Back in the day, a few decades ago, choosing a career used to be much simpler than it is today. Without many options available, making a choice wasn’t as big a deal as it is today. While boys would mostly choose the Science stream, girls would go for Arts. Back then, choosing a career based on what one liked or enjoyed wasn’t the norm.
However, luckily, things have drastically changed now. The number of career choices and opportunities have increased multi-folds. Thus, making a career choice has become tougher.
These days, a lot of people end up in a career that they don’t really enjoy. Then they continue doing it because they are good at it. And this is one of the greatest misfortunes- to be good at something you don’t really like or enjoy. They don’t realize what they actually like until it is usually very late.
You may be excellent at teaching, but in your heart teaching may not be your true passion.
So, it is important that you end up in a career that you truly enjoy and like. To select the right career for you, you need to reflect on and explore to discover your inner self.
This way, you can differentiate between what you are actually good and what you actually enjoy doing.
If you are trying to choose a career for yourself, you first need to develop an idea of the person that you’d like to be.
You first need to get to know yourself to know your aim. Here is how you can find your aim:
To determine your aim, the first step is knowing your skills. What are you the most skilled in and what are those things that you can do the best?
Soft skills are more about your personality like interpersonal skills, communication, leadership qualities etc.
Whereas, hard skills are more of the skills that you need for a specific job. For a technical job, hard skills could be coding, machine operation etc.
What skills are you better equipped with- soft skills or hard skills? Or do you have a combination of both of these skills?
Give this a deep thought and introspect your skills well.
The next thing that you need to introspect is your interests. Now, put these interests in an order of precedence.
If you know what your interests are, you are onto a great start. If you don’t, here is what you can do. Just imagine that you have plenty of free time and you can spend it the way you want. What would you do when you have time for leisure?
This will give you an idea of where your interests lie and what they are.
After you jot down your interests, the next thing to introspect is your values. Values are your own beliefs that motivate you to act a certain way.
What are these certain beliefs that are ingrained in you? What are those things that you have always felt are important to you?
Now, prioritize your values so that you know what your most important values are. It could be anything like integrity, power, money, honesty, knowledge etc.
It is very important to take your values into consideration when choosing a career.
After doing the above three things i.e. writing down your skills, interests and values, you will get to know yourself a little better.
Depending upon and combining your values, skills and interests, you can land up on your ideal career.
Let us take an example to understand this concept better.
Let’s say that your hard skills include analytical thinking and being good with numbers. And your soft skills include communication, resilience and leadership qualities.
Then, let us consider the career in investment banking for you since you have the right skills and also the interest for it. But, if enjoying leisure time is a core value for you then this career would be a mismatch for you.
If your most important values were money and gruelling hard work then the overall combination of your skills, interests and values would have made investment banking the right career choice for you.
Hope this example has given you a better idea of how your skills, interests and values need to align when selecting a career for yourself.
Remember that you can always learn skills and you can always develop interest but your values are inherent.
Make sure that when you choose your career, it aligns with your skills, interests and your core values.
This might take some time and effort but once you introspect, you will know what career is best for you. Hence, you need to be patient and not make hasty decisions.
To have a career that is not just rewarding in terms of money and success but also something that you truly love and makes you happy, you need to let your inner conscience be your guide.
Don’t let the pressure from your peers, parents, society get to you when it comes to choosing a career for yourself. It is best to be your own judge and decide what works the best for you.
Of course, if you find yourself in a tough spot or need some advice, don’t shy away from getting guidance from counsellors, your parents or other elders. But, at the end, you yourself must make a decision.
Following the points discussed in this article are sure to help you choose a career for yourself. Be patient with yourself, follow this guide carefully and be very precise about what you want. Do your research well and take advice if needed.
You can also visit a career counsellor to discuss your career options. Taking tests by certified counsellors will also help you a great deal in narrowing down a career for yourself.
It is important to remember that a career is an important life decision. Don’t worry, don’t fret and remember that everything will work out for the best.