The first few years of life spent at school towards a good education while we learn to socialize, make friends and aspire for good grades, all leads towards a question that most of dread! What next?
While we learn, understand and acquire knowledge, the whole schooling process slowly and steadily prepares us for our future career.
Some know early on exactly what it is that they want to be while many others struggle with this question and the path to take among the hundreds of careers options available.
So how does one make a career choice when you really don’t know what you want to do? Let’s first take a deep breath and relax, because the answer lies within you.
Listed below are simple steps we suggest before you take the leap!
I, Me, Myself!
Before making any choice in life including your career, you have to get to know and understand yourself. What are the prominent strengths that you can build and leverage along with a list of your weaknesses? We suggest you spend some time making this list while you answer these questions for yourself.
- What interests me the most?
- When do I feel the most happy and excited?
- Which subjects in school excite me and make me think creatively?
- What are my values, interests and skills along with other personality traits (like patience, hardworking, diligence) that make me stand out in school?
There’s no rush
There is immense pressure on young people to choose a career instantly, or have clarity on what they want to do after high school. DON’T decide until you feel you’re ready to take the plunge. A career choice is more than choosing a job; or following the new trend in the market.
It is about the rest of your life and the work that you will contribute to society.
If you are unsure, we suggest you take some time off for a month or two or even a year if you have to. Discover yourself, find out what you’re good at and then make the right choice.
The phase of knowing yourself should be followed by the research phase. It is important to match your competencies, strengths and interest with a career.
During the research phase list out all the career options that would be suitable for you. You can reach out to a teacher, mentor, parent and/or sibling to help guide you in the right direction. Try and reach a list of 10 possible careers and then research and read more about these careers.
There is no better way to knowing about a career, than through professionals who have spent a large part of their lives in those careers. Reach out to the people who work in your desired career fields. They can be a great source of information as they a have firsthand knowledge of what this occupation is all about. Ask questions such as: what are the downsides to this job? Do you still enjoy working here after so many years? Do you like the work you’re doing? Make a list of all your questions before you set up this meet.
A great way to dive further into a career is internships and volunteering.
Considering a career in advertising? Then how about taking up an internships in an ad agency! Experience like these will help you get an understand of the working conditions of the organizations through observation of professionals, their style of work, pressures at work and the creativity involved with being an ad professional. Ask your parent/friends for internship opportunities. Portals like www.internships.com, are also great places to look for such opportunities.