Picking the right career is one of the most important decisions you will have to make, and it isn’t a one-time thing. Here is a five-step guide to help you make the right career decisions:
Consider your values, interests, and personality. Other factors influencing your choice include your preferred work-life balance and geographic preferences. Self-assessment could act like a compass to point you in the right direction. Here are the most important things to keep in mind during your self-assessment:
- Identify your skills and how you can transfer them to different industries.
- Reflect on your interests and their relation to your values and skills.
- Consider your personality, including your unique behaviors, decisions, and thoughts. A perfect job for one person could be wrong for another.
- What are your values? Think of the careers that align with them. For example, the desire to impact the world may not look the same for everyone.
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Do some research to identify your best options. There are thousands of options, and you may not know about them all. Instead of limiting yourself, try to learn about all your options. Look through websites, publications, and other professional resources. You could also learn from others in your preferred industry. Learn about employers within the sector and industry trends.
Reflection is the next step. It would be best to take a deep look at all your options. If you can, write down lists of their pros and cons. Evaluate the job and how it matches your values and interests. The following questions will help with the reflection process.
- What do you think of the career field after research?
- Do you have the skills needed to gain a competitive advantage in the field?
- What do you find appealing about the field?
- How much do you need to adapt to fit in the career?
Start trying your options to gain some experience. You could start with part-time jobs and internships. They give you some hands-on experience and may be great opportunities to network.
Once you have gained some experience, it is time to reflect and re-evaluate your decisions. Consider the following:
- What part of the job do you find enjoyable?
- Did you find some parts of the experience challenging?
- What areas did you find successful?
Taking some time to reflect will let you know if you are in the right profession. It could motivate you to look into a different direction.
You will make career decisions throughout your professional life. Getting into the right career requires some effort and patience on your part. You may have to explore several options before finding a good fit. Always start with a self-assessment. Once you know what would work for you, research your options and evaluate them. Explore your options and then reflect on your decision. If you aren’t satisfied, re-start the process. With the above tips, you can increase your chances of getting into the right profession and excelling in your career.