Choosing the right career path is, quite similar to choosing the right life partner ?
You are going to love both and, Both are going to stick with you, till your last breath.
And just like finding the “right one” can be difficult and time-consuming, so can choosing the right career.
But there is one difference.
You don’t have to depend on your destiny while choosing a career.
With the steps I am going to give you, you are not only going to find the right career, but you are also going to be absolutely passionate about it.
So, what do you need to do to implement this Mantra?
Your Mind and Your Heart.
So, let’s get going.
Step 01: List down the subjects you love
The very first step of choosing your career should be listing down the subjects you love studying.
Some might argue that, very often the subjects we study in theory are rarely used in practical life.
Let me burst your bubble right there.
If you have been thinking that there is no use studying trigonometry or about world war, think again.
Most of our analytical decisions such as :
- Which offer would be better, “Buy 1 Get 1” or “10% Discount on a purchase of 1000”.
- Would it be better to ask our employees to work for:
7 hours – 6 days a week or
10 hours – 5 days a week?
- Should I buy an expensive diesel car or a cheaper petrol car where the price of diesel is much lower than petrol?
IS BASED ON MATH
Almost all of our memory skills such as :
- When is my friend’s birthday?
- On what date is the rent due to be paid?
- How much did I spend last month?
IS BASED ON the skills that you have developed by learning History.
I always believe that every subject in your curriculum, no matter how insignificant it might look, is there for a reason.
So, think about everything you have studied so far. And make a list of the subjects that you loved studying.
How do you know which subjects you like?
First of all, let me tell you this.
Your career does not depend on the subject you get the most marks in.
You need to think about the following :
- Which subject/chapter interests you the most?
- What do you never get bored studying?
Write down what comes to your mind.
It does not have to be one thing.
It can be as many as 5 subjects. Just think about what you enjoy.
Step 02: Take an Aptitude Test
This is an important step.
An aptitude test will help you get to know yourself better.
Some of the characteristics that you have, may become known to you only through certain special tests.
You can choose any educational center near you that offers aptitude tests.
Many schools have also started conducting these tests when a student graduates to high school.
There are also some free aptitude tests available on the internet, but I would recommend a paid test.
But if you are still apprehensive, you can always take the free test first and then decide.
Do you have to prepare for the Test?
Absolutely Not !
This test is going to measure the following :
- Mental Ability
- Verbal Reasoning
- Diagrammatic Reasoning
- Logical Aptitude
- Mechanical Reasoning
You have to use all the knowledge that you have already gained to write this test.
But you can practice some online tests to get an understanding of what kind of questions are generally asked, but that is not really required.
What to do after the Test?
After you have written the test, you will be given an Evaluation sheet.
Some centres also offer personalized career guidance, but that is optional.
Once you have received your evaluation, go through it very carefully.
Read it 2-3 times.
Then think about the list of the favorite subjects you have made.
Analyze everything written in the evaluation.
Various career choices would be suggested and your abilities would be given a score based on various parameters as I mentioned above.
After reading this, you would have a fair idea of what you are capable of doing.
But is it necessary that you would be passionate about it?
Narrow down your options
By the time you are done with the first two steps, you should prepare a rough list of the career choices you are interested in.
This is very important as the next steps are going to focus on these options only.
If you feel you are interested in more than one or two career paths, that’s okay, just list them down.
You can have as many as 10 choices,
what is important is to have a definite list.
Is it important to follow the evaluation ?
To be frank, NO.
An aptitude test is only to give you a specific direction.
You may or may not follow the same.
It is more of a guidance and not a final decision.
Take your time to think and follow the next steps.
Step 03: Talk to your relatives/friends in different professions AND Students pursuing the same
Once you have narrowed down your options, talk to everyone you know who is either in that profession or is pursuing that profession.
Your relatives or elders will be able to give you their perspective on what goes on in their respective professions.
Different perspectives will help you choose better, that is why the more the number of people you talk to, the better.
