A few years into the workforce, and you’re bound to consider arming yourself with another qualification. Thoughts of applying for an MBA programme will fill your mind because it certainly seems like a stepping-stone to success. The trouble is indecisiveness, with factors like a weak economy, insufficient savings and anxiety about returning to school, that keeps people stuck in their jobs and away from the classroom. Still, you can’t put off that MBA forever.
- Map Your Goals
A lot of people make the mistake of applying to MBA programmes just because their jobs are getting a little tedious. It’s alright if that is one of your reasons for considering B-school, but you need a plan. Map out your career the way you see it and want it. Do you see yourself in sales or marketing? Does the finance industry appeal to you more than what you are doing now? What is the difference between what you are doing now and what you want to do in the future? Of course, you could change your mind later, but having clear goals will enable you to focus better. Plus, your interviewer for MBA programme admissions can get a good idea about your passion as a candidate and future leader.
- Talk to People
If you know what you want to do after the MBA programme, start exploring your options. It is never too early. See what kinds of candidates are hired for the roles you aspire to fill. For instance, some organisations expect several years of work experience and an MBA for some positions. Other organisations may put more emphasis on candidates with an MBA degree rather than the number of years worked. Keep your eyes and ears open because you need to be aware of the typical expectations from your chosen field/industry.
- Organise your Finances
Most MBA programmes run for a year or two. Tuition fees do not scare good candidates away, since they look at it as a worthwhile investment. Sit down with your family members and see if you have enough savings to give you a stress-free study break. Find out if you are eligible for any scholarships and apply in time. Do you have to move to attend the best programme? The important people in your life have a part to play in your choice. Most of all, you need to believe that an MBA can have a major positive impact on your career path.
- Analyse Your Skills
One reason that an MBA seems attractive is the upgrade in skills that you’ll gain. A better salary and promotion are tempting. What skills do you have? And what skills are you lacking? Make a list. Be honest with yourself. The MBA can fill up the skills gap that is keeping you away from your dream job by making sure that you take advantage of the research facilities, real-world projects with corporations, and constantly updated theory.
So there is no right time. The best time to make your decision is now. Are you ready to make yourself a more attractive and relevant candidate for your next career move? The demand for efficient managers is increasing every day, and so is the demand for sharp, polished MBA graduates. You know yourself best; you’ll find the right time.