What makes career decisions so hard? Being a career decision coach, I come across many people who struggle with tough choices, because they really, really don’t want to have any regrets. While you can’t be 100% sure of choosing right but, going back to the basics certainly helps in determining the way forward.
The career choice you make determines a large part of your life. After all, you spend a great deal of your life working. The choice for a career or profession is not easy. The quicker you make the right career decision for yourself, the sooner you can start being passionate day-to-day for the same. Your career must be something that you love to do and not all about just making money. Working towards something you love changes the way you treat people, the way you react to negative situations, and even the time you spend with your family.
What is holding you back from taking a big career decision?
Not knowing what you want. You need to be clear about what you want in your career. When we don’t know what we want, oftentimes it’s because we let the fear of the unknown into the driver’s seat of our life or we ignore the gut reactions that we drown out our own internal voice.
While choosing a certain career path or making a career switch, it is very important to carefully find out what are your interests, motivations, and ambitions. The first step to choose a career is to explore yourself and your personality, interests, and Abilities. You can do this by means of career counselling. Career counselling gives you a clear insight into your talents and interests. It tells you which area of expertise as a profession will be suitable for you.
The more aware you are, the better decisions you can make for your career.
Self – Awareness: Helps you discover your own guiding values and interests, which will help build a better life and a career of your choice.
Career – Awareness: Helps you understand and explore the meaning of different career options, specializations, and future prospects.
Decision – Awareness: It helps you learn and apply life skills to be proactive, competent, and prepared in your life and career journey.
Tips to Make a Good Career Choice:
Following are a few tips on what to consider to choose the best career options.
1. Assess Yourself
Before you can choose the right career, you must learn and know about yourself. Your values, beliefs, interests, soft skills, and aptitude in combination with your personality type can identify the occupations that are a good fit for you and eliminate the ones which are not appropriate.
Consult with career counsellors and apply techniques to gather information about your traits and personality to generate a list of occupations that are a good fit for you. People who choose to work with a career counsellor or other career development professionals can help them navigate through this process.
2. Keep all options open
It is always preferred to not narrow down the options to a smaller number while researching for certain different and alternate career choices as per the hobbies and interests.
And it adds the advantage that the person can become flexible enough whenever they need a change in their job. It can keep a career graph linked and broad to apply.
3. Keep the greatest strengths in mind
If you play by your strengths, there are more chances for success. Hence identify your greatest strengths, even though it may mean starting out in a particular course as a trainee or an intern.
When a person chooses and decides according to their biggest attributes, they discover the career that prefers them completely in a way that they get the job satisfaction and lifestyle they were seeking and can enjoy their workspace fully.
4. Talk to people: Conduct Informational Interviews
Start doing more in-depth research. Meet and converse with people who work in the occupational fields in which you are interested. They can provide firsthand and internal knowledge about the careers you have shortlisted. Build your network, including LinkedIn, to find people to have these informational interviews. You can ask them questions like:
- If they are enjoying working in this career after this long time
- What is the best thing they like n their job or why do they love their job
- If their personal and professional life is balanced or not.
5. Know about the market
While you are deciding what career to pursue, you should also study the market conditions before making any decision, scan all the conditions, and make an appropriate analysis of the market. By doing this, chances are better that you will identify something which fits you much better
6. Identify Your Goals
Identify your long and short-term goals. This helps to define a course towards eventually getting work in your chosen career field. Long-term goals typically take about three to five years to get fulfilled, while it usually takes six months to three years to fulfill a short-term goal.
Use the research you have done about required education and training as your guide. You can take the help of a career counsellor as well for your research. Once you have gathered all the information you need, start setting your goals.
7. Go for passion
All of us have a certain passion which we love doing on an everyday basis and the best way to benefit from this passion is to be to turn it into a career. Why not do what you love to do and earn as well.
8. Prioritize certain tasks
Make a list of all the careers you would like to consider doing. Once done, prioritize that list based on the above factors to differentiate between most to less suitable career options.
It depends on asking yourself a few questions like what do you value the most in your job? : For example, money or travelling or interacting with other people. When all these questions are answered you can proceed towards making a final decision in choosing a career
9. Maintain an action plan
A career action plan which includes all the necessary steps to reach the primary or the initial goals that have been set by the individual should be prepared. It can help you reach point any errors low to high in an appropriate manner so that mistakes can be taken care of.
10. Understand the financial income
Although a person may love a certain career or is passionate about doing something, they also need to realize that this career choice should also meet their basic financial needs for the future and should satisfy them.
Though we all need happiness in our career which we get when we pick something we love doing, but money also plays a complementary role in our lives to get all the instruments of happiness that we desire. Hence considering finances is also an important aspect for career decisions.
“The career choice you make should be the one you shortlist as per your innate personality, interests, and abilities.”