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All too often, we have seen people make strategic mistakes with their career. It is not that they are unintelligent; in fact, quite the opposite. Many very bright people have also made fatal career decisions that they have come to regret. Case in point, Mr K.

Mr K holds a double masters degree in Computer Science and Business. He had been a government scholar whose career was well mapped out while in service. Hence he did not really have to think about his career progression.

When Mr K left government service, he was appointed IT Director of a large organisation and continued to draw an upper-middle income. So far, his career was doing well!

Then his mother fell ill and being a filial son, Mr. K decided that he will take a temporary break from his career to take care of her. One year turned to two, and two to four. With his savings depleted, he decided that he had to return to the workforce. But the situation had changed by the time he rejoined and was not able to find a similar type job prior to leaving. Hence, he took a lower level job with the intent on building on it.  And build on it, he did! He was soon promoted to Assistant Director and his career is picking up again. 

Unfortunately, there was another family issue that forced him to quit his job and take care of his children in the hopes that it would solve his family issue and allow him to get on track with his career. It took longer than he expected and two years later, he re-entered the job scene again!

Yet this time, he was not even able to secure a job! After 8 months of trying to secure something, he was finally hired to do an administrative role in a small company drawing less than a quarter of what he used to.

You might think that Mr. K's case is unique but this has happened time and time again! While we commend Mr. K's filial piety and family loyalty, it was based on a misplaced notion that we can take a career holiday and still come back unscathed. This is not to imply that we CANNOT take breaks in our career; we can. But we need to be strategic about it and not simply jump from one circumstance to another.

Our Career Strategy programme helps you apply strategic thinking to your career management so that you enjoy career fluency! Find out more about these concepts and more at our next Career Strategy workshop!

Don't make the mistake that Mr. K did! Ensure that you have the tools to make the right career decision every time!

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