There are 6 rules I followed to plan my Career:
1. Put Learning over Earning: Most folks look for instant gratification. In the initial part of my career I focused only on earning, I quickly realized my mistake.
2. Find out where you Stand: Are you being paid more than your skills? The easiest way is to go to the market & check. I used to do this frequently probably my own insecurity but also to find out where I stand. Giving interviews is the easiest way to find out where you stand
3. Take Risks: Trying new things, is also a learning experience. I was not clear about what I wanted to do, hence I tried my hand at many things till I found it. These included changing industries, roles, & quitting my job:)
4. Networking to Give: Building networks by giving freely. Connecting people together so they can be benefited. I tried to help people find jobs or opportunities. I did this for many years slowly the network started to give back to me.
5. Take Initiatives: Picking initiatives, projects, volunteering, helping both the organization & my colleagues. I remember my first unpaid external consulting project helped 150 people in an organization. Job shadowing & interning can be simple ways to do it.
6. Forever Upskill: Pursuing both formal & informal learning throughout my career. This was through certifications, trainings, education, programs.
I also realized that there are 6 common MISTAKES we make in our CAREER:
1. Moving jobs for Money: This gets you nowhere, but in India, this is probably why most folks move jobs. If today the salaries of data science are reduced by half all the hype will go away. I made this mistake. Infact taking paycuts for learning is good. I did it a few times in my career.
2. Moving jobs for a Bad Boss: I never made this mistake I stuck longer with bad bosses so I learnt so much more. This is tough. I stuck on for a few years with the worst boss I had. It changed my life completely.
3. Not Managing Politics: I was bad at politics, hence I struggled in political organizations. Actually most organizations are political.
4. Frequent job moves: I made frequent job moves it did not help. Thinking through why is so important. Good companies donot hire jobhoppers.
5. Not taking Risks: I took up different roles all the time in my career, I loved taking risks. Most folks don’t take enough risks hence they don’t progress fast enough. Taking risks for learning is essential.
6. Not having a Career Roadmap: Most folks don’t have a clear roadmap for their career. This is why quarter-life & midcareer crisis happens as well. We need to have a clear direction. Choosing learning over earning is so important. I made this mistake initially but mended it soon. Do what you love to do. Love what you do.