Choosing a career is one of the essential aspects of our lives. It is not just about picking a job; it’s about deciding how you want to spend your future. From the beginning of your career to your retirement, you spend most of your time working. We are on the job, almost 75% of the time in a year. It means that if you start a career in your mid-twenties and retire in your late forties, you spend most of those twenty years on the job. Therefore, it is crucial to pick a career that satisfies you.
There are many different career paths that one can take. While some are lucky to know what they want to do, others may find it a bit difficult to choose. Carelessly choosing a career path without much effort can bring in future regrets. They end up unhappy and dislike their jobs. You can avoid this by thinking through and selecting a career that you will love. Are you finding it challenging to decide on one? Don’t worry. You can simply follow the following steps to help you evaluate and choose a career that best suits you.
1. Perform a self- evaluation exercise
Learn more about yourself. Think about where you are now and where you want to be in the future. Discover the skills and road that will help you get what you want in the future. Your dream job should go hand in hand with your strengths and interests. What do you find fascinating? Is it cooking? Teaching? Exercise? Take some time to assess yourself and discover what you’re good at.
Also, make sure that the path you are choosing is beneficial for your personal growth as well. Many people look after the high salary jobs but fail to look at the stress and long hours that are on their way. If you are willing to surpass these things, then there’s no issue. But if you are unwillingly taking any path for the sake of a high salary and in case you don’t feel satisfied with your job, it will create many problems for you.
So, look out on the skills that you have and those you wish to acquire. Knowing what you can do will enable you to eliminate career paths that do not suit your character.
2. List down potential career paths
Now that you know what interests you, use that knowledge to select possible career paths that correlate to your interests and skills. Choose five to ten of these to make it easier to narrow down later. If you are a bit unsure about what to choose, you can try online assessment tests. The test evaluates your data and suggests some career paths based on your information. Don’t shy away from career paths that you know little about; they may come to surprise you after further exploration.
3. Explore your options
Take the time to learn about all the occupations on your narrow list. Explore everything about them, education requirements, training, job opportunities, estimate salary, job duties, and the ability to grow and get promotions. You can get information on the internet or from relatives and friends already working in those fields. An informational interview with willing professionals is also a great way of learning. Some universities hold open career fairs that you can attend to learn the educational aspect of the careers on your list.
4. Pick your career choice
The research gave you a better understanding of the different career paths. Probably along the way, some of them no longer interest you. Scrap those off the list first. With the remaining few, make a thorough comparison between them. Check which one you feel best suits you. Choose the one that matches most of your skills and will not bore you soon. Take into account what you want for your future and decide on a career path that will help you and achieve that.
Even if the career path does not pay well in the beginning, but you have an immense desire to ramp-up your skills in the same, then you should not think more about it. You will gradually become more productive and skillful in what you are doing. This small yet powerful rising graph will add more potential to your career, which ultimately makes way for high salaries.
5. Set your goals
Now that you have decided on your career path set goals, you wish to achieve in the future. The goals should be both short term and long term. Short term goals are limited to a 1-3 year timeframe while long term ones take between 3-5 years. Use the information from your research above to create these goals. They should be SMART, Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound. Goals will help you keep your mind focused. It will not be easy to meet them, so prepare to work hard!
With the goal-setting process, you should also be precise and consistent in what you are doing in your career. You will be able to reach your goals only when you are honestly doing everything that is meant to be done. Don’t make any space for procrastination so that you don’t get distracted from achieving your goals.
6. Write down your career plan action
Create a road map of where you want your career headed and how to achieve this. Remember to include your ‘set goals’ in the plan. Outline the steps you need to take and dot down all possible barriers on the way. It will guide you and prepare you for your struggles along the way.
It will also help you determine what things should be prioritized and what things should be not. With this, you will be able to focus on only essential things that you should keep in mind while working on your career path.
7. Get the required training
It is dependent on your career path. Some careers may require getting a degree, while others require vocational training. Getting this gives you a great start on the skills and knowledge to work efficiently.