This is easy to ask, but really hard to answer. What’s more, it takes time to figure it out. Before jumping into any decision, the most appropriate thing to do is find some time in the schedule In order to research and talk to several experienced people.
For those who are early in life, it can be difficult to identify what’s going to happen throughout the rest of their time in this world. Even though nowadays there are so many tools to help you plan your future, there are some personality aspects that are settling down. It is completely normal and they should not be afraid to ask for professional guidance.
On the other hand, there are people looking to change their career direction. This is not wrong at all, but it is not easy either. According to a survey performed on New York professionals, successful professionals expect to change careers at least three times throughout their lifetimes. So, don’t worry, lifelong careers are not a rule.
What is a Career?
First of all, it is important to answer this question. After all, different groups may differ about its meaning and communication is key here. For some people it is just a part of life that has to do with employment, while it is the group of jobs that people hold during their lifetime for others.
However, career has a broader and life-encompassing meaning. It is nothing more than the series of decisions people make in order to direct their social, economic, educational, spiritual and political endeavors and project their own personality characteristics as well as their most intrinsic life values.
How to pick your perfect career?
Certainly, there are A LOT of options out there. But don’t panic! It is not as difficult as it seems, you just have to be a little patient and control your emotions during the process. Nowadays, there are many career paths and an appropriate one for everyone. No matter how advanced you are in the process, it is always the right time to get into what you love.
Perform a self-assessment
The first step before doing anything is assessing yourself. Perform a self-assessment is important to think about the person you are, the things you are good at, what you actually enjoy doing and how you see yourself in the future. In that sense, here are some questions you could ask yourself to find career ideas that would match your skill set and interests.
If you would like to go to college
- Which subjects did you like the most at school? More importantly, why? Is it because you liked the way a teacher performed? Is it because you spent a nice time with your friends doing that? Or is it something you can actually relate to?
- In which subjects did you perform the best? Why?
- Out of numbers, visuals, words and physical activities, which one do you like the most? In which of these do you see yourself doing every single day in the future?
If you are changing your career path
- Why don’t you like your current job? Is it because it doesn’t excite you anymore? Is it because you have been there for way too long? Is it because you are being undervalued or underpaid?
- If you were in another job that pays way better, would you still do it? Would you do the same job in a place were your work has more impact but without getting paid?
- What do you actually like doing? Are you good at it? Why do you like doing it? Is it because of the excitement or does it pay better?
Make a SWOT analysis
After gathering all this information, you can do a SWOT analysis. It is quite easy. All you need is paper, a pen and to be completely honest. No one has to see this test but you, unless you would like to consult other people. The idea is to put in writing your strengths, your weaknesses, the threats that you could find in the way and, of course, your goals.
Once you have that it is much easier to find the skills you already have and create a path to follow toward a defined goal.
Identify your must-haves
Once you understand yourself better and always keeping that information in mind, it is time to go through your must-haves.
Make a list of careers
In order to do this, the best you can do is make a list of career in which you involve everything you need and want from the desire job, as well as everything you are good at. Once you have that, you should prioritize what is most important. So, try to rate each aspect from one to five.
Now, be careful not to fall for the idea Hollywood has sold for years of getting a dream career. Certainly, there is one in fact, more than one, but it may not be the one you thought at the very beginning. Try to be open-minded here and select the options that you see yourself doing in the future, more than five is ok.
If you already have qualifications for the options you picked, that’s great. If you don’t, avoid getting discouraged about it. It takes time and effort to build them. You’ll get there at some point, which is what really matters.
Then, match the criteria you already did -including the SWOT analysis and must-haves- and notice the ones that are compatible.
Research jobs and employers
At this point, you will want to research the different jobs and employers. Although many people think this step comes later, the truth is that doing it early brings many advantages to the person who is choosing a career.
On the one hand, it will provide information about the job. In this sense, you will have a heads up on everything you need to do in order to build a great resume: from the type of experience you need to call the attention of the employers to the knowledge and skills you have to acquire before getting on the market.
On the other hand, it is important to manage your expectations. That way, you will know what you are getting into before it all happens. It saves you time and effort from entering a job you may not like in the first place.
Get training and update your resume
Then, it is time to get some training and update your resume. There are several ways to do it and you can use the one that suits you the most. However, getting an internship or a job first will provide an advantage that most beginning competitors will not necessarily have, which means extra points in your application.
Updating your resume is equally important. It is not worth all the effort in the world if you are sending the same resume to everyone. First of all, you have to make yourself visible. So getting a great layout and matching colors are a good way to start. Second, use all the information you can provide as simple and natural as possible. Try to tailor it for the employer in order to provide relevant information that sticks into the recruiter’s mind.
Find and apply for jobs
There are a number of websites that post a number of ads that will match your skills, knowledge, personality and everything that your profile includes. Filter your research in order to avoid wasting time and go for the jobs that are in your experience level.
Continue growing and learning
Adjusting to a career takes time. Be patient and learn everything you can about your new job. Enjoy the process because it gets harder over time. Learning and improving your skill set is part of growing as a professional. However, remember to keep doing this process after some time. Pëople change their perspective and accomplishments and you will want to reflect that to stand out in the industry you picked.
Why is Choosing a Career so Important?
Not so long ago, professionals did the same thing as their parents. There was no place for anything else. Choosing a career is part of the freedom everyone can enjoy today. Don’t miss out the opportunity.
In addition, a career is a way of learning, improving and growing on a professional level. It does not matter if you want to have more than one career. What’s important is that you start with one and then go to wherever your heart desires.
Choosing a career is a difficult process. It does not only takes time, but also planning and lots of effort. If you are interested in going through this beautiful and amazing process, just work on it as strategically and hard as you can. You’ll see incredible results in little time.