“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”–Annie Dillard
It is no news that many of us will spend a large portion of our days at work. We wake up and have to dash to work almost every morning. We stay at work till evening and come back home – sometimes bone tired! And we continue this cycle day in, day out for most of our lives. If you have to go through all these troubles working at your job, shouldn’t you at least be in the career path that is best for you?
Deciding on which career path is best for you isn’t the easiest thing in the world. With so much pressure being mounted on you, it is easy to get off on the wrong foot. Over a lifetime, the average person will spend about 35 years at work. If you ask me, you’ve got to be doubly sure that you’re treading the right career path.
I know just how tough it is to decide on the best career path to choose. Therefore, I have carried out some extensive research to give you four solid tips on how to decide on which career path is best for you. Be prepared, because after reading this article, you may have to change your current career path. Are you ready to choose the best career path? Well, I’m eager to show you how!
The Bitter Truth
‘Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.”–William Shakespeare
Some individuals are “born into” a career or business. Their parents or relatives start teaching them the reins of the family business even before they know how to read and write. For the most part, such people already make subconscious decisions on what they will spend the rest of their lives doing.
Some other individuals got to discover their passions early in life and got to meet great mentors. They channel all their energies towards a particular career and know what they want to do with their lives. People in this category are very few but exist in almost every environment. Do you remember meeting such type of people in school? I bet you do.
And now, there’s the rest of us. That set of people who, at one point in their life, eventually realize that they have to come to a conscious decision of selecting a career path. If you’re in this category of people, get your jotter ready because this write-up is for you!
Four Tips for Choosing the Right Career
If you want to be happy for the rest of your life, then you have to choose the right career for you. It is so sad that many adults and youths alike choose the wrong profession and end up becoming frustrated in their personal and professional lives. That’s because they lack appropriate guidance and advice. You won’t be one of them after reading this article.
So how do you choose the right career for you? Here are five tips that will help you select a highly satisfying career and enjoy a rewarding work life.
- Know Your Strengths
“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”— Confucius
We all have strengths and weaknesses. Take some time to reflect and make a list of your skills, interests, and values. Do you enjoy teaching? You may like to become an instructor, a coach, a lecturer, and the likes. There are things that you’re so passionate about and that you do well. When you focus on these passions, you will become so good that they can’t ignore you!
Knowing your strengths and weaknesses is the first step. Now you have to capitalize on your strength because that is what makes you different from everybody else. Gather relevant information on careers that highlight your strengths, and then you begin to see work as play.
Gather in-depth knowledge of things relating to your chosen field and become a master. This will help you build a strong cover letter and stand a better chance at job applications. When you do finally start your career, you would have learned the art of being indispensable at work.
But what should you do about your weaknesses? Recognize and accept your weaknesses and be overly prepared when you have to use skills that involve your weak side. For example, if you have poor communication skills, you can read books and take courses on communication to help you improve. Although you may not become a great communicator overnight, it is a skill that you can learn over time. Don’t let your weaknesses become stumbling blocks for you. Do your best to at least be good enough in those areas.
- Take a Career Assessment Test
Taking a career assessment test can help you clear whatever confusion you have about the specific career path to choose from. A career test involves a set of questions that you have to answer within a given time-frame. This test aims at accessing your skills and strengths and then help you suggest a career that could be a good match based on the recorded data.
Usually, you will be provided with 2-3 career options that you can choose from. These tests increase your chances of being successful and fulfilled in your chosen field. This is one of the sure ways of having a satisfying life. Whatever the results of the test, you must always be accurate and true to yourself.
- Work as an Intern
Sometimes, you can’t be so sure you are in for a career unless you have a taste of it. This is why internship positions become very important. Internships are excellent opportunities for you to lay the foundation of your career. They are great avenues for you to have specific hands-on experiences. Most decisions are based on fantasy, and that’s why they don’t stand the test of time.
It would be best if you never ignored the importance of experiencing what working in the real world in your career of interest feels like. When you have experienced how it feels to be in a particular job, then you can make informed decisions. Get a taste of how other people that work in that environment behave and decide if you can work with them.
Not only do internships give you hands-on experiences on a job, but they are also great avenues for connecting with people. These connections and experiences can add extra weight to your resume, and tremendously boost your chances of landing related jobs. Don’t go for the money – internships may be paid or unpaid!
- Seek Advice from Informed People
When you seek advice from people, you must be doubly sure that they know what they are doing. This is why most pieces of advice that come from parents about career choices are often irrelevant. No matter where you live or what career you choose, you will always have people that are on the career path or something closely related to it.
Sometimes, spending an hour with a worthy mentor could be more productive than spending days on a book. Search for and connect with people on LinkedIn. Build profitable relationships with them and even offer to help them with whatever work they have. That’s a form of volunteering.
When you do meet people that have the professional experiences you want, ask them whatever questions you have in mind. Feel free to give them gifts and also request one-on-one sessions when they are free. You’ll be surprised at how eager they want to talk with you and guide you.
I leave you with the words of Steve Jobs, a man who followed his passion and made a name for himself. “The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”