CAREER: CHOOSING A FULFILLING CAREER




“You will spend decades in the workforce… roughly 7 million minutes of your life.” – James B. Rosseau.

The average person spends an average of 32 years out of the 45 most productive years of our lives.
  
Choosing a career is one of the critical decisions we make in life; we spend a huge chunk of our productive life in the workplace.

A career is beyond what we do to make a living. The dictionary defines a career as “an occupation undertaken for a significant period of a person's life and with opportunities for progress.” Wikipedia puts it thus, “A career is an individual's journey through learning, work and other aspects of life.”

With this understanding, the need to choose a career with which we can find fulfillment, at the end of the day, cannot be overemphasized.

Some people get to know their career path early enough in life, while it takes others sometime to figure it out. All the same, we can always find fulfillment as long as we get into the right path.

In choosing a career path, you must follow some steps to lead you on the right direction, so as to avoid making mistakes that will cost you time and other resources.

Maybe you are a student, a job seeker, a working classes adult wanting to develop a career, or you want to change your career, you are about gaining admission into higher institution of learning.

Where ever you are right now, you can still use what will be discussed in this post to your advantage.

You can always count on this process below all the way through your career: 


1. KNOWING YOUR REAL SELF:

Knowing your real self is the first thing you must do in choosing a career. This has to do with your Skills, Values, strengths, Personality and interests.

You can begin by asking yourself the following questions and providing sincere answers:

  • Where am I right now?
  • Where do I want to be?
  • What are the skills I possess?
  • What do I want out of a job or career?
  • What do I enjoy doing or what is my passion?
  • What are the things people say I do better?
  • What are my strengths?
  • What are the things that are important to me?  The list goes on and on.

A sincere answer to these questions will give you a clearer picture of the kind of who you truly are and the career to opt for. It will serve as a guide in your search for a career that suits you.

2. RESEARCH THE LABOUR MARKET:

 There are loads and loads of careers out there, but obviously you cannot function in more than one. Using the answers you’ve provided for yourself above is the way to settling in one out of the lot.

At this point, you need to have a list of the careers that interests you in the market. Do you know there are some careers that will interest you, but you may not have what it takes, at the moment, to be there? Not to worry, after a research on the required skills and qualifications, you can go further to research the learning options in building and acquiring those requirements.

At this research level, there are questions you must ask yourself and answer with all sense of sincerity:

  • How do my skills and interests match up with these careers?
  • Where am I lagging?
  • What does it take to be where I want to be?
  • What are the available options to gain these skills and qualification I lack?  
  • Where are the jobs located? And many more questions.  

At the end of this exercise you will have a clearer understanding of a suitable career is all about, a list of careers and learning options.

3. DECIDING ON A CAREER:

At this point, you compare your list of options with what suits you best. You do this by streamlining your choices to what suits you best at this point in time, while also considering the future.

In doing your comparism, you need to answer the following questions to serve as your guide:

  • What are my best work options?
  • What are my training options?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of each work and training option?
  • How do my best work/training options match with my skills, strengths, values and interests?
  • How do they match with my list of options?
  • How do they fit with my current job and responsibilities?
  • What are the aids and hindrances I am likely to encounter?

This exercise will not only help you make a career choice, but also give you an idea of what to do next in pursuing and achieving your goal of the best career choice.

4. TAKING ACTION:

Dreams without goals, plans and actions are mere wishes. Choosing a career is more like a dream. You need to step out to actualize that dream. But before stepping out, you need goals and plans that will serve as your guide.

At this point, I’m sure you must have learnt much about yourself, the job market and many more. Use these information to create your plan.

In creating your plan, do well to answer the following questions:

  • What are my career/training goals?
  • How do I achieve my career and training goals?
  • What level do I want to be in the next couple of years?
  • What time frame do I want to use to get to the peak of my career?
  • Where are the relevant people?
  • How do I connect with them?  
  • Where can I get further help outside of these people?
  • How do I build a support system?  
  • What are my contingency plans?  
  • When will I start up with my chosen career?
  • What impact do I want to make in this chosen career?

After your plan, take immediate action; “procrastination is the thief of time.”

CONCLUSION: In choosing your career, try as much as you can to put in enough effort to get the right information and self-assessment.

Also avoid choosing a career for the wrong reasons. Many a people have chosen their careers for the wrong reasons, only for them to make a change after investing valuable time, energy, money and the like. To do it right, you need to have an independent and informed mind.

While on your career, you can continuously fine-tune your work and learning plans to help you manage the changes in your life and career. 

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