Jidaw Systems

Career Planning - It's all about Attitude!

What is career planning? Career planning is the first step for success with your career. Unfortunately, many professionals are not in control of their careers. They simply watch their careers unfold, not knowing how they will attain their career goals or what they want to achieve.

"What do you want to be when you grow up?" To answer the question, you need to plan your career. Take a look ahead and create your future. It isn't always easy or straightforward, but it's better than just sitting back and taking whatever comes your way. You may get ahead without a plan, but it is doubtful that you will reach your full potential.


Fortunately, career planning is never too late. IT Managers, Professionals, trainees, newcomers or Chief Information Officers (CIO) all need to take a look into the future.


An "I-don't-care" or "anything goes" approach won't allow you to reach your potential. You and other professionals have a choice; you can decide to take control of your career through planning and by taking wise decisions based on these plans. Don't let your career happen! Make your career happen! Clearly you need to be self-motivated with a relatively clear sense of who and what you want to be.


In Information Technology arena, too many people focus on certification, training, other career tools and career benefits without any consideration for career growth. It's time to stop chasing form at the expense of substance. Training, certification and work experience are best considered within the context of your unique, individual career development plan. How can you prepare for a certification when you don't even have a clue on your area of interest? The issue of certification comes only after you have a realistic career development plan in place.


A career development plan requires what I term as career self assessment and career situation assessment. What do I mean by career self-assessment?



Career self-assessment requires to you ask and answer questions that relate to your career and life expectations. You must know who you are. Period! How can you know what you want if you don't know who you are? What makes you tick? Know yourself - what is your passion? You must ask yourself the questions: What sort of working life do you want? What type of work or activity makes you happy? What are your career goals? What are your ambitions, personal or lifestyle preferences?


In terms of career satisfaction what is important to you? It is essentially about the direction you want your life to go. What matters? What is your purpose? Your love of IT is not enough. You should have a big picture. What is your purpose? What is your vision? Where are you going? Not where is everybody going? George Bernard Shaw had this say "Some men see things as they are and ask why. Others dream things that never were and ask why not."  What is your WHY?


Generally, the areas you should consider are: Nature of work, Work interests, Recognition, Security, Income (Salary and benefits), Personal / Family life, Opportunities for growth and Responsibility. What gives you career satisfaction in each of these areas? Which areas are of top priority, which are unimportant, which are you indifferent to? Through this you can identify IT jobs and computing environments that interest you. And getting answers isn't like instant coffee. 


Getting answers may not be immediate. Answers may also not be obvious. Use reliable resources available to help you learn more about your areas of interest. You may have to dig deep and be resourceful. Ask questions, talk to people in the field, network and attend professional and career forums.


It helps to state your goals in black and white. You may need to write down your professional short- and long-term goals. Be descriptive and edit them over and over until you are sure these goals are what you desire.


A valuable career self-assessment is one that is honest. Lying to yourself will not help. Also you need to drop the get-rich-quick mentality. Approach your IT Career like a marathon, not a short sprint. Be Wise. If immediate results are what you are after, then the IT field might not be for you. 


Be realistic in your expectations. Fulfillment is a function of expectations. Don't copy others. Don't run with the goals of other people. Too many people set goals and take jobs not because they really want them but because they believe that's what others expect of them. They want to be part of the in-crowd. Whose plan is it, anyway? Career planning is very much about choosing the direction that you want to take in your life. You must own your plan, you must own your goals. Understand, and be happy, with what you want to do.



Situation assessment

Next you need to do what I would call a career situation assessment. What is your current career situation? You know where you want to get to, but how near or far are you? What stage are you at in your career? What is your current situation with respect to your work or profession? Are you in a job that will take you to your ideal situation?


If you are out of work, what is your background? Are you self-employed? Or are you a student? Again you must use the criteria you used for your career self-assessment to assess your current career status.


Are you currently meeting your expectations in terms of Nature of work, Security, Income (Salary and benefits), Personal / Family life, Opportunities for growth, Responsibility, etc? This involves assessing your current skills and experience to identify what you must learn, or experience you need to acquire to excel. What practical knowledge do you have? What are your academic qualifications? Do you have a sound technical background? How relevant are your present skills and experience to your goals? Where are you in relation to where you want to go?

Which areas require improvement? Since you know your career goals it should be easy for you to identify your career gaps.


Continue here for More: Career Planning - It's all about Attitude!- 2


The power to shape your career is in your hands! I and the Jidaw team wish you all the best in your IT Career,


Jide Awe

Jide Awe is the Founder of Jidaw.com



 What Do you Have to Say? Post Your Comments about this article Here 



May 7, 2011


Oncelot Directory of Pagadian City, Phillipines says:



Don't let your career happen! Make your career happen! I simply love the line. Life is what we make it. Reach to the stars.. be optimistic! Attitude is the key to make things happen according to our plans.



Nov 20, 2008


Julius Odediran of Fed Poly Ede, Osun state, Nigeria says:



I found it so much interesting as a teacher, career adviser, researcher and counsellor . And it does not limited to IT from my own point of view.



Oct 14, 2008


Prashanth of Hyderabad, India says:



It is really a great stuff for everyone.




May 22, 2008


Nnadozie Happiness U. from Lagos, Nigeria says:



Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge with people and motivating peoples visions to actions. I am personally challenged and encourage with your article. At least I can see I don't need to copy anyone but to develop myself. Thanks and God bless.




April 30, 2008


Subash from Chennai, India says:



Excellent. Really this article gave me a clear picture about my future.




February 4, 2008


BAKARE MOSUNMOLA. F from Lagos, Nigeria says:



Jidaw, You have given me the greatest inspiration of life, I want to thank you personally for giving people like me to learn about career planning. I don't have any basic idea of computer science but i love the IT world with a passion. Kindly advise me - where do I start from?




January 27, 2008


Elibarick Mushi from Kampala, Uganda says:



Appreciation for your article

I used to see IT as a wide sea. Your article has at least given me a starting point on realizing my career. Thanksl




June 15, 2007


Deepee from Lagos, Nigeria says:



Another beautiful piece again! U blow my mind with your thoughts and observations. Indeed,".. it's all about planning"! Like the saying goes, "if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail". 




April 10, 2007


Shahul Hameed from Abu Dhabi says:



The articles are excellent and its a real eye opener for many including me. 



December 4, 2006


Godfred Bossoh says:



I have received some insight from just a few articles I read on your website. I believe you could always be of help to counsel me on my career path in IT. THANKS SO MUCH. 



July 7, 2006


George Orie from Fadeyi-Yaba-Lagos (Fidelity Bank Plc) says:



I am elated about the deep impact the article is having on me and my friends. We now know that we have a lot of role to play in achieving our career objective. Indeed Jidaw you've provided the success ladder, I'll not hesitate to climb. I think we also need to know the difference btw paper qualification and IT certification. IT partners, take note that it's wrong to go to school in order to learn to look for job rather than create job. Jidaw, please keep the flag flying.



Mar 31, 2005

PML from South Africa says:



Thanks a lot.  I read you article Career Planning: It's all about Attitude
and I thought let me get in touch with you. I'm in South Africa. What sort of steps do you think I should follow from here till I reach
my Goal, which is to become an IT Manager?



Mar 31, 2005

Fred from Lagos says:



PML, your answer is here: http://www.jidaw.com/certarticles/dbaproject.html 



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