|According the Oxford English Dictionary, 'career' is defined as one's advancement through life, especially in a profession or occupation that offers progression. It also means 'to move or swerve about wildly' and that's an important point to bear in mind! It's great if you really know what you want to do, and exactly how to go about it, but even then that doesn't necessarily mean that there's a nice straight A-Z route of achievement and steady progression ahead.
Careers can get off to a shaky start, get derailed, reinvented, stuck or end in triumph or ignominy. That doesn't mean you shouldn't have some kind of plan but don't forget that it's not a tame creature, a sure thing or something that you are always in full control of. What you want and how you achieve it will also change at various points in your life. What you want from your career at 21 may be very different when you're 40 with two children and a mortgage, or 55 with an empty nest and a lifetime of achievement or dull and uneventful responsibility behind you.
Charting your path
That said, if you want to be e.g. an accountant, a lawyer, a Doctor, a General or a Banker, then there are specific qualifications that will need to be acquired along the way, rites of passage to be observed and a limited number of employers and environments where you can achieve your goals. It's relatively easy to find out what they are and naturally you'll find those resources featured here at mygraduatecareer.com. There are many other paths that are less easy to chart and, if they are well paid and seen as quite sexy, then you'll have lots of competition and need a bit of luck as well as the smarts and drive to get ahead.
Some of the most successful people around, the web prodigies, the musicians, the film stars, the captains of industry and entrepreneurship we all love and know didn't go on a graduate training scheme to get where they wanted to be. Many, such as Sir Richard Branson, were educational drop outs or at the very least had rather unconventional upbringings. Russell Crowe became a big star after he starred in 'Gladiator' but he had a small part in Ossie soap 'Neighbours' and sang in a pop band in his early career. There's a fine line between aimlessness and serendipity when it comes to working out what we do to earn a living, but earn one we must. It might as well be as fun and as well rewarded as possible so don't procrastinate - talk to people, shadow someone at work to find out what they do, volunteer, go to career fairs. Show some initiative and a bit of spark and you might be surprised at how your life unfolds.
Very many of the jobs we do today didn't exist ten years ago and many more may not exist in another ten. So, be prepared to be adaptable and seize opportunities as they arise and you won't go far wrong.