Deciding what career to choose was a tough task for me. It took a lot of sleepless nights, stressful days, and another failed career to finally help me decide that I wanted to be a writer. It was not easy, and I completely understand the dilemma most of you are facing. It is with these experiences that I realized I can help many others like me to decide how to pick a career, and help them get rid of the uncertainty that plagues them. Before we begin, I'd like to tell you all that career planning is important for everyone, but it is not irreversible. Sometimes you just have to learn from your mistakes, like I did. Here's all you need to know about picking a career path that is meant for you.
Identify Your Skills, Abilities, and Interests
Before you decide what career is right for you, determine which career you are right for. For instance, if you are a creative person, you are not going to be able to carry out a regular 9-5 office job. However, if you are creative, you also ought to pay attention to the smallest of details. Thus, it is important that you identify your interests in different fields. With interest, come your skills and abilities. Having an interest in music or singing is not enough if your abilities as a singer are not good. Not everyone has inborn skills, but in certain cases, they do have enough that can be honed to achieve perfection. Understand where you stand in the scheme of things before you take the plunge.
Write down everything you are interested in. Then prioritize these interests as per your preference. Write down the level of your capacities in each field. If you are unsure of your skills, speak to a career counselor, opt for some online aptitude tests that will help you assess your abilities and skills and then shortlist further. This way you will be able to reduce the list to a few options you can pick from.
Identify the Career Requirements
Being interested or talented at something is not enough to determine if you can meet the demands of the job. For instance, before starting out as a writer, I used to be an interior designer. When I took up interior designing, I thought it was all about picking the right colors and accessories for the house. However, it was when I actually started working that I learned, that color was one of the last choices one made when designing interiors. It was all about dealing with clients' demands, ensuring materials were supplied at the right time, ensuring the labor was available to carry out the work, keeping an eye open for every nitty-gritty that went into designing a house, and among all this, meeting deadlines! I soon realized I was not cut out for this profession, for no one would allow me to have the privilege of just designing, while they went through the trouble of executing the project. The bottom line is, I got enticed by the glamor of the profession, without researching what the job really demanded. So before you make such a mistake, speak to a few people who are already in the field, do your research online, and then take your decision.
Get an Internship
Now that you have identified the career you wish to pursue, take up an internship in the field before you pursue the career full-time. This will give you an exposure to the field, and enable you to meet people belonging to the same career. As such, an internship will provide a window into the bigger picture, and help you identify all the little things that go into getting the job done. Also, in case you find you are not interested in the field, you can quit at that level instead of plunging in and finding yourself stuck in there. A lot of people feel guilty about opting for a career change, and therefore, an internship is a better way to understand whether you actually belong to a particular career or not.
Once you have understood and executed all these steps, you will have to set your career goals to flourish in the field and expand your horizons.
With the variety of career opportunities that are now present in the job market, taking a decision about picking a career field can be very overwhelming. However, you can get the pressure off yourself by following the above-mentioned tips. Also remember that it is alright to make mistakes. Several people realize much later in life that they are not suited to a particular career. It is absolutely normal to feel that way. In fact, diversity in career choices, or pursuing related career fields adds more variety to your resume, and strengthens your skill base, and is actually appreciated to a certain extent in today's times. However, just remember not to become a 'Jack of all trades, and master of none'!