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A beginner’s guide to choosing a career

With thousands of choices to select from, how do you decide which career is right for you?

If you have no idea, choosing a career can seem like a daunting task. Even so, it doesn’t have to be complicated. By following an organized process, you will increase the chances of making the right decision. So, where do you begin? Well, we have curated a guide that will help you choose the right career. Read on to know more.

  1. Assess Yourself

Before choosing a career, you need to learn about yourself. Your soft skills, interests, aptitudes, and values combined with your personality make some occupations a good fit and others  inappropriate. To learn more about yourself, use career tests and self-assessment tools to gather information about your traits and eventually generate a list of occupations that will make you a good fit. If you are not sure about what’s best for you, work with a career coach or other career development professionals who will help you navigate this process well. 

2. Conduct Informational Interviews

Once you have assessed yourself and come up with a list of occupations that will fit you, it is time to start conducting more research. For instance, you can meet with other people who work in these occupations since they will provide you with first hand information regarding these careers. You can also use LinkedIn to find people in similar careers with whom you can conduct informational interviews. By so doing, you will be in a better position to determine whether the career you have in mind is going to meet your needs and preferences. Here we have interviewed different professionals and you may find some useful information.

3. Make Your Career Choice

After conducting research and informational interviews, it will be easier to make a choice. You don’t have to pick the exact job, but the area that you feel best suited to after following the above steps. If you change your mind in the future, you are also allowed to do-overs. Many people do change their career one or two times in their life and you are not an expectation. With the information you have gathered, it will be easier to make the right career changes even if you change you decide to change your career many years later.3.

4.Identify Your Goals

Once you have identified a career that fits you, it is time to identify your long and short-term goals. This will help you chart a course that will eventually land you a job in the field you have chosen. Long-term goals will take you about 3 to 5 years to achieve while short-term ones will take about 6 months to 3 years. An example of short-term goals could be applying for internship programs, apprenticeships, and other training programs. Long-term goals can be advancing your education and training. Either way, your goals should be realistic and achievable.

When identifying goals, let the research you did about the required level of training and education be your guide. Once you have identified all the information you need go ahead and set your goals. 

5.Write a Career Action Plan

Once you have identified your goals, put together a career action plan. This is a written document that lays out the steps you need to take to achieve your goals. Think of this as a road map that is designed to take you from one level to another in your career. Therefore, write down all of your long-term and short term goals and identify the necessary steps to achieve each one of them. In so doing, don’t forget to include any anticipated obstacles that could hinder achieving the goals and how you can overcome them.

The Bottom line

This process might sound like lots of work- and it is. However, it will be much easier for you to forge a career path when you know what you are looking for. Taking these steps early in your career will save you a lot of struggle and uncertainties in the long run.

References

  1. Wang, K. (2015, December 10). How to choose a career when you can’t decide. Medium. Retrieved September 25, 2021, from https://medium.com/@kendrickwang/how-to-choose-a-career-when-you-just-can-t-decide-4aa85268a549.
  2. https://www.thebalancecareers.com/steps-to-choosing-career-525506
  3. How to write an action plan to achieve your goals. EDU Effective. (n.d.). Retrieved September 25, 2021, from https://www.edueffective.online/how-to-write-an-action-plan-to-achieve-your-goals/.

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