7 Core Foundations of Career Building That You Should Know

Career Planning is one of the Top 10 Topics listed on Harvard Business Review. Career Selection is one of the 4 Major Life Decisions a student makes throughout their lifetime. The other 3 are buying a house, choosing a life partner and financial planning. 

In this article, we will discuss in detail about the must-have 7 Core Principles for every career aspirant. 

Those 7 core principles will make the aspirants move forward along with the timeline, and it also helps to achieve their career goals.

1. Set Clear Career Goals

One of the essential factors among these 7 core pillars is “Goal Setting”. Aspirants must be clear with the goals; they must be clear about where they want to go and how they intend to go.

Imagine this: In your hands, you have the keys to a luxurious, top of the line, custom-made Lamborghini with a full tank. How do you feel; top of the world, right? Now, let me ask you this…. Where would you take it for a spin? Almost anywhere and everywhere around town, right?

Now imagine this…. In the dashboard of your custom made Lamborghini is a clearly marked map of your next destination. Not just any destination, the map to a place where you will get a higher and upgraded model of your Lamborghini. Get it?

Planning for your career works in the exact same way. Your Lamborghini is your skills, the customization is your unique personality and characteristics, and the full tank is your energy and enthusiasm to achieve results. You are already sitting in a Lamborghini.

The best way to map the goals is to use the SMART method.

S – Specific

M – Measurable

A – Attainable or Achievable

R – Realistic or Relevant

T – Time-Bound or Timely

2. Know Your Strengths

When the aspirants draft their goals with a clear vision and mission, it would be helpful to reach the target without any hassle.

The most common mistake people make when starting off their career (or even decades into it) is that they try to mirror or rather copy what others around them are doing without realising that what works for others may not work for them. No, am not saying that we should not learn from others, all I am saying is to LEARN and not blindly copy.

Below factors are the combinations of your strengths: 

  • Personality
  • Interest
  • Aptitude
  • Vocational Preference and
  • Emotional Quotient (EQ)

Once you begin to learn more about each of these aspects, you will be able to identify your strengths.

For example: If your personality is “Social” then working in isolation will directly affect your emotional state and of course the work that you produce.

Here’s another example: If you have a low “Numerical” aptitude. You pursue a career where you are required to work with numbers day in and day out, guess a guess at how you are going to feel throughout the day however if your “Spatial” aptitude is strong and you are working in a creative space – You Will Excel!!!!

The secret is to know your strengths and build on them, and your Lamborghini will fly through to your destination.

3. Self Branding

This is an important factor among the 7 core pillars. You can showcase yourself to the world through self-branding.

Also, you can understand well about what you can do well, and how you can help the world with your skills.

Don’t ignore this if you are a college student or in your 20s. Sooner you start the better it is; especially now when practically everything is online.

The 4 essentials when working on building your brand:

  1. Your Message
  2. Your Image
  3. Your Personality
  4. Your Content

4. Showcase your Skills

One of the ways of attracting recruiters is to keep pushing your pale resume out to them over and over in hope of getting noticed.

The other way is to attract them to you instead. Sounds cool doesn’t it?

Read on….

Keep in mind that the best way to land your dream job or an assignment is to be referred by someone. A reference has a greater chance of surviving the resume rat race than any other path that you take.

Now, how do you create a referral? How do you get someone unknown to know about your work and feel confident about talking you up for a job or an assignment?

Simple; showcase your skills. The “Someone” has to see you, get to know you through your profile know your skills through your content and ultimately know what you are looking for.

Here are 5 easy steps to get started right away.

Step 1: Use available platforms: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Quora, Twitter, YouTube, Free blogging sites

Step 2: Write down 5 things that you are confident to talk or write about

Step 3: Start creating content (don’t think much) just start and publish

Step 4: Don’t look at the stats till you have published at least 10 pieces of content

Step 5: Repeat Step 3

If you are a college student, an early professional or a seasoned professional this strategy will work for your irrespective of age, experience, industry or even language.

Remember, the idea here is to “ATTRACT” not “ATTACK”.

5. Keep Upgrading

As you move forward in your career journey, 5 skills that you MUST acquire to cut through the clutter are:

Skill #1: Writing

This is the best way to express yourself and get noticed, especially if you are not comfortable with recording a video. Write an article, a blog, a story, a “How To…” article, a self-help guide, an E-book, a poem or even about incidents that have taught you something. Writing a page daily will make your mind clear and pave the way for new thoughts. 

Skill #2: Video Blogging (Vlogging)

Videos are the best medium to get your message across and a sure shot way to avoid misinterpretation of your message. Learning this skill will not only improve your chances of getting noticed but once you get good at it, it could create a parallel opportunity for you as well.

Skill #3: Networking

Master this skill, and you will be able to magnify your influence every day. LinkedIn is the most trusted and most widely used professional networking platform in the world. Get down and start using it. Spend your valuable time in LinkedIn every day to intentionally grow your network and build professional relationships.

Skill #4: Get industry certification or accreditation.

The most common, yet highly valued certifications are:

  • Six Sigma (SSB)
  • Project Management Professional (PMP)
  • Microsoft Tools (Master Certification)
  • NLP Practitioner
  • Global Facilitation Skills (City & Guilds)
  • Agile Certification

Find the one that will take you to the next level or will add credibility to your profile.

6. Grow Your Network

"Your Network is Your Net Worth" – Tim Sanders

Network Intentionally, Professionally and Emotionally.

Networking is like an act of planting seeds and watering them every day. 

Just as the law of nature works, every seed will grow and bear fruit if you water it regularly and give it the needed nutrition.

Have clear goals for your networking efforts, such as:

  • Find Common Connections
  • Connect with mentors / professionals / industry leaders
  • Build Your Tribe (Followership)
  • Build connections for job prospects
  • Invite for collaborations / partnerships

Each of your networking goals will need a different strategy or approach.

7. Fail Forward, Build a Growth Mindset

While you apply these 7 core principles in your career building journey, always remember that it can enhance your career prospects.

Change is Hard at first, Messy in the middle and Gorgeous at the end – Robin Sharma

5 Things that will keep you going:

  • Learn from your Failures
  • Focus on Solutions
  • Be Persistent
  • Try New Things
  • Don’t Be Too Hard on Yourself

In summary, your career building journey is the same as any other project you work on, just that we never see it like that. Just as you go through a planning, execution and measuring process in any project, your career needs the same amount of attention to detail.

About the Author

Dharmesh Suryavanshi is the Founder & CEO of Mind Map Factory, with over 18+ years of global corporate experience, He is now on a mission to help 100,000 students & professionals get the career clarity they need to grow faster and stronger in the new world.

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