Your career should not just be allowed to happen . You need to manage it – just as you would manage anything else which is important. As an MBA program participant/recent MBA graduate – you are inevitably at an important career decision stage. A positive and clear view about your future career must be the background against which you make any immediate job decisions.

This is a complex and very personal subject – but here are some general points. Get further information /help/advice – if you think you need it.

There are some basic things to consider – Self Assessment, Career Tactics, Personal Development and Scanning

1.     Know yourself

Think about your competences and your achievements.

Do this regularly – as both you, and the world about you change.

As a minimum – you should do this for yourself – but on occasions you might choose to get some help eg get others to assess you if possible- eg as part of an annual appraisal – or a ‘360 degree’ assessment . You might also get professional help from career professionals – such services are often offered to MBA students as part of a placement service

You should aim to achieve the following

·        List your existing competences. If possible compare them against published competence profiles for particular levels of jobs, and thus -

·        Identify your competence gaps/weaknesses

·        Be clear about your present values – i.e. what influences your behavior

·        Be clear about your current objectives – i.e. what drives you

·        Decide which of your competence gaps are important – i.e. which you will need to repair

·        Identify ways to gain these missing competences

·        Decide if a career will help you get closer to your objectives and fill the competence gaps.

2.     Career Tactics

In general people who feel that they are in the right career- aim to develop their career in a ‘linear’ manner – step by step onwards and upwards. However if you feel that you are in the wrong career – don’t hang around for your world to get better – get yourself into a better situation - you will need to take the risk to get the right opportunities – they will not come to you.

3.     Self Development

Your development is your responsibility – not someone else. As a manager your professional development is what you do for yourself – not what someone does to you. You need to make it happen. But remember development is not just about taking courses like your MBA – it is about benefiting from experience. The most important and influential thing you can do for yourself is to equip yourself to recognize formative/developmental experiences and to be equipped to benefit from them. Try to manage your career such that you are regularly faced with new experiences. – consistent of course with being able to cope and being seen to succeed.

4.     Scanning

Keep looking around yourself. Benchmark yourself against people you know – e.g. your contemporaries - and for this (and many other reasons) keep in touch with them and meet regularly. Look for opportunities – and let it be known that you welcome them. Don’t set your sights any lower than the people who you consider to be your equals

Be prepared to take risks - especially in the early part of your career.



1.     Recognize your knowledge/skill obsolescence - just as important to managers as to technical people

2.     Be prepared to make sacrifices – success does not come easy

3.     Don’t expect someone else to be responsible for your career – even if you are in a large organisation and even if they tell you they will look after you! Usually organisations have different priorities

4.     Don’t try to copy someone else – but do try to learn from them

5.     Try to be visible – you are aiming to promote yourself

6.     Cultivate relationships with people who will/can influence your career

7.     Don’t make excuses, or deceive yourself if things go wrong – assume it was something you should have managed better -and learn from it

8.           Sell yourself on your accomplishments.

9.           Try not to let safety begin to be sufficient

10.      Associate with people you admire – some of it will rub off

11.      Build and sustain a stable and supportive family situation