One of the most important decisions to make in life is choosing a career. This decision outweighs your choice of what to do for a living. Choosing a career involves evaluating how much time we spend working; about 71 percent of our time yearly. This means that out of the 45 years most of us want to work, our input to career is approximately 32 years of our active working time. Selecting a career that is satisfying can never be overemphasized, no matter the age.
It does not matter if you have graduated from college or not, though some degree holders have already chosen a career. Some people are lucky enough to discover what they want early and end up in satisfying careers, while most people need more time to choose. A recent research by Accenture Strategy found that only 36% of college graduates in 2015 with a job are working in fields of their choice. And about half of the 2013 and 2014 graduates are doing jobs that don’t require a degree. Your friend’s satisfying career may not be good for you; because your evaluation for success is unique.
Our guide to choosing a career includes four (4) steps; discovering who you are, what is available, comparing options and working towards a career.
Step 1: Discovering yourself
This process must take you longer than just sitting down in a day fully focused. Your task here is to establish a line running from where you want to be to where you are now. That line or path should be how you intend getting there from where you are now. And the connection should be traced with questions like where do I want to be? What are my strengths? What do I want from a job? What is important to me? These questions should provide an idea of what you need to learn which takes you to step 2.
Step 2: Researching the available occupations
At this stage, you will need to use your ‘wish list’ from the first step to explore the occupations and disciplines that match with the step 1 result. Find out the qualifications and skills required for the highlighted occupations. Do I need a degree? Consider interviewing people to learn about realities. Here you should be able to make a list of some preferred occupations to narrow down your target.
Step 3: Making a decision
This is where you compare all your options for a decision on one based on all assessments. While choosing a path, consider sticking with your best training options and your key interests and values. You also need to ask yourself some questions such as your advantages and disadvantages, what would be helpful or serve as hindrances, and how the career fit with the future and present labor market. This decision should drive you down to your next actions towards achieving your goals.
Step 4: Taking Action
Choosing a career doesn’t end with the decision on what you want to do but your actions towards achieving it. You must draw a plan in steps to getting there using the information you have gathered in step 2. Ask yourself about the actions you need to acquire the training and where you can get help. Consider sticking around with the right individuals, those that will support you and at the end, you should have a plan that will help you to explore your chosen career further for a more solid path to achieving your next contribution in realizing the set goal.