Career or not? e-book
10 Factors for a Successful Career Start
Who are you, dear reader? A young person by date of birth or by spirit, full of energy and romance, of desire to change the world?
What are your dreams? To fly to Mars? Jump high? Win ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ or the Eurovision Song Contest? Study at Ivy League schools? Establish a leading global company? Erect an edifice which deserves to be on the cover of architecture books? Win the Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting? Become a smart policeman like Lieutenant Horatio Cane from Miami? Discover the cure for cancer or a vaccine for the coronavirus? Direct a film and win an Oscar? Become a leading blogger? Build a new generation of hydrogen automobiles? Invent the most sophisticated computer game? Get a Nobel Prize for astrophysics? Become a teacher for disabled children? Reform your country? Write poetry? Sing on Broadway? Have a successful career?...
Come on, what are you waiting for? This world and this century are for people like you. You can do more than your parents: travel anywhere, communicate everywhere – through foreign languages, keyboards and social networks, or just with your eyes. Read anything, say everything, criticize anything, create everything. You are the hero of this book. This world needs you now.
Just never stop dreaming!
In this book, I have tried to systematize knowledge, views, and experience for successful career development. Today’s career is like a decathlon competition. But you never know when the next contest starts, what the sport is, and who the competitors are. You always need to be ready for everything. It might sound stressful, but it is this unknown and this diversity which make life romantic and interesting. I will be happy if this book is useful to readers of all ages and all roles in life – college and high school students, professors and teachers, parents, employers, and professionals.
Nikolay Vassilev, CFA
- Nikolay Vassilev, author;
- © Fidelia Kosseva, book cover design;
- © Ciela Norma; Sofia, 2020.
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Who was this book written for?
Everyone who has worked with young people can make some comments about their career development. In this book, I have tried to systematize the knowledge, views, and experience of successful professionals who have been through this cycle over the last two-three decades – former students, current professionals and employees at modern companies, employers, and professors.
This book can be useful for:
- current students who are worried about finding good jobs;
- students who have already graduated and are wondering why no one is offering them good jobs;
- younger high school students who are planning where and what to study and what career to have afterwards;
- parents who would give everything to see their children successful and happy, but do not know what and how;
- university professors who have the highest responsibility of preparing their students for the future challenges in the labor market – but they seldom do that;
- employers who are often dissatisfied with the ‘product’ rolled out by schools around the world.
Nikolay Vassilev is Managing Partner at Expat Capital, the largest independent wealth management company in Bulgaria. He was a member of two governments of the Republic of Bulgaria, serving as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy (2001-2003), Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Transport and Communications (2003-2005), and Minister of State Administration and Administrative Reform (2005-2009). Previously, Nikolay Vassilev was Senior Vice President at Lazard Capital Markets – London (2000-2001), and Associate Director at UBS (UBS Warburg Dillon Read) in the Tokyo, New York, and London offices (1996-2000), working in the area of equities and emerging markets. He was also a tax adviser at Coopers & Lybrand in Budapest, Hungary (1993-1994).
Nikolay Vassilev holds a Master of Arts degree in International Economics and Finance from Brandeis University, USA (1997) with two exchange semesters at Keio University (Tokyo, Japan), as well as two Bachelor’s degrees from the State University of New York, USA (1995) and the Budapest University of Economic Sciences, Hungary (1994). He has been a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charterholder since 1999. He speaks English, Hungarian, and Russian and has basic knowledge of French, German, and Japanese. Currently, Nikolay Vassilev is a member of the Board of the Bulgarian CFA Association. He is the author of three books in Bulgarian language – “Energy” (2009), “Menu for Reformers” (2014), and “Career or Not?” (2018). The latter was modified and published in Hungarian in 2019 and in English in 2020.
I. Foreword – why did I write this book? 7
II. Who was this book written for? 10
III. Let us dream together 14
IV. The US and much of the rest of the world
seem to be on different planets 16
V. The new dimensions of the career
in the 21st century 19
VI. 10 factors for a successful career start 31
1. Language skills – is English
enough in this century? 31
2. Computer skills – let us not fall behind 39
3. Exchange programs with foreign universities –
an alternative to the deep countryside 41
4. Professional internships –
throughout the student years 56
5. Professional internships abroad –
not only ‘work and travel’ programs 63
6. Is there a good CV outside the US at all?
Or American football? 67
7. Are we ready for an interview? 101
8. Social networks, e-mail address 102
9. The career starts early and goes on all life long 105
10. The role of professional contacts. Networking 108
VII. A hypothetical career scenario:
José Sánchez from Bolivia 112
VIII. What is missing in this book 130
IX. Conclusion 132
X. Acknowledgements 133
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