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Simplifying the mammoth task of picking a career path

Priyanka Gupta
1st Jul 2016
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Choosing a career path is a mammoth task. It needs to be fulfilling, has to be scalable and also has to make money! But one of the biggest challenges faced by millennials today is the need to choose from a multitude of possible career choices. It is not uncommon to hear older individuals speak about how they weren’t blessed with so many choices back in their day. But almost every millennial understands the dark side of this situation: the fact that there are too many options to choose from.

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Choosing the right option when faced with a million choices is understandably a daunting task. Unfortunately, there is no sure shot formula when it comes to choosing a career path. But there are a few things which need to be given due consideration. Here are a few pointers which will guide you towards a sustainable career choice.

Identify your passion

The biggest sign of being in the wrong job is dreading to go to office every morning. Therefore, as cliché as it sounds, the first and most obvious step towards choosing a right career path is to do what you enjoy. It is your passion towards your job that will help you sail through tough days at work. You also need to keep in mind that you spend 90% of your day in the office. It’s only right that you spend this time doing something that you love.

Understand yourself

A lot of people find themselves confused about their careers because they either have varied interests or very vague interests. If you find yourself in the same boat, take some time out to determine your biggest strengths. Map your personality traits and skills with your different interests. Once you do this, see where you can apply these factors. Soon, you will begin to have a clearer picture of what you want to do.

Take a C.A.T

No, we aren’t talking about the Common Admission Test for an MBA course. Here, we are talking about taking career assessment tests. You can find many such personality and career tests available online. Taking these tests will give you a clearer picture of your aptitude and direct you towards fields that may be of interest to you.

Don’t hesitate to experiment

People say that experience is the greatest teacher, and rightly so. Your twenties are the perfect time to experiment with different careers and gain some solid real-world experience. Be open to trying different things. For example, you could take up an internship or a freelance job. These experiences will let you know your strengths and whether or not you can build a full-time career in the industry you are trying to. Even if it means that you aren’t on the right path, it will build you a foundation in terms of a strong network and work experience.

Seek help from career guides

Having a seasoned career guide has worked wonders for so many confused youngsters. Your guide can be a parent, a teacher you trust or even a professional counsellor. These individuals have probably faced the same dilemma at some point, and they are often more than happy to share their experiences. Their experiences can help point you in the right direction, or at the very least, they can help you avoid the same mistakes that these individuals made.

Read and research

It is not enough to just have passion. To pursue your passion as a career path, it is necessary to be abreast and up to date with the latest developments in this field. This will give you an edge and also make you realise whether this is what you really want to do in life.

Speak to experts

Have one mentor, but speak to as many people as you can. Use LinkedIn to establish connections. You could also speak to relatives who are veterans in their fields. This can help you build confidence regarding your decisions and can also give you some original insights, and if you feel you’re getting too carried away, it can also give you a reality check.

Strike a balance between passion and dispassion

Know where to draw the line. Go all out and work extremely hard for your passion, but if after all your efforts, it just isn’t working out, have the courage to let it go, and take up something new. Failure is only in the mind, not in reality.

Visualise

Create a career plan. Define success for yourself by setting goals. Once you do this, visualise where you want to be in the next few years. Plan how you want to get there and also clearly define the milestones you want to touch on the way.

Enroll yourself for Courses, programmes and degrees

Enrolling yourself for courses, programmes and degrees gives you a first-hand perception about whether or not you are carved out for a particular field. These courses can give you enough theoretical (and a little practical) experience to give you a taste of what a career in your chosen field will look like.

Making wise career decisions is far from easy. But like anything else in life, a lot of it depends on how easy or difficult you make it for yourself. Be open to new experiences and learn to embrace failure. This phase of your life is going to be a roller coaster ride. But it’s up to you to choose to enjoy the ride or not.

Please change the intro and make it more striking/interesting. This is too plain and not enough. Explain why choosing the right career path is important etc.

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)

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