Tactical Career Planning for Mature Students

Tactical Career Planning for Mature Students

By: ASAS School

June 1, 2018


Having a sound career not only gives you financial independence, but also provides the social and societal recognition that you deserve. Moreover, a career path promotes the personal growth and development of a person. Having a realistic and attainable career plan in place is important.

Why is Career Planning Important?

Before we talk about the importance of career goals, it is important to know that everyone nurtures a dream or aspiration to become what they want. For some people, it is about landing up to a dream job, or setting up a business where they will be their own boss.
Such major objectives might be difficult to achieve unless there is a proper career plan. Having a career plan in place also helps the students to plan a course of study that would further help them attain the career of their dreams.

2 Ways to View Career Growth 

While most of us are likely to follow a straight line in our career advancement planning, there’s some other ways of looking at one’s career progression as well. Experts termed these approaches as Horizontal and Vertical career approaches.

According to Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer at Facebook, the only reason men are ahead in the career game is that women refrain from taking risks, as they are too focused about the upward trajectory. Sandberg suggested that career choices must be done evaluating the underlying growth because a comprehensive growth moves everyone up.

According to her, career growth can be defined with two different approaches -Vertical and Horizontal growth:

  1. Vertical growth is best exhibited by the concept of climbing the corporate ladder. The aspiration would involve holding positions within in the hierarchy of a workplace system.
For example, a salesman whose job only involves field or door to door selling may have aspirations to lead their own team as a sales manager someday, and would keep on giving outstanding performance to reach his goal. Many baby boomers prefer to stay in the same company for job security, and doing the same work for decades. With routine tasks assigned to them, there is hardly any room for creative thinking. Though promotion introduces new job roles, the nature of the job is essentially the same.
  1. Horizontal growth adopts a different approach in identifying the underlying growth prospects for the individual. Contrary to belief, career progression or job promotion does not just involve the simple transfer from one department to other.
Even though a horizontal growth might include a complete shift into another field, there is consideration to the candidate’s staff with career growth prospects. Millennials might be open to this sort of career pathway as working for an organisation is more than receiving paycheck to pay check. They might value working for organisations which are ethical, value corporate social responsibility, and addressing with environmental issues.

Would you be open to a horizontal approach or only vertical movement in your career path? It is important that we stay focused on our dreams and aspirations to make the most of our career planning. What is yours?

7 Suggestions Before Returning to School

To attain your career aspirations, it might involve returning to school as a mature student. This can be a challenging decision, especially if you had left school for several years. These are some things you can consider:

  1. Do visit the school premises or college campus in person, or take part in the admission related events like Open House or Course Preview
  2. Research about the school’s reputation. For instance, are they registered with Committee for Private Education https://www.cpe.gov.sg/.
  3. Ask about the school’s entry requirements and admissions process.
  4. Worried about juggling too many roles? Dip your toe in by signing for shorter certificates or courses, and see if these grant you credit towards their advanced certification.
  5. Check if your employer will recognise the qualification you plan to pursue, and if they will financially support your studies.
  6. Speak to your family about your career aspirations and seek their support and understanding about reduced family time.
  7. Allocate time where you can study without interruptions – this might even include the public library or community centres.

Arium School of Arts & Sciences offers diplomas specialising in Psychology, Criminology, and Sociology. Many of our students are working adults who juggle family commitment on top of their studies. As a result, our classes are usually held on weekday evenings and we offer instalment schemes to support their financial obligations. ASAS provides both Specialist Diplomas suitable for those without degrees, and Graduate Diplomas for those who already have a degree. 

Check out a complete list of the numerous certificate and diploma programs which ASAS offers here!