How do I Find the Right Career for Me?6 minute
The Roadmap to Making the Right Career Choice
Everyone wants to jump to adulthood when they’re younger. Turning eighteen is something most kids look forward to. Being eligible to vote and getting a driver’s license are some of the perks of being an adult. However, in the quest of impatiently waiting for the freedom that comes with it, students don’t realize that it’s also going to be that phase in their life where they will have to find the right career. Sounds intimidating, right? Well, it’s not so bad.
Whether you’re just out of high-school or in the middle of your professional career, finding the right job and niche for yourself can be a daunting task. Gone are the days when people would stick to a three-step career plan including under-graduation college, securing a job and working in the same company for the rest of their life.
Millennials today are restless. They have a hunger to constantly swap job titles. Toggling between different organisations and teams has almost become the order of the day. With so much competition and pressure, how do you know which career and job is the right fit for you?
If you’re confused, you’re definitely not alone. Everybody goes through this phase when they’re undecided. In fact, seldom do college graduates take up a job related to their major.
Whether you’re just starting out or want to make a career switch, we have some steps and hacks that will help you choose the ideal career path.
Finding the Right Career: A Complete Guide
1. Begin with Self-Assessment
Even before you begin scouting career options for yourself, you need to figure/understand what interests you the most. It might sound a bit cliché but start with passion. There may be many things you’re good at. However, focus on your strength and one aspect which you will want to convert as a future career option. If it doesn’t come naturally to you, ask a friend or your parents. They are your well-wishers and you can definitely trust their opinion. Another way to go about it is by taking a “finding the right career quiz”. They do a pretty-darn good job at helping you assess the right career path.
If you’re someone who is about to climb the professional career ladder, ask yourself these questions:
- What classes did I enjoy the most at school?
- What interests me? What soft skills do I have?
- On a bad day, what is my stress buster?
- What kind of topics do I enjoy reading?
Remember, at the initial stage, you’re just setting the base to decide what career/profession you want to pursue in the future.
2. Make a List of your Options
If you’ve taken a few self-assessment tests, by now you may have a list of occupations to explore. At this point, you might feel a bit overwhelmed to make a decision. It differs from person to person. While some people know exactly what they want to do when they’re presented with a set of options, others simply skim through the list. What we would suggest is that combine all your options into a master list. Go through it a few times to see if any of the occupations appeal to you. Also, it’s normal to have not heard of a particular occupation.
Before we go to the next step, narrow down your list to create some serious career possibilities. For example, if a career quiz has presented you with twenty options, scrutinise your most preferred ones. Ideally, have five to seven options that you can explore further.
3. Research further on the Short-listed Options
YAY! You made it till here. Just a few more steps till you find a career that best suits you. Get some basic information about each of the occupations you’ve short-listed. It is important to know the job requirements. Is there any formal training you require? What degree, certifications or skills do you need to have? For example, if you’re someone who loves sketching, art and design, you may be presented with an option to become a graphic designer. However, just having certain soft skills won’t seal the deal for you.
To be employed by a company as a graphic designer, besides a certain skill set, you will also need to be proficient in using certain software including Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects, etc. If you feel like you have the bandwidth to fulfil the requirements of a career option, go ahead. You can enhance your skills by enrolling in online courses, distance education programs, or take tuitions from someone who has expertise in the field you’re looking at.
4. Narrow Down your List
Based on your research, narrow down your list even further. Strikeout the careers you don’t think you want to pursue. Typically, you should be left with just three or four options.
5. Consider your Future Goals
After understanding the needs of a particular job or career, consider where you want to see yourself in the next two, five or ten years. When you set a goal, you will have something to work towards. Determine what you want from your career. Is there a particular location you want to live in or a certain lifestyle you desire? If your peers have a certain package, chances are you too will want to reach a particular position in your professional career.
If your short-listed career options fit the bill and are compatible with your future goals, you’re on the right track. You will only need to evaluate a few more prerequisites before finding the ideal career.
When you’re actively looking for an ideal career zone, networking is a great way to get a whiff of a particular industry. If there are a few career options you’ve shortlisted, meet people from those fields who are well-settled in their jobs. Understand what the work environment is like, the kind of projects they get, their clients, etc. This will help you gain a better perspective. Also, if they feel you’re passionate about something, they may even offer you a role in their organisation.
7. Decide your Ideal Career
Finally, after all your research, you’re probably ready to pick the right job that suits you. Based on the information you’ve gathered; it should be something that will bring you utmost satisfaction and align with your life goals.
8. Update your Resume
Once you’ve found the right profession for yourself, next you would have to update your resume. Your resume/CV should be a reflection of your skills and strengths. A well-written resume is key in securing your dream job. If you’ve pursued any additional training or certificate program to meet the job requirement, mention that in your resume as well.
9. Intern in your Desired Field
No matter how much you research, read and hear from people, you cannot be 100 percent sure till you find out yourself. To get first-hand experience of what to expect in your future job or career, try interning with an organisation. Though not all companies pay an intern a fixed stipend, you’ll get the desired experience and a fair understanding if this is what you really want to do. One month of working successfully as an intern will help you judge. If it takes longer, maybe that job isn’t for you.
10. Be Patient & Keep Learning
Always remember, “Rome wasn’t built in a day”. Things don’t happen overnight. It can take time for you to adjust to your new career. A new environment and new people can be extremely intimidating. We suggest you keep learning and growing each day. A few years later, if you feel like this isn’t the right job for you or the demand for your profession is declining, you can always make the switch.
Bottom line: Finding the right career can be an overwhelming process. However, by following the above steps, finding the ideal job can be less trying.
Are there any other tips that have helped you find your dream job? Share in the comments section below.