We will start off with a little exercise. Imagine that you are the principal of a school and are hiring new teachers. You stumble upon two candidates. One who lacks an undergraduate degree but has been in the field of teaching for years. The other has a degree from a fancy university but has no experience whatsoever in teaching. Imagine how interview with the two would be like and try to mentally decide who you would hire for your school.
The Blend of Education and Experience
It is true that an individual’s career is made up of two important elements, experience and educational background. Education gives you the knowledge and practical experience gives you an environment to apply that knowledge. When you undertake these two elements together, you are likely to understand the true nature of a career.
Everything that Glitters is not Gold
A concept in psychology states that not everyone who is a high achiever in class has a bright and prosperous future. The perfect answers on the examination paper do not entirely reflect the intellectual capabilities of an individual. Some individuals have good memories and do not entirely grasp the concepts. In short, what they know is limited and very on surface rather than being deep in understanding.
To understand this concept better, imagine a student doing a degree in business. The student is clearing the examinations with flying colors and is considered to be the top achiever of the class. Expectations are sky high. However, in reality, there is not much success coming towards this individual. In fact, this business graduate had a tough time finding a job. The reason for this difficulty can be attributed to the fact that the individual did not learn much from their coursework. There are others in the story however, those who were average students but managed to get great jobs with their knowledge. Hence, what matters at the end of the day is the information you add to the fountain of knowledge.
Nobody wants to know what is in the Books
When you build a career, what you study from the books is not entirely applicable in the real world. You might have seen several students agonize that they don’t understand the use of calculus in real life. In reality, only a small proportion of what you learn in school is applicable in real life. Therefore, when you begin a career, enter it with the motivation of learning. Get ready to expand the horizon and move beyond the books.
As an example, let’s go back to the career of teaching. When you teach, your audience, the children, do not wish to know what is in the books. If you are reading from a book, they can do the same as well. Even if you have been a teacher at the same school for about a decade, no one will care about the number of years you worked for, everyone will care about the information you share. The students would want to know what is beyond the books. Therefore at this point, it wouldn’t matter for how long you have taught at a school; rather what you know will make you stand out.
How to Sharpen what you Know
Career, as mentioned previously, is an interesting blend of knowledge and experience. You can learn whenever and however you want to, the only element you need is the readiness to take in information. You can sharpen what you know in a month, in a day, or in a year but if you don’t do it the right way, then even after being committed to a certain organization for several years, your sphere of knowledge will be hollow.
For instance, take an example of an internship. Even though you work for some place for a short period of time, you join hands with an organization for an internship with the aim to learn. When the aim is present, you will be like a sponge: just absorbing knowledge and expanding with information. For any career and for any stage of life, keep in mind the following pointers to be successful in your career:
- Understand that what matters is the give and take of learning and information. Checking into your job every day and then leaving at the appropriate time is not the key to a successful career. Move around and see what you are missing out on.
- Be aware of your surroundings. In every organization, whether a school or a multinational company, there are different departments and sections. You might not be aware of what is going on in the other section. Its functionality might not be your forte, but if you want to expand what you know, take out time and visit that department. See what you have been missing out on and learn.
- Socialize and mingle with everyone. There is no better tool for learning and growing in life than to socialize and learn from fellow human beings. When you interact, you vicariously learn how to be with others. You learn to differentiate between the right and the wrong, the good and the bad and much more. The knowledge gained from socialization is more than in applicable in a career. When you have better soft skills, you will automatically have a brighter future and career.
- Take a break and travel. Immediately after socialization comes the idea of travelling. When you have a job and a career, it is important to move away from it and observe it from a distance. To do so, you can take a break from work and travel. When you travel, you can add many different things to your box of knowledge.
When you know more, you are likely to adjust better into the world. Your adjustment will not only reflect off your practical life, but also your social life. When your career is stable and progressive, it is to move you towards a more content life.