For example: When I was choosing my career, I was relatively inclined towards the Chartered Accountancy course based on the aptitude tests and my favorite subjects.
I spoke to different people, from family friends to relatives to strangers on a bus.
This helped me in getting their opinion on the future of the profession, how much they enjoy it, the perks and benefits, etc.
Not only did I speak to people who are already Chartered Accountants but I also talked to students pursuing the CA course.
I also spoke to Actuaries, Lawyers, and Company Secretaries, as these were also some of the careers, I was interested in.
So, this step is all about DOING YOUR HOMEWORK.
Just like you read the reviews before you buy a product,
Ask the opinion of people who are already in the profession before getting into it.
Also, TALK TO THE STUDENTS PURSUING IT.
Often, people tend to forget the struggles they have been through once they have achieved their goals.
They only remember the happy and positive moments.
That is why it is also important to talk to the students who are currently in the race.
They will be able to give you more insight into what you need to be prepared for.
They will also give you their fresh and honest opinion about the difficulties that you should be prepared to face.
What should you do after talking to everyone?
Think about what everyone told you.
Sit down with a pen and paper, and make a pros and cons list, of all the careers you are interested in.
You don’t have to worry about the number of choices you have come down to.
It is okay, to have more than one or two choices.
After making the pros and cons list, go onto the internet and search everything about all those careers.
Extensive Research about the Narrowed down career choices
While doing the research, you should be paying attention to the following :
- The time needed to complete the course.
- The total amount that needs to be spent.
- Job opportunities.
- The future prospects, so on and so forth.
Spend a good two to three weeks in this research.
Prepare good and clear notes that you can go back and refer, remember this decision is a very important one.
After doing this, go on to the next step.
Step 04 : Where do you see yourself in the future?
Now you know EVERYTHING about your career choices.
So, it’s time for some introspection.
Clear your mind,
Close your eyes,
and think about the following :
- What do you see yourself doing 10 years down the line?
Are you saving lives in a hospital?
Are you fighting for your country at the border?
Or are you fighting a defamation case in court?
- Which career option is going to give you the most satisfaction?
- Do you possess the right skill set to pursue the career you are thinking of?
- Are you going to be making enough money to support yourself?
Ask yourself all the above questions and more and the answer you have when you open your eyes is the RIGHT CAREER FOR YOU.
Step 05 : Discuss your choice with your parents
I know, many of you are wondering that, this is supposed to be the first step.
You are going to be practicing your career and not your parents,
that is why you need to do all the above steps independently.
After you have got your answer in Step 4, sit down with your parents / loved ones, and ask them their opinion.
If there is anyone in this world, who knows you more than you do, it is your parents.
They will be able to give you some valuable guidance on whether the choice is right for you or their personal experiences, etc.
A third party opinion is very important for a fair evaluation.
And who better to give you an honest opinion than your parents.
They are going to be your support system after all !
But there is one thing that you need to remember.
In most cases, parents always support their children’s opinion.
But sometimes, they might not be very pleased with your choice.
Now, don’t become all rebellious. Hear them out.
Maybe they have a valid point.
However, if they don’t want you to pursue the career of your choice because of the following reasons :
- Being a boy, you want to become a Fashion Designer.
What will people think?
- Architecture is a male-dominated profession.
It is not suitable for women.
You should become a doctor instead.
- How will you have children if you become police officer?
- Photography does not pay much.
You should pursue engineering.
And many such pretentious reasons , then don’t listen to them
Sorry, for being so blunt.
But I am here to tell you this :
“You have the power to change the world,
Don’t let anything put you down”
I believe in you and so should you.
Explain to your parents why this career is the right one for you.
Show them your passion and love for the profession and I’m sure they’ll understand.
If you need more motivation, watch Tom Cruise’s “Jerry Maguire”,
it should serve as an inspiration for you.
So, that is all the steps you need to follow to choose the right career.
