Planning a career in today’s age is no easy task. How do you choose which one’s right for you when you have so many options to choose from? Even if you know you are cut out to be a pilot what is the right way to go about it?
If you don’t do your homework when planning your career, the result may be disastrous. You might end up spending lakhs of rupees and five years at a college, only to find you don't like the career you chose on a whim.
The price of a mismatch between the skills required to take on a career and your own may be a lifetime of bitterness. The challenge is to find a career that you would want to wake up to every morning.
Career planning is a lifelong process, which includes choosing an occupation, getting a job, growing in the job and eventually retiring. There are five steps to choosing a career that fits you best.
Know yourself: It’s about gathering information about yourself. This will give you a fair idea of your values, interests, personality and skills. Some questions you could ask yourself include - who you are, your likes, dislikes, limitations, ambitions, inspiration, etc. Answers to these questions based on the feedback from others can be an effective guide to what you are best suited to do.
Aptitude, Interest and Personality Tests: Often, we are interested in a particular career because of the glamour involved or simply because we admire a certain personality in that field. But that’s not enough. You need to ask yourself whether your aptitude matches your interests (aptitude is the potential to pick up skills and do well in a particular area).
Though there’s no way to actually foretell your success in a particular field, unless you enter that field, it is quite possible to evaluate whether you have the personal attributes required to excel in that field. You can meet with a career counsellor who will use various self-assessment tools to help you gather information about yourself. Counsellors match your personality to the type of work you should be seeking.
Shortlist Your Options: Now that you have learned a lot more about yourself, you are ready to start exploring various career options. Experts estimate that there are over 500 different careers in today's work world. There are two easy steps to narrow down your options:
1. The first step is to create a list of different career choices that match what you like and what you are good at. Make as big a list as you want.
2. The next step will be to narrow these down to two or three closest to your dream job.
Research your options: Once you have narrowed down your search to a select few, the next step would be meeting people from the field and finding out all details about the career. Books, printed articles and web sites are a good source for learning about different careers.
It’s important that your work should be satisfying to you personally and that is only possible if it tallies with your aptitude and temperament and utilises your training and experience. Only then would you feel motivated about your work.
Internships and Summer Jobs: Once you narrow down on your choice, it’s time to look out for internships or summer jobs in that field. It can help you learn about an occupation before you invest time preparing for it. Not to mention, it will add valuable experience to your bio-data. In addition, internships often turn into job offers.
A career is an occupation or profession in which you will spend your entire work life. Don't confuse it with a job.
Choose a job you love and you won’t have to work a single day in your life.
(YoungBuzz is India's premier career guidance company. For more information call 022-24904111 or log on to www.youngbuzz.com)