The meaning of the term career to anyone differs from person to person and can be highly relative. The most common understanding of the word is that it is synonymous with words like a profession or a job. People can also have different expectations while choosing a career: making big money, following their passion, or just for bare survival. For people following their passion (even making big money), their career path seems much easier since they have already set their goals. People confused about what to pursue end up having difficulty determining their career since their path is a rocky one.
Choosing a career based on your education or the degree you hold is confusing because multiple fields are associated with each degree nowadays. It is highly advised that before making up your mind about your career, you try out internships, training, and boot camps to give you some practical experience beforehand. This process will help you confirm whether or not the career caters to your interests.
Below are a few essential tips that will help you choose your career, which will help you make a well-researched and informed decision.
1.Make sure you self-assess yourself
The foundation of deciding your career path is self-assessment. You have to write down your skills, interests, strengths, weaknesses, values, and preferences, which will be used to carve your career. You can either choose to do it yourself or take any self-assessment tests available online these days. This process will immensely help you narrow down your options and focus on where your main interest or passion lies. Since your career affects your lifestyle, behavior, health, etc., it must be compatible with your personality and values.
Therefore, you will have to answer questions like- What makes you happy? What excites you in life? What are your fundamental values? Then, you will have to make an informed decision based on your answers and decide on an option that will give you satisfaction in life.
2.List down your skills and compare them with the skills required for your career
After having done your self-assessment, you will have a list of all your skills in hand. Classify these into hard and soft skills. Hard skills are those skills that you procure through formal training, internships, or your field of education(your degree). Some hard skills are SEO, WordPress training, JAVA, C++, social media marketing, etc. On the other hand, traits of your personality that can prove to be an asset in a work environment, such as teamwork, leadership skills, etc., are called soft skills.
Now you can begin to compare these skills with what your career or job demands. Either you can apply for a job that fits your skill-set, or you can develop more skills through training or internships and apply for more jobs later. It would help if you were well equipped with the skill-set that your job demands so that your work can move on smoothly.
3.Remember to network and make as many connections
While discussing something with your professors, peers, friends, etc., you are simply networking. But suppose you want to be one step ahead of others. In that case, you should reach out through social media networking sites like Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, etc., and try to develop connections with as many people with similar interests. This will help you get in touch with professionals, experts, and experienced people already working in the field. You can ask them for advice, train under them, stay up-to-date with the latest developments, or even get opportunities to work/intern with them.
Working or training under them will help you get their referrals and connections, which will be very useful while applying for your future career. Building up your network should start as early as in college so that by the time you get your degree, you will have many valuable connections. In addition, developing a complete LinkedIn profile will help companies contact/ recruit you efficiently.
4.Building up a perfect resume and keep updating it
A resume portrays the skills and qualifications of the job applicant on a formal document for the employer. After your list down your skills during self-assessment, you need to transfer them into your resume accordingly. Refer to a suitable resume format and put in the details as asked, first your details, then your educational qualifications, and at last, your hard and soft skills. At the bottom of the resume, you can include your referral from your previous agencies.
These referrals can be beneficial as it puts you one step ahead of other applicants. While applying for a job, you will be asked to send in your resume and attach a letter of recommendation from your previous job/ training, if any. With every job/internship you do, make sure you are regular in updating your resume.
5.You do not have to be in a hurry to apply for a job or stick to a job even if it does not interest you
After getting their degree, people start worrying over getting a job so much that they jump onto the first opportunity they get. They sometimes make the mistake of not researching what the job entails, the workload, or even the salary. As a result, they end up losing interest, quitting, and being discouraged about their future. They must understand and compare the required skill-set of the job to their own.
Excessive records of quitting jobs can also leave a wrong first impression on the new employer. It would help if you took your time selecting and filtering through jobs that cater to your interest and research about what work you will be expected to perform. With that being said, it is also not wise to stay in a job that does not satisfy your passion or makes you feel unproductive. While looking for a job, the priority should be to give you a sense of satisfaction and make you feel like you contribute.
It is understandable that after college, people start worrying over getting a job quickly so that they can be financially independent and stable. However, choosing the right career takes some time and patience before actually making the correct choice. Before immediately jumping onto the first job offer you come across, take some time to evaluate yourself and your skills. Make sure you match your skill-set to the job before saying yes and if it caters to your passion in life.