Academic schooling is primarily expected to impart the hard-skills needed to do different jobs in the industry. However, there’s a world beyond books, exams, and online courses. At the end of the day, we all work for different companies, freelance or start our own. In any of those situations, one’s required to collaborate with different people, departments and challenges. The challenges can be due to a plethora of reasons.
From shifting in required skills, office culture, finances, moving to a different role or city, economic downturn and so on. The real situations start when school ends. And often there’s no one to guide us through.
I have heard and seen people coming under severe pressure as the career goes on. That’s when a lot of folks would look to help, but it’s difficult to trust someone all of a sudden. What’s a criterion to asses how reliable is someone’s advice? How relevant has been their own experience and so on.
Get A Measure Of Prediction- It’s always better to speak to a professional having a few years of experience in the industry. Particularly in an area, you aim to build your career in. There’s a high chance he’ll be able to provide you a reasonably good idea of the trends and technology making its way in that sector. This will help you gain reasonable insights. For example, what can be a key skill to learn for an entry-level or a mid-career job switch.
Understanding Company Culture- Academics can be taught in school, but office culture is altogether a different ball-game. Both beginners and experienced professionals can often have trouble fitting in their organizations. Many think that changing the company would help solve it, only to realize they are still struggling in the new organization as well. There’s a level of well-documented professionalism in social media and popular culture. But each organization would have its own way of managing work, accountability, performance rating and so on. Discussing with a mentor would help you assess and adapt to demanding situations.
Learn From The Errors Of Others- Learning from one’s own mistakes is good. But learning from others' mistakes is smarter! Life’s too short to keep making your own mistakes every time. It’s important to discuss challenging scenarios with people from varied experiences. Understand the measures they adopted, how successful they were or what could have been done better. An experienced professional or a consistent mentor is one of the best ways to do it!
Gain Awareness Of Impactful Projects- Time and energy to execute are finite. You can unknowingly exhaust yourself learning and doing things that make a little impact at the end of a year. This applies both for your company and for your career as well. One should find time to understand the potential impact of work you are doing, and if you can do better. Sometime’s giving yourself exposure to ideas and scenarios would help you identify what you can be a better use of your skills. Or even what would be a future skill to build over time? And it applies at all levels, be it you are in school working for a project or in your company or starting a side hustle. There’s always a time and resource constraint, and it’s good to check that you are investing your energies in the right direction.
Gain A Trusted Friend- We are all aware of how social media, technology, and other things have filled our lives. This leaves little time for building meaningful professional or even personal relations. So when you find someone who gives an ear to understand your situation and shares his honest feedbacks consistently. There’s a good chance that given mutual trust and interest, you have gained a reliable friendship. A friend who’s not there to join you over drinks or for a party, but can help you cross various lines of fire in your career and be a life-long friend!
There are many more reasons as you would imagine and realize at different points in life. But I’ll wrap my thoughts here and hope you would find these thoughts useful. Let me know if you have any feedback, suggestions or some other important reason that I must include here!
Best wishes for your future!