So, you are at the stage where you need to decide what career you are going to get into? Relying on people’s suggestions is not the best thing to do, and may steer you in the wrong direction in the end. People will always tell you to go into the trade that they like the best. If you ask a painter, they will make traditional timber oil sound like the most exciting thing on earth. If you ask a hairdresser, they might be telling you how creative and social the job is. But you need to do your own research. Taking a systematic approach instead means you are more likely to find your own suitable path to follow. It is helpful to keep it in the back of your mind, that your career planning journey is not going to be easy or perfect. Basically, for most people, the perfect job really doesn’t exist. Another important thing to remember is to separate your hobbies and your career aspirations. If you love gardening or renovating at home ( who doesn’t love the satisfaction of using deck preparation on your verandah?!), you probably don’t want to work as a builder or gardener. Keep your hobbies fun! Your career is an evolving process and it may result in several unexpected professional outcomes during your lifetime. You will need to keep learning and heading into new opportunities as circumstances change.
Choose a career that will help you to focus on your inner qualities, not just the outside factors. Be honest with yourself and know your strengths and weaknesses which can help you to sharpen your attention and refine your options.
Take your time
It is normal to feel anxious and confused about what career you are going to pursue. Don’t let yourself get stressed and rush to a decision, as this will hinder your ability to get the most out of your future. You will become blinded by your fear, stress even more and miss out on the opportunities. You may be stressed, as getting a career is a big change and a big step in life. As humans, we tend to worry that we are going to choose the wrong career path. But try to stay calm and strive to embrace your curiosity. Make it fun by turning the process into an adventure rather than a “must-do”. Accept that you might not arrive at your dream destination straight away, and instead make smaller decisions and stops along the way. Don’t ask yourself which career is best – instead, ask what new and exciting things you are going to discover.
Learn about what makes people happy in their job
Trying to predict what will make you happy in your life is a fool’s mistake. People are often wrong about the factors that will lead them to happiness. This is often career factors like salary. Don’t focus too much on which job makes the most money, or which job has the least work involved. Most times the high-paying job is not the cake but merely the icing.
Career goals are no good if you have overlooked the factors that will result in jobs that make you happy.
Think about if you wanted to work within the Hollywood movie scene and you got one of the highest paying jobs there it may seem like a dream came true. Your dream come true is hating the people you work with, working extra-long hours so your tired and worn out not to mention you have no control over your work and you are working on the worst movies ever than no one has even heard of. Here is where you ask yourself was your dream career worth it or are you going to look for something better?
List your skills and interests
Now, this requires plenty of self-reflection. You may still be thinking of what trade will best suit me don’t worry about that put that question away for now. Write down all of your talents and abilities no matter how dull they may seem. Just the smallest aptitudes can give you clues about the path worth pursuing. Don’t be tempted to ignore your personality traits as they can be turned into transferable skills.
Here are a few examples of the skills and traits you can include on your list:
- Active learning and curiosity
- Social perceptiveness
- Empathy and compassion
- Coordinating others
- Computer troubleshooting
- Researching information
- Managing time
- Caring for children
- Fixing mechanical objects
- Embracing risk
You may possess only a few or most of those listed. After listing your skills and traits you can do the same thing for your interests. Include people you admire and write down why you admire them, what makes you feel alive, what do you enjoy talking about, is there a particular subject of learning that interests you? Spend time highlighting the items that you find are most prominent within your own life. What skills do you think you are best at? Are there certain personality traits that define you?
What skills would you like to get better at?
Brainstorm and research career options
This is where you explore the answer to the question of what trade will best suit me? Using the info you have learned and gathered up you can start to identify the occupations that are good matches for different skills, personality traits, happiness factors and interests.
This will help you to find a framework on the basic job types so you can visualise more easily where you may fit in.