great career is still your choice. The best person suited to make these choices is but you.

Given that you found the career you think best suited for you based on your skills, knowledge, interests, personal circumstances, and preferences, the next step is managing it.

Managing a Career

Career practitioners suggest three principles in managing your career. These principles, through in depth research, are believed to be skills to best equip the individual in making confident choices.

To effectively design, build and manage your career, you will need skills and understanding that enable you to:

  • manage yourself

  • explore learning and work options

  • build your career.

Being able to manage yourself refers to one’s ability to project a good image. Respect is earned rather than being a by product of force or intimidation. To exude a positive image of yourself is actually knowing yourself. A great understanding of one’s self and learning to appreciate your skills, behaviors, and interest say pretty much of how much you view yourself. And this perspective of yourself is communicated among the people you are with.

With a positive image, you will maintain a positive relationship with others. Your relationship will be based on trust and honest which all employers look forward from their employees.

But do not leave yourself being comfortable. Comfort zones keep people inside the box, thus missing out on exploring endless possibilities they can do with their career. In a fast pace modern world, one that is driven by innovation and technology, being updated and educated with other skills will always upgrade you a notch higher.

Learning and exploration should never stop because it is this burning motivation to gain knowledge that shall be our key to a brilliant career.

Now, you know the first two principles, the next step is to build that career. Always keep records of your portfolio and always update your resume. Make sure that you are accumulating the necessary experience for the possible work opportunities in the future.

As much as having fruitful experiences, it would be wise for your to evaluate your frame of reference. When we speak of your frame of reference, we are talking about your beliefs and values. Acquiantance with what values you plays an important role in decision makings. Decision making does not only involve your discernment that is work related but also keeping balance with your roles other than being a career man or woman.

Understanding, engaging in and managing the career building process will help you to set goals that reflect how you want your future to be. It will also help you to pursue your goals.


About the Author