Searching for a job is always stressful. The majority of job seekers experience stress, nervousness, anxiety and tension during their search for a job, regardless of their work experience, their current compensation level or the industry of their choice. There will be many factors at play that are not in their control, such as a bad economy, hiring freezes, unexpected corporate mergers, buyouts, etc. However, one of the main reasons for stress during the search for a job is the candidate’s lack of confidence, which comes from a lack of planning for the search and a lack of practice at it.
It is time to take a step back and think about your own approach to this before cursing yourself or blaming your lack of success on the companies you are applying to. Even before you apply, you must have your job search strategy ready. A well-planned approach will not only help take you through the process faster, but will also make it less stressful.
Also read: Is your workplace truly inclusive?
THE FIRST STEP
The first step is to decide what you really want to do. Selecting a career based on what others are doing (or under peer and social pressure) may give you the desired results in the short term, but long-term success and self-fulfilment will always be missing. In India, many parents want to fulfil their dreams through their children. Parents usually advise their kids to become what they could not become themselves. It is also common to see parents asking their children to emulate the success of the children of their relatives or neighbours. Parents always want the best for their kids, and there is nothing wrong with this. However, when it comes to career advice, most parents have limited knowledge. For example, traditionally, the most popular career choice for a commerce student in India has been chartered accountancy; for a science student engineering and medicine; for the arts students, the creative fields, management or the civil services. If you just copy others to make your parents happy, you will end up pressuring yourself.
A career choice that follows another’s will not give you the excitement, happiness and passion to excel in the long term. It is equally true that many of us choose our careers without much thought. In fact, many a time we simply accept whatever comes our way. However, you should not blame yourself if you have chosen a career in this way. As a young job aspirant, you had limited exposure, experience and knowledge of the options available. What you really want to do in life is worth ruminating on. A career should be selected on the basis of certain parameters, which will act as the foundation on which you will build it. Your entire career trajectory will be shaped by your one decision.
To decide on your long-term career options, you must consider the following: Your educational qualifications; your behavioural attributes; your SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis; and your interests, likes and dislikes.
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