For some, this might be easy, while others may find it a little difficult to decide.
But don’t worry, this isn’t a race, the right choice matters more that the speed of making that choice.
There are some things, however, that you should refrain from doing while choosing a career.
Avoid doing the following while choosing a Career:
#01 The Herd Mentality
Many of us don’t really know where our passion lies, before following the steps that I just gave you.
And without the right guidance, many students end up choosing those careers that either their friends have chosen or that their parents are already practicing.
Now, if this is the career you want, then go right ahead.
However, more often than not students are confused.
And they find that an easy problem to their solution is:
Just do what the others are doing.
But, 10 years down the line, YOU ARE going to regret this decision.
When I was choosing my career, everyone around me was choosing a career in science.
Almost all my relatives have made their careers in the science stream.
And maybe that is why, my parents were a little apprehensive, of my choice of pursuing CA, in the beginning.
You should remember that,
Choosing your career is NOT like Choosing what to eat.
Once chosen, it is very difficult (but not impossible) to change your decision.
That is why you need to put in the time and effort that goes into making the right choice.
I have never regretted choosing Chartered Accountancy and I had followed exactly the above steps while choosing my career.
#02 Choosing Money over passion
This is a very common mistake many young adults, especially of this generation make.
I am not going to get philosophical and say that,
“money cannot but everything”!
For the very basic necessities like food, clothing, and shelter,
you do need money.
But that should not be the ONLY reason you are selecting a particular career path.
Money is going to give you some happiness, but that is going to be
In the long run, the love for your job is going to give you the ultimate satisfaction you are looking for.
Confucius, a great Chinese philosopher, has very rightly said:
“Choose A Job You Love,
and You will Never have to Work a Day in Your Life.”
When you are pursuing a career you are truly passionate about, the journey is also going to seem so much easier.
No one in this world ever became successful running after money.
You can think of anyone, be it, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Nelson Mandela, Priyanka Chopra, Narendra Modi, and countless other examples.
All of the biggest influencers of the world went after their passions and money just followed suit.
So, follow your passion and follow your heart;
the rest will fall in place automatically.
#03 Getting under the pressure of your parents
As I have already stated before,
Don’t choose a career just because your parents are telling you to.
Your parents aren’t the ones going to be practicing your careers, YOU ARE.
So have a long chat with your parents about the path you want to take and I’m sure they are going to understand.
And if you are a parent reading this, please let your children decide what they want to do, THEMSELVES.
Don’t pressurize them into doing anything.
But that being said, I would also strongly advise you to take positive feedback from your parents about your choice.
This is because they are the ones who know you best and they will be able to give some very constructive feedback for you to work on.
All in all, don’t let anyone stop you from achieving anything just because it seems impossible.
Smartphones were also considered to be impossible to make, not long ago.
Nothing in this world is impossible to achieve if you believe in yourself.
I believe in you, DO YOU?
#04 Going with the Trends
Here are some of the trending careers today :
- A Digital Marketer
- A Blogging Business Owner
- A YouTuber
- An Investment Banker
- A Data Scientist
- A BlockChain Developer, etc.
And all these careers are great and have a huge potential for growth, but only if you are passionate about it.
If you don’t know what to do and just go with the trends, you are not going to find yourself very successful.
This is because you are not really in that career because you love what you do, but because you need to make a living.
DON’T MAKE THAT MISTAKE.
Maybe you are passionate about the more traditional career choices like becoming a doctor or engineer or chartered accountant.
Take your time and find your passion.
And don’t take this decision in haste.
You can always connect with me by Email, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Pinterest (whichever suits you) if you have any questions or need any more tips. I am always happy to help.
To conclude, I want to leave you with this :
“The sky is the limit for you, so don’t restrict yourself to anything.
Pick yourself up. Dust Yourself up and Get Hustling.”
Let me know in the comments section below if you found this article helpful.
Until then, Happy Reading ?.