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Future Plan

Via Twin Cities : Working Strategies: Spotlight on Gen Y: Planning Your Career

Young adulthood has always been a challenging stage of development. In addition to new responsibilities and privileges, the situation comes complete with all the big life issues: Which career path to take, how much training to go for, when/whether to start a family, where to live … Exciting, yes, but also overwhelming.

For the next year, I’ll try to help by devoting the second Sunday of each month to career topics relevant to young adults roughly 25 to 35 years of age. These are the folks who have the majority of their work lives ahead of them, along with all the decisions and planning that entails.

A good way to launch this series is by providing a career-planning template that offers structure without being overly rigid. Such a tool can help you steer your career while unlocking additional advantages, such as the opportunity to link long-term goals with near-term job options, and to leverage perks like tuition reimbursement for their full value.

The process itself isn’t particularly complex or mysterious, although it does require some setup. Think of it as a kit with three pieces, similar to the simplest desk from Ikea. The pieces themselves might be put to some use individually, but they reach full utility when they’re bolted together into something larger.

I’m not sure I can stretch that metaphor much further, so let’s move ahead to those pieces.

Piece 1. Lists of your personal and professional goals.

To make each list more useful, choose items that are meaningful but also measurable. For example, “Reach a supervisory level at work” or “Purchase a house” or “Finish college” would all fit the bill, while “Succeed professionally” or “Have a happy home life” would be too vague.

Piece 2. A list of the careers or job titles you’d like to try.

Depending on your curiosity, this list could easily grow to several dozen. It’s fine to start with a long selection, but try to end the exercise with three to eight options. In this case, vague is fine. For example, if you’d like to try something in health care at some point, you don’t need to decide now which role it would be.

Piece 3. A timeline that stretches from your current age to 60 years into the future.

For flexibility, this might be best started on a long piece of paper or even a white board. Eventually you may decide to transfer it as a work-in-progress into digital form.

Putting the pieces together is the next step. I recommend dividing the timeline into five-year increments, then shading the sections that pertain to your expected worklife. Hence, a 25 year-old whose timeline extends to 85 would have 12 five-year sections marked off, with the shading extending perhaps to age 70 when she anticipates she’ll stop working.

Now the fun starts. Use a pencil to transfer items from Piece 1 (personal and professional goals) onto the timeline. Since people tend to peg their goals to their age, it helps to write those numbers along the bottom of the timeline before starting this step.

Once you have your goals organized onto the timeline, turn your attention to the career and job ideas you’ve listed for Piece 2. These you will drop onto the timeline to be conducted in five-year increments, in whatever order seems most logical. For example, if one of the jobs is physically demanding or requires extensive travel, that one might land in the first five-year segment when you’d likely be healthiest.

For the moment, it’s fine to have multiple job titles occupy the same five-year segment, or to have one title stretch over several segments. (You may decide to use sticky-notes so you can move things around easily.)

By now you’ve probably realized that a benefit of this process is its visual nature. Writing down your goals first assures they get precedence in your planning, while adding the jobs helps you recognize opportunities and risks.

For example, an education goal can be an opportunity when paired with work that offers tuition assistance, while the same goal could be at risk from a job requiring extensive travel.

To finish your career template you’ll need to settle on which jobs belong in which slots, at least for the first 10 or 15 years of the plan. Career counseling and research can help you make these choices.

Once you’ve reached this level of planning, you can set the template aside in favor of a to-do list directing your steps for the near-term goals. At this point, you’ll have absorbed the basics elements of your plan into your consciousness enough that it will be guiding you even without having to refer to it.

via Indian Express : Why it is important to plan career during school days

Every movement of the clock’s hand is a realisation that we are being ushered into a world far removed from the protected school zone. Each passing moment brings us closer to the biggest challenge of our life — entrance examinations and deciding our future path.

At this time, students like me are conflicted on how to prepare and which course they should opt later. Many try to prepare for the Board exams and entrance exams simultaneously, while others simply focus on the boards and ignore entrance exam preparation until later. I feel the former option is the best one. There is a wrong perception that competitive examinations and career options become relevant only after board exams. I have, however, seen students preparing for different careers as early as Class 9 or 10. This pushed me to look around for options for my own future.

I attended various career counselling workshops which helped me recognise the skills I would need to excel in different fields. They provided me with specific strategies to pursue a variety of career paths successfully. They even compelled me to question where I would like to study. I began to ask myself whether I wanted to study in India or pursue a course abroad. Career counselling answered many of these questions and also provided me with a list of qualifying criteria required to apply for a course at a foreign university.

I believe that students require career counselling at an early age to help them choose the right stream (science, arts or commerce) in school itself. We should be able to decide what we want to do in life by the time we leave school.

