Some of us are attracted to specific career paths from a young age. For others, choosing a career can be a slightly more complex matter. As different options available can be overwhelming, with the fear of making the wrong career choice. This array also means that it’s highly possible that there will be an ideal job out there for everyone. It’s just a matter of identifying the correct career path and taking the first steps. Your career has a big impact on your future. It can affect your identity, personal fulfilment, lifestyle, income, family and retirement.
In order to do so, it can be beneficial to take a systematic approach. Here’s a few things to keep in mind while finding your ideal career.
- The first step to choosing a career is to understand your own skills, interests, and ambitions. Finding these will give you some much-needed clarity. Understanding your own desires and abilities is a big step towards choosing a career. Speaking to parents, friends, and others who know you will be able to give you insights into yourself of which you may well not be aware. Don’t be afraid to ask about your weaknesses too. Understanding the wrong career environment will help you narrow down the right one.
- The next step is matching your skills, interests, and career goals with potential career paths. The answer may be right in front of you. Bringing together the things mentioned above you may find that they point to a very specific career path. Check with others as well, they may see things you don’t. If you’re unsure about how your interests relate to specific careers, there are a variety of different tools and methods available. You will find a range of online career tests, quizzes, and assessments designed to help candidates find the right job. You could also seek out careers counsellors to see what they would recommend.
- Now it’s time to filter this list. You need to weigh up the pros and cons of each career path. If possible, speak to people who currently work in the field. Perhaps you would find it useful to conduct a SWOT analysis. It can be a valuable exercise for understanding the pros and cons of each prospective career path for you personally. To do this, divide a large square into four quadrants. In the top half map out your relevant strengths and weaknesses. This should be fairly straightforward. Then, in the bottom half, opportunities and threats.
- The last step of choosing a new career path is to think about the steps you’ll be taking along it. Here you need to think about long and short-term career goals, working from where you are now to where you ultimately want to be. Be realistic but ambitious.
This will help you in eliminating the options which never fulfil your career objectives and finding the best suitable option for you to set your future course.