Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Roadmap for career chase
I.M. Soni

Self-mastery is the key to success in a career, as it is in life. Sadly, it is fashionable these days to deride discipline.

It may be okay to free youself of frustrating, trivial constraints but to throw to the wind every restraint leads to disaster in a career chase. A wayward colt does not win a race.

Self-expression is the buzzword today. it is a contradiction in terms. Can you drive your car on the right side of the road without punishment or prosecution? Similarly, unbridled freedom in matters of job-seeking and career pursuit, naturally, leads to tragic failures and waste of talent.

Your life out of control, your career pursuit is derailed. You become a slave of yourself, not the master. A weather-vane is swayed by even a whiff of a wind! A mighty oak bends with the storm, but is not uprooted.

The way to self-realisation, success, and a smooth career lies in being the master of your own self. You are the vital force. The central letter in win is “I”.

Henry Fosdick, the famous American writer, has used a fascinating phrase for this concept, “harnessing the caveman.” This simply means that you have to bend all your faculties to your aim — development of self for the achievement of your career. Indiscipline is your weakest spot. The strength of the chain lies in its weakest link.

How to steel your will? How to control the uncontrollable? How to strengthen and empower yourself? How to give specific direction to our career? A strategy is needed.

A five-point plan:

A career chase is not a matter of whims and fancies. It has a merciless logic of its own. Follow that. Fix your goal and pursue it.

Don’t be swayed by hearsay. Most of what you hear from contemporaries is ignorance. Or it is 
ill-meant. Watch out.

Don’t give in to temptations and temporary allurements. Stick to your plan. Improve your skills and qualifications. Add to your information base. Widen your mental horizon.

Avoid associations and likely circumstances which can possibly bring you to a breaking point. You will have to begin afresh.

Proceed positively. Stick to the simple fact which can be demonstrated. Instead of thriving in an imaginary mental cocoon, prove your ability. How often have you boasted that you can write an excellent resume? But how many times have you shown it to yourself after writing it?

You boast of punctuality, efficiency and mental alertness. But in real life, you are unpunctual, procrastinate and are mentally lazy. The assignment you should have done last week, is still staring at you.

The solution is go into reverse. Take action to do the very opposite of what you have been doing to yourself.

Be practical. Plan your day. Allot slots to all important activities. Allow yourself no exceptions. Be professional in your approach. This means: give and take no concessions.

Grasp with both hands anything which can promote your ambition and aspiration. This further stimulates you and spurs you on. Inspiration promotes self-motivation. If your English is weak, improve it. If you dress sloppily, copy the man or the woman who is always smartly dressed.

A young man or woman whose mind is fixed on a bright career, who is constantly thinking of what passing over obstacles is going to mean to him or her in future career, will find it easier to disown delights of the day and concentration on the goal.

Anything which fires your imagination, fills the mind with uplifting thoughts, and energises you will give you an edge over mediocrity.

No road is too long if you measure your steps and don’t tread where it forks.