Needless, to say, it’s not easy to pick a career when there are so many choices and so many factors to consider. You tend to think endlessly on things like, am I making the right choices? Is there something better? Are there enough job openings in this field? Will I be successful in this career? Will I make enough money? And also, some of you might have additional queries on your mind like, would a career take you abroad? So let’s approach all this thinking and searching in a systematic way. Choosing a career is broadly a four stage process:
Try to understand as much as possible about who you are as a person.
What are your interests? Do you have a dream career on your mind? (for e.g. music, astronomy, Rock star etc.)
What are your hobbies? Are you any good at any of them? (for e.g. art & craft)
Which subjects or activities you liked most while studying? (for e.g. English, public speaking or debates etc.)
What skills do you have? (for e.g. Cooking, Computer programming etc.)
Are you a shy person? Do you like to make friends? Do you communicate well?
The objective here is to find and understand what you like doing. If it all, it’s possible to turn what you enjoy doing into a profession, you’re more likely to succeed in it than any other.
After this step, you would have a list of potential careers you can pursue. For instance, you figured that you really like football and music. Also, you’re good at football. So in this step, you’ll research into what career options these offer. For instance, you can become a Football Player, Coach, Referee, Team Manager, and Game Strategy Consultant etc. Similarly for music you can be a singer or play an instrument, solo or be part of an orchestra group or a band, or be a music composer. So every profession will present many Role Profiles connected to it.
Research the options
Now filter your list with criteria that matters most to you. For e.g. you might pick professions based on salary, perks, overseas travel, job openings, job stability and growth projections etc., if these favoured by you. Also, you may consider favouring a profession, for which you already have skill as opposed to the one for which you must learn from scratch. Also, consider that you can always switch careers even later as Professionals do it 3-4 times on an average during their lifetime. As industry and technology changes, you’ll be learning and changing too.
Next, research what and how to learn the skills you need for the chosen career. This requires scanning the web and seeking help from guidance counsellors, friends & family, teachers to discover the list of Institutions that can teach and certify the skills you need. You would need to consider Tuition Fees, Travelling Expenses, Location, Credibility and Placement Record of the Institution among other factors.
But don’t end your research just yet. Also compile a list of Companies/Establishments in Private and Public sector who employ people in your career field. This will give you a focus on your potential employers. You’ll be up to date and ready not only with the skills but also with unique knowledge of the organizations that you’ll be targeting for Job search.
Enough rounds of thinking and planning. This phase is all about making critical decisions. Which career have you finally chosen to pursue and through which institutions (list preferences)? If you’re still unsure and have 2-3 choices of career in mind, then seek advice from guidance counsellors, family & friends and Professionals for more inputs to make your choice. But don’t put it off too long.
You’ve thought of everything and got plans to get things started. But till you don’t act nothing will happen. So start filling out admission forms and sign-up for trainings and seminars. Reach out to your support network of Family and Friends, if you need help with travel and expenses. And when you’re all ready and certified, start applying for your dream job.