Making That Career Choice got you confused? Here is A Little Help.
Let me tell you a story, my story;
After four years of tertiary education in the prestigious University of Benin, Nigeria, I left the four walls of the University with two things; a certificate in my hands and a huge slab of depression breeding within my chest. I was 22 at the time and hadn’t completely figured my path out yet. I had graduated with great grades but with a not so great accumulated sense of direction, it was tough. I had learned a passion for four years but was finally faced with the reality of that passion; answering the question of “how do I transform it into a career path that yields lifetime sustainability?”
Well, to cut the long story short, it did take a lot of time that mostly involved an un-learning and re-learning process to finally get my ship off the ground and my sails pointed in the right direction of life.
Let’s face a fact; majority of us, have been faced with the dilemma of knowing what to do with our lives at one point in our journey or the other; be it as a high school student who is trying to figure out his/her major or a college graduate who has just completed his/her degree and is trying to figure out what’s next. It is not abnormal, so if you are currently at this point; not to worry you are not alone. Even better is the fact that you can be helped. So stay with me.
First of all, I believe making a career choice is an important life decision that would probably determine the course of a lot of other important things in your life, hence, it is one that must be made fully aware, fully guided, being realistic and early enough too. That is why I advice that parents and intending parents of this age should help their kids by exposing them to tools and experiences that would aid them in selecting a career pathway in life, from the very moment they can say their first words (personal opinion though and a topic for another discussion).
Apart from the usual pressure from family, friends and society that is constantly pushing us to perform; choosing a successful career pathway in today’s world has gotten a bit more complicated on a whole new level as well, especially, as we currently live in a time where technology is growing at the speed of light and machines are replacing humans in various job spaces and industries. Choosing a career pathway right now is no longer a thing of “just follow your heart or passion”, but applying your passion to global trends and realities around you.
Let’s get to a few tips that’d help you in choosing a career.
- Know Who You Are
The first step I believe to choosing a pathway for your life is introducing “you” to “you”. Know your strengths, your weaknesses, your personality type, the kind of environments and people that help bring out the best in you, the kind of lifestyle you’d like to have and the kind of person you see yourself becoming.
- Identify Skill Sets
Let’s start by identifying what versatile traits you possess, for example; Are you skilled at being technical and can easily fix things with your hands? Are you good with numbers? Are you good with designs?, or is it at organizing people?Identifying what kind of skills you possess and are particularly interested in, would aid you in deciding what kind of career path would much likely suit you. In case you don’t have any one that you can easily point your hands at; you might also want to consider what kind of skills you have the capacity to learn and apply yourself to and how relevant they would be financially; and in the future judging from global realities.
- Who Are The People That Inspire You The Most
Although this might be considered a bit inconsequential, but taking a list of the top ten people that inspire you the most and whose lives you wish you had, might just be a helping hand in deciding what career pathway suits you. Picture those people in your mind’s eye and then ask yourself, ‘What are the particular traits in the lives of these people that make you like them?’ Answering this question might just be the launch you need to make a decision and what trainings you need to become a professional at it. I particularly know a couple of people this has worked for.
- Seek Professional Advice
Another tool is seeking the help of a trusted career counselor who can help you with deciding what career would be best for you. This career counselor might also help you by giving you a few career assessment exercises with which to deduce what career path is great for you. If you are not privileged to a counselor, there are tons of websites on the internet that can help you with career assessments exercises for free.
- Be Willing To Take Risks and Try New Things
One key to success in life is flexibility, be a person that is willing to put themselves out there again and again. Be willing to take new shapes, try out different things and ultimately go out of your comfort zone to get what you want.
- Be Confident. Be Patient. Be Resilient
Once you have made the decision of what particular career you want to pursue you have to be confident in going after it. Get the right training’s, the right resources and stay around the right people that would help you get there. The road won’t be easy, you may have to build from the very scratch up; it would take a lot of doggedness, determination and hard work to hit the success mark.
There are no small jobs or careers, there are only small minds. However, this does not mean you should be unrealistic.
These are just few useful tips to help make the task of making a career choice easier. Truth be told; there is no set way of making perfect full proof plans for the future- that is the beauty of life, surprises might spring up on you along the way or you may even discover new things about yourself along your journey, however, if you apply any of the tips provided above; it guarantees you considerable help in plotting a graph for your career path in the immediate future.
Victor O. Barry is a Writer, Teacher, Life Coach and Public Speaker. At the core of his being, is the passion to generate and develop ideas into working systems and also to inspire people towards bringing out the best in themselves.