This decision does not mean that we keep only one course in mind. I feel it is equally important to have a sound back up plan just in case the career path we initially chose does not work out as we had planned. I have applied for four or five courses in universities in case I am not able to get admission into the course I desired first. I found these courses by browsing through the web.
There are multiple educational sites and professional institutions that keep us in touch with the latest alerts on registration dates, application submissions and selection procedures. With the dawn of technology where all the information is accessible with just a click of the mouse, we are reaping rich dividends by being mentally alert to cope with the twin pressure of board as well as competitive examination. I have been practising various sample papers of different entrance examinations and trying to get a feel of the actual test for which I have to appear.

Another thing that students require at this stage in their life is lots of support from parents, teachers and well-wishers. For students like me, these people play a crucial role by beating back stress and motivating us from time to time. Parents and teachers need to keep and eye on our schedules and mentor us when we need encouragement. Parental guidance is one of the most vital elements for the choices we make.

I feel that when a student develops a clear career path, things get much easier. Knowing what we can do in the future relieves us of some of the pressure that piles on at the end of our school life and helps us fare better in the boards and helps us better tackle any entrance exam or hurdle that life may throw in our paths.

via T&D : Students urged to plan for future

A veteran of the tech industry is encouraging high school students to prepare for their careers now.

“You’re going to put your plan in place right now,” Scott McGregor told students Thursday. McGregor is a global program manager within the World-Wide Sales Training organization at Cisco. “Nobody’s going to give you anything because you were raised in a single-family home, nobody’s going to give you anything because you’re black, nobody’s going to give you anything because you’re poor,” he said.

McGregor spoke to more than 150 high school seniors from Orangeburg and Calhoun counties who attended a youth forum on Thursday at Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College. McGregor encouraged the students to take advantage of their schools’ career service departments to begin applying for internships.

“You’re going to go right to that career services and say, ‘I want to talk about internships,’” he said. Taking steps early allows students to stand out from their competitors. “When you start early as a freshman, realize that in two or three years, however long it takes you to get that degree, you’re going to get that job,” McGregor said. He advised students to watch what they post to social media sites. “You need to start guarding your integrity and start guarding your personal life right now,” he said. “The entire world doesn’t need to know your business.”

McGregor said businesses use social media to research potential employees before hiring.

“You don’t want to give anybody the opportunity to keep you from doing what you want to do because they think they know you,” he said. “Don’t let people say who you are or what you’re about because you’re from Orangeburg, or because you’re from Aiken, or because you’re from Manning.” “You write your story,” he added. “Today is today, and you are in control of everything, and every decision, and every step you take from today and today forward.”

The annual Youth Forum was sponsored this year by the Lower Savannah Council of Governments, the S.C. Department of Commerce and OCtech with the goal of reaching high school seniors without post-graduation plans. LSCOG Workforce Administrator Andre Anderson said, “It’s always very beneficial to have someone come and talk to the young people about how they can move forward with their careers.” Joni McDaniel with the Department of Commerce said they always try to bring in keynote speaker who can connect with the students and ensure students understand the need to be qualified coming out of college.

Allendale-Fairfax High School student Jerome Polite said he learned that it is never too early to start. “It was a very inspiring speech and motivational,” he said. “Getting out there and doing it can put you ahead.” Polite plans to attend Clemson University in the fall and major in accounting.

Tori Rutland, a student at North Middle/High School, said she and her sister will be first-generation college students and feel the responsibility. “We really do have that responsibly on us to go to college and do something with our lives,” she said. “We’ve got goals.” Rutland plans to major in mathematics at the University of South Carolina-Aiken.

“What I really liked from what he said was when he said don’t let anybody stop you,” Angel Haigler said. “You have regrets, but you can still accomplish whatever it is you want to do.” Haigler is a student at North Middle/High School and felt that she really needed to hear McGregor’s words. “There’s a lot going on right now,” she said. “You’re trying to figure out what you want to do, where you want to go.” “To have people come and talk to you and help guide you in that direction is really nice,” Haigler added. She plans to attend OCtech in the fall, noting that she wants to be a registered nurse.

Via Malaysia Kini : As computers become increasingly more powerful and sophisticated, a World Bank official has warned that it is increasingly replacing medium-skilled, medium-pay jobs.

World Development Report 2016 (WDR 2016) co-director Uwe Deichmann told reporters in Kuala Lumpur today that education programmes need to teach students skills that can complement the increasing automation, rather than skills that technology would replace.

He said the biggest risk of increasing automation would not be mass unemployment, but the polarisation of the labour market between low-skilled jobs and high-skilled jobs.

“In Malaysia, like in many other countries, it is estimated that half of all the current jobs can actually be automated or computerised.

“Traditionally that used to be factory-type jobs such as automobile manufacturing and so on, but increasingly there are also white-collar jobs. Office jobs are being automated.

“What is happening is when people lose this kind of jobs, some of them would have the skills to move to a higher-paying job, but many of them don’t and would have to compete for lower-level jobs that are non-routine but don’t pay very much such as being a janitor,” he said.

