5 Steps To Finding The Right Career For You
A great thinker once said, “Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” With the world evolving and the number of career options growing by the minute, it has become a task to identify what works best for you. A career is not just about the job that you do but the foundation that defines the path of a fulfilling future and the ability to provide a holistic life for you and your family. This is why deciding on a career path is an important exercise to figure out the path of your dreams.
What is the need to decide on a career path?
The pressures of choosing the best career options after graduation have left numerous students and parents confused and conflicted without knowing where or how to begin. Little do we realize that how we choose the best career path depends on choices we make right from our early days.
Selecting your career path begins from the day you develop an interest or a passion for activities that play an active role in your lifestyle. This is supported by your academic inclinations and your interest in some subjects over others. Put together, choosing a career path is not about one or two things, but an amalgamation of months of planning, weeks of dedicated effort, and days of tireless determination to get to your goals.
Milestones to watch out for while deciding on a career path
There are notable milestones in every student's career journey that help them ascertain their future. Identifying them early on and effectively working towards them will help them choose the best. Let’s look at the 5 factors that help in how to decide on a career path.
Step 1 in how to decide a career path - Assessment
As cliché as it might sound, self-assessment is the first step to self-discovery. Going by what feels right to you is always the best first step in determining your priorities. So how to assess and decide the best career path?
Start by asking yourself questions about who you are and what you want to be. Note down your SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) to get a realistic picture of yourself. While exploring more about what you want to be, it is equally important to assess and determine what you DON’T want to be.
Quite often we see children who don’t want to follow in their parents' footsteps or shy away from certain career options. Asking yourself “WHY” all along the way while exploring and knowing relevant reasons will help you paint a clear picture. In turn, you will have a logical rationale for making impactful decisions for your life and career.
Assessment is not limited to your personal opinions of yourself or what your parents think of you, but it also spreads across to professional testing and psychometric assessment that helps you scientifically and factually determine your skills, aptitude, and abilities.
Psychometric testing is a scientific method of assessing your core values and innate abilities, basically giving you a quantitative analysis of your inborn strengths and abilities. These when matched with your interests and academic achievements will help you determine and choose the most suited career options based on relevant facts and fundamental principles. It is a good idea to take the help of such career tests while deciding the best path to take.
Once you have established a foundation of your skills and abilities through thorough assessment, we move on to the next most crucial step in deciding your career path.
Step 2 in how to decide a career path - Exploration
The exploration phase begins when you further your expectations based on your interest and abilities and match them with the best career options after graduation. Quite often students seek out the country or the college that they want to go to even before ascertaining the course they should be pursuing, which unfortunately is the wrong approach to choosing a career.
The foremost step is to determine the exact course you would like to pursue when planning how to decide your career path. Choosing the right subject stream matching your needs is important. Once you can determine the appropriate course in the stream of your preference, you will be surprised at the numerous options open to you thus making the decision of choosing the best fit career path an easy one.
Step 3 in how to decide a career path – Shortlisting colleges
Once the exploration task is done, the next step is shortlisting the colleges of your preference. First check the courses you wish to pursue, the combinations offered and the colleges that offer them in the countries of your preference. Identifying good and reputable colleges that are recognized and affiliated is next. While fees is an important aspect for consideration, other factors to check for are individual college requirements, academic eligibility, non-academic requirements, and entrance examinations if any, for admissions.
Other minor but equally important factors to look at include-
The weather & climatic conditions
Cost of living and accommodation
Location of the college
Amenities on and off-campus
Visa, acceptance, rules, and regulations
Student friendliness etc.
Once you have all of these boxes ticked, it’s time to make decisions about the road ahead.
Step 4 in how to decide a career path - Decision Making
Any decision about your career will stick with you till the end, hence shortlisting your 3C’s (Course, Country, College) is the most crucial decision of your career journey. It is important to break down your preferences into High, Medium, and Low to have a clear picture of your targets.
Segregation – The alternate method to prioritizing your college choices
High Expectation Colleges: colleges above your reach
Target Colleges: the ones you aim to get into
Safe Colleges: colleges that offer your course of choice and would accept you easily but may not be your first preference.
Decisions that prelude your admission process plays a major role in identifying the environment that will shape up your mind, outlook, and opportunities. Hence it is extremely important to have clarity about your short and long-term goals. The next step would be to put in an active effort from your early days to go one step closer to your ultimate career goals.
The final step in how to choose a career - Preparation
This is the last step. Start working on all the pre-requisites of the course, college, and country you have shortlisted. It is a great idea to check out the syllabus for different courses/ colleges, know more about the faculty, speak to alumni, and research the area. This will help you plan the next few years of your life in a well fashioned manner.
Other vital pointers when deciding the career path
Explore the career you aim to pursue; study the scope and future of the career and delve into the different interesting career options that your course can lead to.
Keep an open mind and the opportunity for alternate possibilities. This will allow you to be well-prepared for any unforeseen circumstances as well as give you the option of diversifying into related fields that may be more popular in the future.
Always remember, choosing the best career path for you is not a decision that can be dictated by external forces alone. Active participation and due diligence can help you decide the best career path leading to successful outcomes for the future.
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