Choice of a right career is one of the most critical decisions of one’s life, especially when there are so many options available. There will be many people who will have as many suggestions for you, but none of the people out there knows your dreams, talents, and aims. In addition to your own family and circle of friends, you will also meet many career counsellors and people from the industry who will try to introduce you to the latest trends which have worked for many others. They are not wrong, but the only difference is that all those suggestions are not filtered and have not taken your personal aspirations into account.
The most important person with you should spend time to get your career advice is yourself because it will ultimately only affect you in the long run. You cannot afford to pick a career to please others; they will not stand by you daily to undertake the responsibilities associated with it. You have to thus, take a pause and reflect on your strengths and areas of interest.
Here we are trying to give you broad guidelines on how to pursue your passion for reaching your goals. The aim is the assist you to boil down to a career decision which will reflect your true self, your wants and is also in tune with the constantly changing career and job ecosystem. It is also to make you realize that in this decision, you are the best judge, so it is you who has to step forward and take charge of your future.
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- Prepare Your Mindset: You have to understand the difference between the choice of picking up a career and picking up a job. These are two completely different territories and have to be dealt with differently. Your choice of career at an early stage will determine the kind of jobs you will be getting throughout your life. You may progress in your field, but the underlying career will remain the same. This fact makes this choice more critical.
You have to prepare your mind to focus on your energies and work to select your core competencies and passion. These will take you a step closer to your dream career. Another important point is to realize that such decisions are based on a lot of forethought and are not taken in a rush. The first step is thus to train your mind to assimilate information without getting influenced.
- Don’t Be Influenced: This is especially directed at people who you will meet at home or outside, and they will leave a new line of thought with you based on their own experiences in life. Everyone will have specific choices and suggestions based on their interests and what has worked best for them. All this information should not be outrightly rejected, but as it is said that it is equally important to know what is not important than knowing what is important. In this context, it will mean that you should know what advice to take and from whom.
Many times, it is not the elders but the peer group, which acts as the major influencer, especially in the case of teenagers. If someone is not sure about the choice, he or she can think of following the most popular or most attractive career picked by their peers without digging deep into what it actually takes to get to that career. One can get easily influenced by other peers and may start acting in a manner which is not right for them. Again, it is important to realize that one should not get swayed by others and reflect on their strengths.
- Keep All Doors Open: It is very important that you have a broad outlook and do not proceed ahead with a narrow approach but keep all the cards on the deck. This means that you should be considering all the career choices which interest you and which are available. This will add a pinch of flexibility to your decision and approach. This also means that all these options which you consider will be somehow linked to each other. This spread of options will also make your vision more clear and give you more satisfaction as you will know that you have made your mind after thoroughly considering everything you thought you could do or wanted to do.
- Know Yourself: This is the most important aspect of the entire decision-making process without which it is not possible to rest your decision on something concrete. You have to allow yourself ample space and time to reflect on your inner strengths and weakness. It will mean you will have to pick from many things in which you have been interested in to pick the one which is right for you and something which you will not mind doing every day of your life. It is not always the thing which you have done before or have studied, but it could be completely different, i.e. something which you wanted to do or pursue being inspired by someone.
Once you know what you are good at and what is it that will bring out the best in you, you can be sure of what will make a difference to you in the future. It is often said that if your career is in line with your biggest strength or talent, then you will land in a highly satisfying job. It is mainly because you will not have to push yourself to perform and work but will enjoy every bit of it.
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- Opt for Employability Tests: There are many tests which are available which help you gauge your own skills and interests. You may have an immense interest in computers, but if the technical parts like coding, development, etc. do not interest you, you will have to think of some other career which is in line with your strengths. Employability tests help you decide which career choice is best suited to you as per your strengths. The evaluators are also able to suggest you the career based on your scores. They can see your area of competency. Most of these tests are now conducted online by some known names.
- Prioritize your Daily Life: It is important for you to organize your life and prioritize certain tasks over others. Once you do this, you will realize what is the most important aspect of your life, which you cannot leave behind. This can also act as a clue as to what your dream career should look like. E.g., once you prioritize your tasks and can decide what you value the most in your life like traveling, job, money, friends, interacting with other people, etc. Once this is clear, your choice will be easier.
- Identification of Personal Goals: This is another important aspect which cannot be ignored or put off. You have to identify both short-term and long-term goals, i.e. where you see yourself in 5 and ten years from now. Such visualizations often lead to clarity of thought on what your own real goals are on the personal front. Once you can achieve your short-term goals, then your long-term goals can also be fulfilled. But, for these to be taken care of, you need to have them in place in your mind.
- Maintain a Plan of Action: A plan of action should be written down and not just be worked out in mind. It has to involve all the important steps for reaching your goals. The plan of action has to involve various stages which you will attain en-route to your goals. Such milestones often act as a motivation factor for you to keep going forward on your line of thought. Also, in case if you encounter any hiccups on the way, these can also be corrected timely so that the next step in your plan does not falter.
- Clarity on Financial Aspects: It is a very important aspect as it will thing which will define your job satisfaction going forward. You may really love doing a particular thing in life, but if it is not paying you back financially, then it cannot be taken forward as a profession as it will not lead to satisfaction. Your career should not only reflect your interests but should also be able to support your basic financial needs and your dream lifestyle.
Although it is important that we need to pick something which we love to do, but you should not ignore the financial aspect.
- Know about the Market: It is also important to know the latest trends and options which are coming in the market. These will help you keep pace with the world and opt for careers which will have more scope in future. There are some jobs which will lose scope in future due to reinvention in lifestyles, technology, etc. Thus, despite your interest, you should not pick up the careers which are sure to be phased out as this might put you out of the job market. Thus, studying market trends is equally important and necessary.
- The decision is Individual: It is often seen that the choice of careers is imposed by parents, which ultimately leads to extreme dissatisfaction in the person and an apparent fall in job performance. It is only later that you will realize that you have taken the decision in haste and need to revisit it. So, it is very important that you play a proactive role in the same in the beginning only and decide right.
- Don’t Settle: It is extremely important that you do not settle for something which is not fit for you just because it is taking longer for you to make a choice. Even if you pick up a job which you don’t like your dissatisfaction will be reflected in many ways. Such hurried decisions often lead to career switches later, which is a hard hit to take as every place you go to you will have to start as a fresher. Thus, any downtime should be used wisely. You can always upskill yourself and prepare yourself for the dream job. This will give wings to your dreams as you will be better equipped for your future and also more knowledgeable to take more informed decisions.
Thus, the choice of a right career is a critical one and has to be taken with a lot of forethought. You have to keep in mind that your entire life will depend on it as a career switch in later years is very difficult. So, you have to take time to reflect on your strengths, passions, and interests deeply before moving further. Additionally, you should keep all the options open until you decide, as this will only add to more clarity and satisfaction.
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Furthermore, you should also have clarity of vision about your long and short-term goals along with a sound plan of action. It is advisable to load the latter with many milestones as attaining them will give a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction that you are on the right track. One of the most important aspects which you should factor in when making a decision is the financial rewards which are associated with your job. It is important to follow your passion, but if the latter is not very rewarding financially, it will soon lead to a mental pull and fatigue. Finally, you should not settle for something less just because it is taking too long to decide. Many people experience downtime in their lives when they feel they are stuck in the mud and are not able to move forward. Such spans should be taken positively and utilized in upskilling yourself to prepare for better roles in the future. It is equally important to have a thorough idea of the future market trends so you may not end in a career which is going to be obsolete shortly.
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