Deichmann said globalisation and urbanisation play a role in the phenomenon as well, but digital technologies are nevertheless an important driver.

This would take many years to play out and would increase overall productivity, but is also socially disruptive as it increases income inequality.

“The key implication, of course, is that education becomes more important, and not just to provide any education but what type of education is provided.

“So you want to provide the type of education that would be valued in a 21st century labour market,” he told reporters after a presentation of the WDR 2016’s findings at the report’s Malaysia launch.

Deichmann also highlighted that Malaysia is well-poised to take advantage of the adoption of digital technologies owing to its healthy business environment, which he said is on par and even exceeds that of many European countries.

However, the actual adoption rate of digital technologies is lagging.

‘Start-up ceiling syndrome’

Meanwhile, Multimedia Development Corporation (MDEC) CEO Yasmin Mahmood lamented that many Malaysian start-ups have languished under what she terms the ‘start-up ceiling syndrome’, where the company is unable to consistently rake in an annual revenue exceeding RM1 million.

This afflicts 92 percent of companies in the Multimedia Supercorridor (MSC), she said, and only two percent of MSC companies were able to become global players that earn over RM100 million in annual revenue.

“Hopefully with the Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre (Magic) in the ecosystem now, the quality of the start-ups is going to improve, and therefore we’ll have the commercialisation for start-ups be on the more aggressive trajectory,” she said.

As for the financial sector, she said the industry’s productivity growth has flatlined and even declined despite heavy investment in digital assets, while productivity in the manufacturing sector is not increasing as quickly as it should.

On its part, she said the government has conducted a pilot programme at a vocational school in Jeli, Kelantan, to teach digital marketing.

She said the government has gone as far as lifting a ban on civil servants from holding a second job so that the teachers can become practitioners themselves, and the students have enjoyed some success in their online businesses.

Also on the panel are Treasury secretary-general Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah, who highlighted Malaysia’s efforts to promote access and skills in digital technology such as by teaching programming at the primary school level.

Source : MALAYSIA KINI | Computers taking over office jobs, warns World Bank

Via The Edge : As the growth of the Malaysian economy is expected to slow down in 2016, Malaysians are increasingly concerned about job security, with the number of professionals here who have expressed fear of losing their jobs more than doubling since the fourth quarter of 2014 (4Q14).

That was the finding of a quantitative study by recruitment service provider Randstad, called the Workmonitor Year-in-review.

Randstad Malaysia country manager Ryan Carroll said with the volatility in global financial markets and weakening commodity prices, the Malaysian Finance Ministry has forecast in their 2015/2016 Economic Report that gross domestic product growth (GDP) in 2016 will decrease year-on-year (y-o-y).

It is expected to moderate to 4%–5% in 2016, from 4.5%–5.5% in 2015.

“This expected slowing of Malaysia’s economy could be one of the reasons why we see more Malaysians being worried about their job security — rising to 13% from 6% in the past year,” he said in a statement.

However, despite the growing concern, a number of Malaysian professionals have expressed confidence in the external job market, when compared between the fourth quarter of 2014 and 2015.

Over 7 in 10 (74%) employees surveyed expect to find a comparable job within six months, the study showed.

However, this opinion varies in terms of age groups, with 80% of professionals in the 25 to 34-year-old age bracket expressing this confidence, compared to only 56% of those in the 55 to 64-year-old age bracket.

Nevertheless, Randstad noted that an executive briefing by Scotiabank showed that the Malaysian economy has continued to record solid growth, albeit slower growth, and that the country is likely to see real GDP growth averaging 5% y-o-y from 2015 to 2017.

Carroll said this positive outlook for the Malaysian job market was reflected in the percentage of employees who have changed jobs within the past six months, which is 43% in the second half of 2015 compared to 35% in Hong Kong and 26% in Singapore.

“According to our Workmonitor results, the highest percentage of job change was seen in the transportation (67%) and food product manufacturing (63%) industries,” he added.

Job satisfaction has also increased by 4% y-o-y, with 75% of employees expressing satisfaction with their job, said Randstad. The chemical manufacturing industry topped the list with 88% of employees expressing high levels of job satisfaction, it added.

“Malaysia has been stepping up its R&D (research and development) and manufacturing capabilities in the life science industry in an effort to grow itself as a hub for the Asia-Pacific region. Employers’ efforts in attracting and retaining the best talent in the industry may be attributed to the high levels of satisfaction,” said Carroll.

The Randstad Workmonitor was launched in the Netherlands in 2003 and now covers 34 countries around the world, encompassing Asia Pacific, Europe and the Americas.

The Workmonitor Mobility Index tracks employee confidence and captures expectations surrounding the likelihood of changing employers within a six-month time frame.

The quantitative study, with a sample size of at least 400 per country, is conducted via an online questionnaire with those aged 18 to 65, who are working a minimum 24 hours a week in a paid job.

Source : THE EDGE | Malaysians increasingly concerned about job security, study shows

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