While there are ways of making more informed decisions about what profession to peruse, it is okay to explore different professions and keep your options open.
So many young people seem convinced that their future is set in stone from the very moment they click ‘Submit’ on their tertiary application form.
While there are definitely benefits to having a clear career path, research suggests that the average person changes career paths several times in their lifetime.
2. Consider Your Interests
It’s easy to be influenced by hype- the prestige of media, science, medicine or the glamour associated with television. Identify what you genuinely enjoy.
You might hope to find a career that allows you to live your passion every day of the week. Or you might view your future job as a means of earning an income that allows you to enjoy your interests outside of work.
Whatever the case, it is important to consider what things in life make you tick and what kinds of tasks you can see yourself doing on a regular basis.
3. Recognise Your Skills
Now think about the ways of putting these interests into practice. Knowing your strengths is a key part of navigating through the scope of professions out there in the world.
Lawyers for example need to be good at absorbing and interpreting detailed information. But they must also be great communicators with a flair for persuasive public speaking.
Not everyone who enjoys video games will develop the technical skills suited to game design, and not everyone who enjoys cooking will have the presentation and time-management skills to work as chef.
That isn’t to say these options are completely eliminated. Take advantage of any opportunity to refine and further develop these specific skills. Also consider other types of roles in the same industries.
There are a range of career quizzes online. Do not treat these computer algorithms as the ultimate authority on your future. Instead, see them as potentially helpful tools that might present you with new ideas.
4. Consider your Lifestyle
Where you live, how you live and who you live with can be influenced by your profession. Although there are an increasing number of roles that can be completed long-distance, a majority of professions will still entail a level of face-to-face contact.
When exploring potential careers, reflect on whether you feel most comfortable living in the heart of the city, in a small suburb or in a rural area. Some people prefer a stable location and consistent hours.
Others like to be forever on-the-go, which in some cases entails in a different continent every week.
One person’s dream lifestyle could easily be another’s nightmare.
Although your attitudes toward these ideas may change over time, it is important to be aware of the relationships between careers and lifestyles.
5. Make Use of Networking & Experience
One of the best ways of figuring out if a job is right for you is by meeting others who have similar roles. If you’re seriously considering a career path, talk to a variety of people in that profession.
Websites such as LinkedIn and meetup.com are a great way of making connections, finding interest groups, asking questions and participating in discussions.
If you’re studying, why not check out some of the careers expos at your campus. Be on the lookout for work experience opportunities. This can be anything from a local internship to volunteering oversees.
No matter how informative your text-books are, they won’t give you the same indication of any career as your life experiences and conversations with professionals.