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What Will Be A Good Career Option For You? Understanding Yourself And The Industry

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By Dr. Srividya
11 Mar'22  4 min read
What Will Be A Good Career Option For You? Understanding Yourself And The Industry
Synopsis

Students of classes 9 to 12 are often bombarded with the question, “What do you want to do in life?” At a tender age of 13-14 years where they have spent maximum time in the sheltered environment of their schools and classes, they are expected to have the maturity and awareness to state their career ambition with confidence! Moreover, there are so many good careers options that are gaining momentum these days that it is only natural for students to get confused about choosing a career for themselves. Added to it are often the suggestions and pieces of advice that come from family and extended family, about how lucrative and promising certain careers are. Amid so much information and such little clarity, how can students understand what could be some good career options for them that align well with their personality types and areas of interest? How can parents help? Should you talk to a career counsellor? This article provides some tips on how to go about choosing a career.

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What Will Be A Good Career Option For You? Understanding Yourself And The Industry
Synopsis

Students of classes 9 to 12 are often bombarded with the question, “What do you want to do in life?” At a tender age of 13-14 years where they have spent maximum time in the sheltered environment of their schools and classes, they are expected to have the maturity and awareness to state their career ambition with confidence! Moreover, there are so many good careers options that are gaining momentum these days that it is only natural for students to get confused about choosing a career for themselves. Added to it are often the suggestions and pieces of advice that come from family and extended family, about how lucrative and promising certain careers are. Amid so much information and such little clarity, how can students understand what could be some good career options for them that align well with their personality types and areas of interest? How can parents help? Should you talk to a career counsellor? This article provides some tips on how to go about choosing a career.

Read more

Psychology says, “Know yourself, know your career!” In 1921, psychologist Carl Jung suggested a theory of personality that explained that everyone has an inborn preference for using their mind. Given that a career requires you to think through and use your knowledge and intellect, it seems logical to state that you need to know your preferences before choosing a career. In 1943, Myers and Briggs published a personality questionnaire called the MBTI translating Jung’s personality theory into a practical tool. Years of research reveals that there are specific occupations suitable for different personality types. If you are stuck in a career that is wrong for your personality type, you will be miserable. So, how does one understand one’s preference or personality type? There are questionnaires of course, but there are also clues in your everyday life. You just need to observe yourself more. Let’s look at an example.

It was 3:00 pm on a sunny afternoon in India. Smita, a 14-year-old, was busy completing her school project. She had to create a working model and she was happily busy getting it together. She loved science projects and practicals.

In another home, Smita’s friend Ram was busy strumming a guitar. He had forgotten all about his science project and found solace in reading, music and loved to spend time by himself ideating. His mom often worried and called him a “dreamer”!

Smita’s preference for putting together a working model may be a sign that she will excel in careers that require her to think spatially, design products or do research. Ram, on the other hand, may be good at strategizing, creating a vision or creating something entirely new from scratch.

Sounds logical and intuitive, doesn’t it? The challenge is that most people don’t view careers as natural extensions of their personalities. Very often careers or jobs are chosen based on factors like the following:-

  • What parents say, or what the family business is.

  • What sounds cool or what friends are taking up.

  • Which university is close by and what course will admission be easy in.

  • Which career has more money.

All of the above are important questions, however, they need to be placed after the following basic questions:-

  • What are your strengths? What is your aptitude?

  • What gives you joy & satisfaction? What lifestyle do you prefer?

  • Who is your role model? What are your values?

  • What do others say you are good at?

  • What do you like reading, learning, doing, etc.?

Questions that allow you to probe and understand yourself more are critical to making career decisions. A career decision impacts the quality of your life and happiness index more than any other critical decision of your life. No longer are jobs eight-hour shifts for five days in a week with a promise of financial and job security.

Most roles are dynamic, changing and require the individual to adapt and learn continuously. If individuals understand and like the subject choices and the content of their professions, they are likely to find them enjoyable and worth the extra effort and time. Job stress and frustration are a result of doing activities and tasks that are not based on your abilities and values system. This is especially true as modern life leaves little leisure time for activities that an individual enjoys, so it becomes even more important for “work to be an expression of your joy”.

So how do you find good career options that are aligned with your strengths and give you joy? Listed below are some quick tips.

1. Observe yourself and see which activities you enjoy doing - Do you enjoy reading, writing, dancing, playing, watching movies, talking to friends, coding, or working endlessly on a science project? Each of these is a clue to possible careers in areas like content writing, teaching, the entertainment industry and science-based careers.

2. Who are your role models? - Who are the people you follow on social media? Whose posts do you see and appreciate because you feel they are doing something worthwhile? Understand what your role model stands for. These are clues to your values and underlying motives.

3. Read up on possible careers in your areas of interest - There are a variety of career options possible in most areas now. The students today are spoilt for choice in terms of available courses and good careers options and there is a burst of support for young entrepreneurs and professionals. Follow career websites and keep yourself updated in your areas of interest.

4. Connect with mentors and professionals - Try to engage with real people around you who are pursuing a career you want to explore. This will help you understand their journey, struggles and victories. It gives you a good reality check on how you can match your careers to your areas of interest, personality types and preferences, and the environment.

5. Connect with a Career Counsellor - A very enriching way to explore and understand careers is to seek assistance from a professional career counsellor who has experience in the world of work and education. You may opt for detailed psychometric profiling to understand your strengths and aptitudes and see how these can be matched to emerging or established careers. Organizational psychologists have a wealth of knowledge on careers and fitment into the industry. Reaching out to career counsellors for professional services to gain greater self-awareness is very valuable.

Overall, see your career as an expression of who you are and then align it with the services needed by people and industries. Keep understanding yourself and keep perfecting your craft. Wishing you the joys of discovery and the happiness of career alignment.

Dr. Srividya is an organisational psychologist, career, and personal growth coach. She works with teens, parents, adults, and returning professionals, to help them align their personal and professional needs, desires, and overcome personal and professional challenges. She can be reached at www.lifevidya.in.

  • Human activities
  • Branches of science
  • Behavioural sciences
  • Cognition
  • Cognitive science
  • Psychological concepts
  • Applied psychology
  • Psychology

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