"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans"
Yes it's great to live in the moment, go with the wind and be care-free. However, it never hurts to think a little bit further ahead ! This is about your life, your career and where it's going. The generation of our parents lived by the rule : get a good education and the job, life and happiness will follow suit. But for those who haven't been reading the news, times have changed !
My very good friend, Saoud Moco, is one of those rare people who once decided he would change the world, and made incredible efforts since then to achieve his goal. From his tiny Mauritius Island, Saoud paved his own way to England and then to France, where he is about to become one of the most successful entrepreneurs. Who better than him can give advice and insights on why and how to get a career plan.
The world is moving faster than ever, technological innovation is revolutionizing the way we live, eat, work, think and god knows what else next. In a world where Obama's selfie gets tweeted in Beijing within seconds, do you really think the world will wait for you to hop on board ? Really !
Out there is a world of opportunities, for those who are "tuned in" and aware enough to seize them! You could be one of them, not one of those letting the train go by and watching. So how do you get "thinking" about your career?
Work on yourself
If you want the girl, then you gotta be the MAN !! So you need to look inside you, at what you are - your strengths and weaknesses - to become more confident. Confidence comes from knowing what you want, you can't fake it, or not too much ! Because you can't blame the rest of the world for not having what you want.
Only then will you be able to work towards a goal. If the goal isn't clear, you don't have a path to go on. If you don't know which opportunities you'd want, you can't put forward your best assets. And when the moment comes by, you'd miss it simply because you will fail to identify that it was a REAL opportunity for you. Flashback to your sweet teens - imagine the girl DID come around but you were not confident to go up to her or kiss her!
Same happens when an opportunity for a promotion comes to you. If you don't seize it, somebody else (who HAS a plan or/and enough confidence) will. And even if that happened to you already, it should be a valuable lesson to learn from. Having a plan is not that much of rocket science. It's about knowing yourself and applying common sense.
Ask questions and make decisions
If anything has to come out of this reading, it's that I've managed to get you asking the right questions and making informed decisions. When buying a car, we would think about what category of car we want : sports, family or city driving for domestic cars and for professional driving we'd be thinking about whether we'd be transporting goods or passengers and so on. The same applies (or should apply) to your career. Are you going for a fast-track path because you're passionate about what you do at work, or do you need to pay the bills and prefer living your passion outside of work? And what if you could get both?
Find your passion
There is no right or wrong answer, only the next question. How do you go about finding your passion? Once my best friend asked me this question : "How would you spend your time if you never had to worry about money for the rest of your days?". After hearing my answer, he then told me that this was to be my passion. Of course, there is no magic question nor answer to say which is your passion. Simply asking yourself whether you like being around people, or happier number crunching is a start. You learn a lot from talking to close friends and family as well. Once more, it's about finding yourself - then you'll get the soul mate ;-)
Be a person of values
My third and final point is about fixing yourself a goal and knowing what you need to achieve it. For some it might be financial independence and for others it might be to leave a pedigree (mind you there are infinite nuances in between that are all fine too!). I chose to become an entrepreneur because I realised that my satisfaction came from creating - creating products and experiences. And since then I strongly encourage others to go find what makes them tick too - what matters most to them. The reason is simple, when everything else stops, you'd still be going ! Your passion will drive you through good and bad times, and will rally people around you that share the same passion and let's hope so, the same values.
Stay tuned for the next episode. The world is going round and round. Until then, make sure you get ready, and don't forget working on your CV ;)