Career Planning Mistakes You Should Avoid

8 Apr

I have been in the recruitment industry for more than 10 years now and in all the seminars that I’ve held, I have been asked by a lot of people this question – “What are the things that I should avoid doing when I am planning my career?” What shouldn’t you do when you’re planning your career? Take note that it’s not just college kids who ask the questions, but also people who are not satisfied with where they are right now.
If you’re going to plan your career, know that it’s never too late. I have met a lot of people well over their 40s just finding the job of their dreams.
Here are some of the things that you should never do:

1.) Avoiding ladder climbs. We have to start from the bottom. When you’re planning your career, you should always consider the fact that you’re going to start somewhere and that somewhere is the BOTTOM. Before I became an HR specialist, I worked as an assistant for close to 3 years. If you’re aiming for a managerial position, plan the steps of the ladder. Know how you’re going to start and aim for that before you start your climb.

Avoiding career counselling
2.) Avoiding career counselling. What better way to help you plan your future than to talk to a counsellor? Career counsellors will help create your career path or clarify your career goals. College students will have access to these specialists, and they come in the form of their counsellors. These specialists aren’t just there to help you with your problems, but they will find the time to help you plan for the future.

3.) Avoiding continuing education. A couple of years ago, I talked to someone who wanted to be a headhunter. He has a background in business management, but he lacks the skills needed to be a headhunter. I advised him to take up I/O or industrial/organizational psychology classes to equip him with the skills he needs, but he declined. 2 years later, he came back to me and told me that he has had no luck. I told him to take up the classes and he did. He got his Master’s in Industrial Psychology in 2 years and is now working with me. Master’s degrees and PHDs should always be a part of your career planning because they will help you secure your dream job or career. Remember, an undergraduate degree can only take you so far.
Time and time again, I have reminded my clients of what they should do and shouldn’t do. The little things can still make or break your career plans, so pay attention to what you are doing and what you will be doing.

Career Planning Tips for Fresh Graduates

31 Mar


The science of career planning and job hunting is not rocket science, but it is just as difficult. For fresh graduates, there is no better time to plan your career than the moment you first set foot in college. Personally, I have had to deal with career planning throughout the 6 years of stay in college. The first 2 years were spent like how adult individuals undergo midlife crisis. Everything is just riddled in confusion and bewilderment. Career planning is just that: confusing. Can you imagine planning something that you will end up doing for 30 or 40 years? As a headhunter, I understand the frustration that college students face when they do career planning.
So, I will make it simple for them. In my seminars and workshops, these are the philosophies that I share to everyone – be it a college freshman who just got out of high school or that confused senior who still think he took the wrong course.

1.) Find something you love doing. If it’s not something you love, at least something that won’t be miserable for you. People change jobs faster than they change clothes because they hate their jobs. They hate it because it makes them feel miserable. This is a common dilemma and numerous researches have shown that unhappy employees are very unproductive. I have known this particular banker with a degree in accounting who hates her job because she wants to be an accountant for the bank, but they hire her as a clerk. She worked as a clerk for 5 years before calling it quits. If the job offered to you is not something you want to do, don’t take it. It’s as simple as that.
2.) Consider internships or apprenticeships. I have advocated the practice of getting into internships simply because they are one way of getting the job you wanted. If you are considering a supervisorial position in a bank, you have to start from the bottom even if it means getting an unpaid internship. Always have internships as your options.

3.) Consider graduate programs. The job that you want doesn’t mean that they require undergraduate degrees. For example, if you want to secure a managerial position, you need more than just a Bachelor’s Degree in your given field. I believe that you shouldn’t stop expanding your knowledge simply because you have a degree. In order for you to get better at your job, you need to consider graduate programs that will allow you to land the job of your dreams.

4.) Pocket your pride. This is by far the most important aspect of career planning. Just because you graduated from a good college doesn’t mean that you’re above everyone else. Do not use your college name as a means to get to your job. This will not work in the real world. Some specialists may be intimidated by the fact that you graduated from Harvard, but if someone from a community college has more to bring to the table than you, you will be their second choice. Use your school as a stepping stone to acquire knowledge and skills, and not as another form of leverage.


Career planning is easier if you have a philosophy. You can adapt mine and I will brag that it has worked for a lot of people. People who’ve had a hard time looking for a career were able to find the jobs that they want within months after they attended my seminars.

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