How to choose a career that is just right for you?
One of the most crucial moments in an individual’s life comes when it is time to step out from the college or university, and choose a career. The choice that one makes at that point of time often determines the rest of the course of one’s life. If the chosen career is just right for the individual, chances of success become very bright. However, a wrong choice at the starting point can mean a lifetime of struggle -- unless one switches the career midway, though usually after losing critical formative years in the wrong career.
In the Indian social context, choosing the right career can become more difficult because the young students receive widely varying advice and career counselling and suggestions from different quarters. Parents are usually very involved with their child’s career, especially if they are well educated and successful in a particular profession. Sometimes they can be very insistent, or influence the choice of the child’s career against his or her internal desire. (1)
Then there is considerable peer pressure, and also a tendency to follow the most common trends. All such pressures and advices are not very objective, and more often than not, they may lead to a wrong career decision. By the time the individual realizes the error, it is usually too late already to start fresh again in a new career.
The following guidelines should help a student to identify his most suited career option that can optimize his career success in the long run:
Remove all pre-conceived notions and beliefs from your mind
Do not allow yourself to be influenced by any non-objective thoughts while deciding your career. Just because your friend is opting for a particular career, or because your father is in a particular profession, does not make it automatically the best career for you.
Introspect on your innermost passion
At a young age, there is a tendency to avoid thinking and introspection. There is a lot of haste and an urge to act fast about everything. However, a career decision must not be made in haste. Take time to analyze your interests, and know what truly excites you and drives you passionately in terms of a career. If you follow your natural instinct and go with your natural ability, you can leapfrog ahead of others in the marathon. Extraordinary success comes only when you are in a career that you are truly passionate about.
Draw a list of probable career options
To eliminate confusing and hazy thoughts from your mind list down the various career options that you come across. There are so many new avenues and opportunities nowadays that it can confound any fresher who is looking to choose the most appropriate career. Therefore, build a comprehensive listing, and then evaluate the pros and cons of each of them. Also, match your interest, ability and personality against each of those options, and see which ones appeal more strongly to you.
Take self-assessment career tests or meet a career counsellor
If you are completely uncertain about your career choice, one of the modern and scientific ways of going about it is to assess your own self and determine what kind of a career would be more suited to your profile. Also, you may meet any professional career counsellor at your institution or outside, who could give you valuable inputs and advice, considering your personal strengths and weaknesses, and your past educational background.
At all times, it is important to remember that more often than not, our life is a product of the choices that we make. A right choice can take us to the very top in life, while one wrong decision can give us a life full of struggle and frustration. One of such crucial choices in life is the choice of a career, which can determine the future course of our destiny.
- Vikas Vij (views expressed in the article are that of the author)
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