Nuances of Career Selection
What do you want to be when you grow up? We have all had ample practice answering this question and have supplied our version of most coveted jobs as the answer. But when we are actually in a position to decide what we actually want to do to earn a living, we get tongue tied. It is one of the most crucial decisions we take on the precipice of adult life, one that will make a difference to how we live for the rest of our lives. So, how should one address this choice so as not to regret it. The answer isn’t straightforward and even though there is no stopping one from changing tracks later in life, it still weighs heavy on our minds.
Here are 5 tips from those who have counselled students choose the best career for themselves:-
1. Research the market – Study market trends, what is currently the industry demand and what are the predicted job trends. Jobs that are currently at the top may have already peaked and a new trend may be around the corner. Assess what has reached a saturation point, what would still be around and the demand for which skills is on the rise.
2. Best fit for what you value – Are you someone who hates to try new things, are you driven by goals, are you a stickler for rules, or are you unlikely to get things done without a deadline? Before you choose a career, understand what you value most. Find out what drives you, then pursue it proactively after analysing career prospects.
3. True to your abilities – If you have an innate sense of style, an interest in economics, a passion for history, are a natural leader or something else, finding a career choice that is in sync with your interests and abilities will give you an edge. Make sure your chosen career aligns with your goals as well.
4. Be realistic – Even if a career is lucrative, you are not going to start minting money the moment you enter the field. Every field calls for dedication, passion and discipline, some more than others, before you can enjoy the fruits.
5. Try it out – The best way to make sure a career is right for you is to do an internship or a summer job . This way you know first hand what the pros and cons are. You may love it or you may change your mind, either way, it is better for you to know before you have spent years training for a position there. The people you work with there will be who you will turn into a few years from now. Do you like what they are doing and do you see yourself in their place? If yes, then go for it.
As a parent, you are aware that these choice have lifelong implications and want to help your child make the best choice. The careers that were the most sought after when you were making choices may no longer be as rewarding, but there are a plethora of choices that did not exist previously and are now most pursued. Be subjective in assessing your child’s capability and interest as this will help you guide them in the best possible manner. Stay informed about the latest developments in the job market, talk to school career counsellors, explore upcoming opportunities and see what would work for your child.
Remember, every child is different and so are their career paths. Do not compare your child’s journey to another’s, and encourage them to make choices without forcing them and in fact, helping alleviate the peer pressure as well. Keeping channels of communication open encourages a healthy exchange which translates to decisions based on better understanding of their aspirations and values.