Career Planning: Does It Really Matter?

Tanveer Shahab for BeyondHeadlines

Career planning is a buzz word among all the aspiring students who are willing to achieve name and fame in coming future. Before I put some light on it, I want to share a caselet about someone who also aspired to be a successful person. I give a name “XYZ” to that person.

XYZ belonged to a middle class family and aspired to be an engineer as other students always thought of. XYZ prepared and successfully completed state level engineering entrance exam. On the day of counseling, his turn came for branch selection and he selected a wrong branch due to the guidance offered to him by his well wishers.

Anyway, he completed his course and joined a company, but after few years of work, he left the company and joined a renowned post graduate program. By that time, he had become 30+ years old and he was refused as a fresher by most of the companies in campus interview for one reason or other.

Anyway, he joined education sector and started working. After few years, Jobs dried up and he moved into another career oriented program to establish himself, to achieve name and fame what he had thought of in his college days.

Can we find any career planning in the above caselet or do we get any critical observation? How can someone with professional degree of Engineering and post graduation end up without career planning? It seems that everything is alright.

But, Career planning is not about accumulation of degrees or qualification rather, it is about careful synchronization of passion, qualification, suitable career selection and choice of course. Career progression should be accompanied by career progression cycles. Now we can analyze the XYZ’s case and find that:

  1. The choice of engineering career is good, but the selection of wrong branch is not good. It simply wiped out all the good work done by XYZ.
  2. Selection of professional masters’ program seems good in general, but starting a career as a fresher in 30+ years of age is not a wise decision.
  3. Selection of Education sector immediately after master’s degree is fair, but the selection of an institution over pay package is more important. Alas! It could not happen again. The education sector is observing revolutionary change over the years and specifically, it is contractionary for higher education.
  4. Now, going for a new program is never a bad option but it should be done after the Stage 1 only so that XYZ‘s precious years could be saved.
  5. Passing through various stages of change brings in its own impact upon XYZ which can create an element of doubt about his own self’s ability.

Here, we clearly observe that there is a “misjudged and misguided career planning” which seems to be more harmful than “no career planning” at all. Career planning is a vital aspect of any body’s future and it is capable of presenting a bright and challenging road ahead, but a faulty plan poses the danger to convert a bright student into a subdued one.

Note: The scope of the discussion in this article is mostly focused upon the caselet given in this article

The author is UGC NET qualified academician and he has written and presented many research papers on various national and international platforms.

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