Two Options for Career – In or Out of the Rat Race


Occasionally i am asked a question by students, friends and others who are seeking a career guidance about what position they should apply for, should they take a certain position on offer, what degree or certification they should get now.

To all those i ask a simple question. “what is your plan for the next years of your life”. Few remain mum at this, few get confused and few say that “i want to be happy”. To all these answers i give them two options to choose from.

Option 1: You really want to build a career with a company and want to remain in the job market?

If yes – then do not compromise on the position status. Seek for the best position in the market. If you are a manager and someone is offering a Sr. Manager position – you can go for it (while keeping your guards as to investigate the company, the kind of business the company is in, what values the company has and promotes etc. ). You must seek the best relevant certification, degree etc. Because when you will apply for any company in future, your previous job experience, your job role, your designation, your time duration with a company and your degree counts.

We fail to get through a resume check for two reasons 1) we do not place items in a resume where they should be placed, thus our main points in the resumes beats the eyes of the recruiting manager. 2) we fail to show consistency and achievements in our resume. A company that is hiring needs two major things from you in resume 1) a consistency in career 2) gradual up word career transition. If these two things are not in your career, they cannot be in your resume. These things cannot be in your resume if you have not planned your career as such. So if you really want to remain in the job market for rest of your life or career span – you need to focus on these important aspects of your career.

Option 2: You do not want to remain in Job market and want to be self employed? If yes. You need not to worry about the position a company as to offer to you. What you need is a plan for the next two to three years when you gradually shift yourself from the job market and build your own market. This process is for those who are already in the job market and now want a shift to self employment. They need time to get out of the market and for this they must have a plan for two to three years for transition. (The number of years can be customized looking at the personal motivation and profession/industry choice). But for those who are just about to start the work and have not done any job, i advise to plan now and do not enter into the job market. Once they are in the job market it will be difficult to get out.

For all those who opt for option 2 above – it is not necessary for them to specifically focus on what designation they are offered in a company, what degree they must have, because all their degrees and designations are not bound by market forces. Their degrees and designations are bound only by their own vision for the future. They are clear (once they have chosen option 2) that they need a personal capacity to create a change in their professional and industry life. Hence they need to focus on their vision for the future rather than the designation, role and certification they must take in any company. If the designation, role and certification serves the purpose of their vision it is welcome, otherwise just remain focused for the next three years of gradual removal from the rat race (job market).

Published by Umer Raza

He is currently Managing Partner for Abundance Business and Consulting and previously held full time positions at Trans World Associates as Head of Human Resource & Training, Faisalabad Serena Hotel & Islamabad Serena Hotel as Manager Human Resource & Training and Crescent Bahuman Ltd. as Team Lead HR & Training He is authorized trainer, consultant and Coach for National Business Development Program of Government of Pakistan for SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) and a nominated trainer and visiting faculty member for Pakistan Industrial Technical Assistance Center (PITAC).   He is Chartered Member of Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) UK. and author of three books “Choose or be chosen”, “Chahat (The Want)”, “Becoming an Entrepreneur”. Umer is married to Dr. Atika and the couple has three daughters. He can be reached at and his twitter handle is @BhuttaUmer

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