How to make a career choice when you are undecided
That gnawing feeling in your heart when all your friends have their whole lives figured while you remain clueless about your career is all too common. Many times, choosing a definitive career path seems like an impossible task you’re just not prepared for. After all, you were still in school till about a couple of months back, and you had to seek permission even for using the loo!
If career apprehensions are something you find a little too relatable, there’s no reason to worry. Keep calm and know that it is okay to be undecided, and you can take your time to choose what you want to pursue. Here are 4 things you can do to help you decide on a career path for yourself.
The first step in deciding your career path is to get to know your own self. It’s not as much about ‘what you do’ but ‘who you are’ that will give you a better understanding of your options. Focus on two key aspects– behavioural and analytical.
• Behavioural – Sit down in the privacy of your room and spend time reflecting upon your interests. Ask yourself simple yet important questions – What is it that I am naturally drawn to? What am I really passionate about? What would I rather be doing if money wasn’t a concern? This may seem counter-intuitive but for once try this out. Without knowing who you are, you cannot really know what you’re meant to do. For example – If singing is one activity that you not only do effortlessly but are also willing to work tirelessly for, there’s a good reason to consider it as a serious career option. Often, your passion is linked not only to your proclivity but something you’re willing to give your all for.
• Analytical– After figuring out your ‘passion’, you also need to figure out the bit where you can monetise on it. Think about the soft and hard skills you possess for your different passions. Also, find out the different career options available related to your particular passion. In the case of singing, there are several options open to you after proper training and education- starting a band or choir, becoming a singing teacher in case you possess a natural inclination towards teaching as well or even becoming a YouTube content creator.
2. Avoid being swayed
It often happens that when you’re embarking on this journey of discovering yourself, people close to you will make attempts to persuade you into what they think are relevant career options for you. But don’t let base your decisions on what they say completely. You know best when it comes to choosing the right career for yourself because no one knows your strengths and weaknesses better than you. Most people will give you career options according to what they assume you are or might be good at. So, while you can let them help you, the final decision about your future should be yours solely.
3. Discover your strengths with aptitude tests
Nowadays, there are a variety of different aptitude tests, career tests and even personality tests online that you can take up to get a clear picture of your strengths and weaknesses. These tests can not only tell you your strengths and weaknesses but can also give you an idea about the ideal work environment you should be in. So while you’re looking around and trying new things to see what fits you best, also take one of the career aptitude tests as they can help you narrow down on your list of career choices.
4. Take up online courses
Another important thing to do is taking up various online courses to figure out your niche and learn additional skills that you may require in order to pursue it. Not everyone wants to get into the same old lines of medicine, engineering and law. Sometimes you may want to take up something unconventional such as art, dance, music or filmmaking. Whistling Woods Virtual Academy provides opportunities for learning Art, Dance, Music and Filmmaking where you can pursue your dreams from the comfort of your home and from the very best!
5. Volunteer as an intern
Now that you have a list of potential career options, you need to put each to the test by volunteering as a trainee to better understand the job. The idea behind this is simple; a child, for example, learns to walk by standing, falling down a couple of times, getting back up and trying again. That’s the same trial and error method you can apply when it comes to your career. As painstaking as this may sound, remember that theoretical knowledge will only take you so far. You need practical experience to understand the demands of each job and whether you’re able and willing to fulfill them.
Meditate upon the above list carefully and for as many times as you like. Be patient with yourself and keep hoping for the best and soon enough you will have figured out this ‘career thing’. It may strike you like an epiphany or come as a gradual realisation as you go about each step. Nevertheless, come it will!