Figuring Out the Right Career for You
Although goals may change and you may take up to 10 years to find yourself in your desired role and industry, your first step in job hunting should be a solid understanding of what you can bring to the table.
The best time to do this is straight after graduation, so begin looking at potential jobs and career paths as something you want to actively pursue rather than as something you have to do in exchange for a living. After all, if the prospect of getting to work in the morning doesn’t get you moving and your job isn’t a role you can see yourself persevering in – especially when the going gets tough – there’s really no point in staying in a role or industry where you are unhappy.
Finding your raison d’être, your reason for being, can give you the hope you need to find something you love and are good at – while getting paid and being what the world needs.
But even if you find it, you will quickly understand that it isn’t about just finding out what fulfils you on a personal level, but instead going on a journey to become who you want to be. As your skills will lead you to your choice of profession and facilitate your entry to an industry or trade full of other like-minded people, make a choice that satisfies you far more than just allowing you to support yourself.
To that end, here are a few questions you can ask yourself to help guide you along as you cross over to the working world.
What are you good at?
Consider your best skill sets and strengths. List down your personality traits and technical skills. Ask yourself if you prefer to specialise in a certain area or if you prefer a multi-tasking job.
Take your temperament into consideration as well. Figure out if you work better when left alone at your desk or when you are around others, interacting or negotiating with them. Work out if you’re more comfortable working with strict office hours and rigid structures, or have a predilection for flexible working hours that needs plenty of self-discipline.
Understanding yourself will help you work more efficiently, but even before that, it’ll give you the boost you need to fathom where you should be professionally, and will also get you one step closer to your dream job.
What do you care about?
Where your treasure is, there your heart is also. Make sure your career goals are in line with your personal morals and values; they will go a long way in ensuring success.
For example, if you care deeply about animal welfare, consider joining a non-profit organisation to do your part, or go into veterinary science.
What do you love?
When enjoying some downtime, what do you love doing? Your hobbies can offer some insight into what holds your attention, so pinpoint what you like or dislike to figure out what you can or cannot accept in your career path. Moreover, it’s worth developing abilities and skills in the areas that can catch and hold your interest.
What does the world need?
Your choice of profession will, in a way, serve your community as well as the world at large, so exploring potential career paths is a way of unwrapping your gifts and finding out how they can help you give back.
Despite present dreary economic prospects, think about how you can best use your skills to contribute. While you will have to think in terms of short-term economic trends and market forecasts, don’t forget to consider how you would like to grow both professionally and personally in the long-term as well!