Imagine you are an independent individual who has a lot of time on their hands and is wisely utilising that time to decide between finding a full-time job or continuing education. As you research your career prospects, you may face a dilemma – Do I work? Or should I study further?
This is where you should stop for a minute and ask yourself, “What do I REALLY want?”. Your answers may consist of a high-paying job, becoming an expert in a particular field or maybe even starting your own business. These are just some of the options you may have thought of, in a world full of endless opportunities. But there is one thing that will guarantee you success and that is, finding a full-time job.
Now, when I say a “full-time” job, I don’t mean the regular 9-5 desk work that gets you paid so you can save for a world trip. A full-time job for an individual who is yet to decide what they want from life is not limited to working and getting paid. If you really want to live a life that serves you, you must start with building your professional profile. The profile you create for yourself is the ultimate vehicle that will take you places – to work for a top organisation or to get into the best university in the world!
However, you need to invest all your time in building a profile that reflects your personal attributes, your experiences, and capabilities.
What Exactly Is A Profile?
A profile of an individual is a complete outline of their life experiences. The things they have done in the past, their achievements as well as their interests. In other words, it is a written representation of your personality and a gateway that will pave the way for all the things you want to achieve in life. Ultimately, your profile will be what sets you apart from the rest of the competition and highlights what you can bring to the table.
How To Start Building Your Profile?
No matter where you want to go or who you want to be, your profile such as a CV or resume will be the first document that represents you, before someone even gets the chance to talk to you. Therefore, you must remember that it is your only chance to make a great first impression. Achieving a first great impression is a challenge so here are some steps to follow to create an outstanding profile.
Master The Skills Relevant To Your Field
While you are applying for a job position in your dream company or are looking to specialise in a particular field of study, you must also dedicate some hours of your day to learning and practicing some hard and soft skills that are associated with your area of interest. Say for example, you are interested in landing a managerial position in a company and are exploring opportunities for your career progression, you might want to make a note of some of the latent expectations one might have from a manager such as communication, budgeting, decision making, and finance to name a few. Being aware of the latest developments in your field of interest is always a bonus, so make sure you learn new skills that align with the contemporary world.
Test & Achieve
It goes without saying that you should always highlight the things you have achieved in your CV. But what if you haven’t really had any opportunities to win at something? This is your cue to dedicate all your time to find out the things you could do to make your CV shine! You could spend time applying for competitions and preparing for them, take up certifications from learning institutions or even companies. Make sure that the things you choose to do provide evidence of your participation such as your ranking in competition, assignment scores, and certificates.
Explore And Find Your Unique Selling Proposition
In order to cut out the competition, you must spend time figuring out what you are extremely good at and its relevance in the marketplace. For example, the demand for data analysts and scientists has skyrocketed after the Covid-19 pandemic according to several news sources in India and Australia. One reason for this is the increase in the use of digital technologies such as digital applications, transactions, and communication. A data analyst who not only knows how to code (because that is a prerequisite to becoming a part of the digital world), but also understands psychology and human behavior will be able to convince almost anyone that they are not just good at making sense of big data but can also use it to solve real-world problems. In this case, having knowledge of human behaviour would become the candidate’s USP and would automatically set them apart from the crowd.
Therefore, invest some time in exploring your latent areas of interest and use them to your advantage. Remember that it is all about what you bring to the table that will make your profile strong.
Get Some Experience
Now, remember that having theoretical knowledge is very different from getting hands-on experience. No matter how strong your academic background is, your scorecards are not enough to make you stand out. In order to practice what you have learned, you must get at least some experience in your field. This would make it easy for you to quantify facts in your resume and convince the person reading it that you are not completely new to the subject. In some cases, you may have to make do with unpaid internships but remember that getting experience is a reward in itself and a priceless one too. Remember to get as much exposure as you can as it will also help you decide whether you want to continue in a particular field or explore something else.
Grow Your Network
If you have set out to succeed in life, you should build a relationship with relevant people in your field of interest. For example, you may be interested in working in the field of fashion but do not exactly know how to get started because you might not be fully aware of how things work there. In this case, your network will come to your rescue and guide you in paving a way for your entry into the fashion industry. Make sure you do your research and connect with professionals on LinkedIn or through other websites that allow you to establish connections with other people. Your network ultimately becomes your net worth and the more people know you, the higher your chances of landing your dream job just based on goodwill and good reputation.
Work On Your Digital Presence
As mentioned above, the Covid-19 pandemic has decreased the reliability of offline modes of communication and has encouraged communication through a virtual setup. As a result, it has become increasingly important to have digital footprints on the internet. Now when I say presence on the internet, it is not limited to having a social media account. While social media is also important, you may want to dedicate some time to publishing research papers, contributing your two cents in the form of blogs, or even collaborating with people who share similar opinions and interests.
Having a full-time paid job or being enrolled in a university are only secondary elements in forming a successful career. While these two are important aspects of professional life, one must first consider building a strong profile in ways that are mentioned above in order to cut out competition and become an outstanding candidate for anything they set their eyes on. Since the first point of contact between the industry you want to be a part of will always be your professional profile, you must treat building your profile as a full-time job while figuring out your calling.