How to map your career path: 6 tips from professional recruiters

Grads Corner
15 August 2017 | Grads Corner | Guest Author


Despite the amount of work young people accomplish using their time and knowledge, very few of them can claim that it’s their career – what they’re doing is a job.

Generally, the difference they point out is that a job is something you do for pay – it doesn’t matter if you specialise in it or if you spent years training for it because all you really care about is how you derive a salary from it.

Meanwhile, a career is also something you get paid to do, but it requires your full commitment, desire for growth, and an established set of skills. When you have a career, you also have passion.

Between the two, naturally, you want the latter. You want something wherein you can find a great sense of fulfillment, and can see yourself doing for a long time as a specialist or as an established expert.

So, how do you create a career? How do you map a career path and stay on a path that will bring satisfaction to your life? The journey is different for everybody, but there are known strategies that can help with every journey toward a solid career. Here are six of them provided by Dubai’s most trusted professional recruiters.

1. Don’t let your college education determine the career you’re supposed to have

College is a great training ground and it focuses people’s minds on specific knowledge. What you study in college shouldn’t be the determinant of your career – that should pertain to your interests, values and life dreams. Just use your college education as a good foundation for your plans.

2. Take time to evaluate yourself

Having a good understanding of the kind of person you are will play a huge role in identifying the career path for you. Don’t be in a hurry to jump on the job application bandwagon and identify your purpose in life as well as the different kinds of experiences that can contribute to the achievement of that purpose. It’s also helpful to know what brings you immense joy. Studies show that a happy brain is engaged, motivated and productive. This basically means that if you have joy in what you do, there is a higher possibility of success in the career path you choose.

3. Look at the big picture

Your career path is a big picture, according to top recruitment agencies in UAE, so it truly is important to take a step back and study it. Find out what investments and sacrifices you need to make. Say, you want to be a one of a kind pâtissier; this means taking as many courses as possible to learn all the techniques and trends. This may also mean studying abroad and looking for apprenticeships that offer little to no pay. All these cost a lot of money, so you need to find a job or jobs to finance all these necessary experiences. The jobs may not necessarily be up your alley, but they pay well. This is a sacrifice you will have to make. Getting a good view of the big picture will help you determine all the measures you need to take to properly map out your career path.

4. Find a mentor

A career coach or a mentor can help you discover more about yourself – the strengths, weaknesses and potential that you are not aware you possess. Moreover, they can help you create a step-by-step system toward your career path. This will keep you motivated and in tune with the progress that you’re making. They can also assist you in finding solutions to the obstacles present in your career path so you can navigate it more smoothly and ensure your success.

5. Set a deadline

When you want to be successful in your chosen career, you need to create a deadline in order to have a sense of urgency. When you have urgency, you do what you need to do – no dilly-dallying and simply waiting for what life will bring. However, don’t let your deadlines stress you out so much that you’re forced to take desperate measures, because these may compromise your path. Break your goals down into bite-sized chunks that you can conquer easily and that will spur you on.

6. Create a network of resources

Recruitment companies in Dubai advise developing a personal network to augment your quest for opportunities that are valuable to the career you’re establishing. Your university professors, former employers, coaches, family friends, and even local government officials should be included in this network. Establishing and staying on your career path is bound to be a rollercoaster ride. There are many unexpected situations that may transpire along the way, but if you have created a map, then getting back on track to achieve your ultimate goal of success can be easier.

About the author:

David Mackenzie is a recruitment professional with over twenty years’ experience in the field and a record of entrepreneurial accomplishment, David is Managing Director and Head of HR at Mackenzie Jones. In 2003, David set up Mackenzie Jones in the UK, growing the business across two offices in London and Birmingham. In 2005 David established Mackenzie Jones in Dubai to serve the Gulf region and neighbouring countries. As the Group MD, David is responsible for the overall direction of the Mackenzie Jones Group including Mackenzie Jones, MumsAtWork, MENA Solutions, Simply Digital and ThinkTech.

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