On Career Building

Today, a friend of mine, Yashesh, shared with me an article from the NY Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/23/business/23corner.html?pagewanted=1). This article consists of an interview with Barbara J. Krumsiek, chief executive and chairwoman of the Calvert Group Ltd.  The last Q&A within it, I found to be noteworthy of sharing:

Q. What’s your career advice to new grads?

A. You are not going to know where you’re going to wind up, so if you think it’s all about researching and finding the exact right place for you, forget about it. I thought I was going to go on and get a Ph.D. in math and teach. You never know. So I try to help young people think about not putting too much weight on it. Just try to get a job that looks interesting.

You want to be part of a good company. That’s important. But if you can get a foot in the door at a good company and a job that’s moderately interesting, it doesn’t have to be the last job of your life. And you can learn an awful lot about who you are. There’s no way that an undergraduate education teaches you anything about the working world. ”

When I personally reflect on the above, I found it to be so true. When I finished my graduate degree in 2006, I was not sure what I wanted to do. When I had the opportunity to join Direct Energy, and its IS Leadership Development program, I viewed it as an opportunity to launch my corporate career and see where this journey took me. In the last 3 years, through working in various positions I have been able to discover my true passions both within my day-to-day job as well as my career. My advice for new graduates, to re-iterate Barbara’s words, is don’t fear if you don’t have a solid career plan as you graduate. The most important thing is to work for a company that recognizes its talent and their development, and has a plenitude of  opportunities and roles to enable this self discovery process. With energy, drive and passion you will go where you want to get to once you figure out where that is. I would like to conclude that all of the above resonates with a particular passage from Seymour Schulich’s – Get Smarter in which he mentions that the 20s is a stage of experimentation in your career.


Omar Halabieh


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