You may still be studying, but the pressure is on! Or that’s what it feels like, anyway. In just a couple of years, or months, depending how far along you are in your degree, you will be heading out into the big wide world and getting your first job.
It’s an overwhelming thought, especially when combined with well-intended, but not often useful, advice from friends and family.
Choosing a career that fits your skills and personality as early as possible is important. While it is always possible to change careers later, and there are people who have done this, it’s not an easy task. It is certainly a better idea to have a sustainable career goal in mind right now.
So how do you go about making the best career choice for you?
Do what you love, not what your parents love
Career satisfaction should be your number one criteria when choosing a job. Once you are part of the work force, most of your waking hours are spent on the job. What’s worse, is that if you hate what you do it can be soul destroying.
Following in the footsteps of a family business can also be a bad idea, unless the business offers you opportunity to grow both your skills and your passion.
Combine your skills with what you enjoy
In order to be truly successful in your career choice, you need to look at what you are good at. Only then can you determine if you can combine those skills with what you enjoy doing. Your skills needn’t be based only on academics. Being a people person is a great skill, as is the ability to project manage and be organised.
Do research and speak to a career counsellor
A career counsellor will be able to help you see what careers are best suited to your skills, your personality and your passions. They will also be able to advise you on things like the sustainability of your career choice. In this way you are assured that there is a need for your skills or profession when finding a job one day.
Remember money isn’t everything!
Some people are drawn to careers that offer a nice fat pay check, but end up really hating the work. Don’t make the mistake of being lured by money. These lucrative professions are often so popular that they experience a glut of newly qualified people all competing for limited jobs. Rather, choose a career where you know that you have earning potential, but will also be happy and have opportunities for growth.
And last but not least… don’t stress. Choosing a career is not as overwhelming as it first seems. Put in the right action such as speaking to a career counsellor. Think hard about what you want out of your job one day and then study well to achieve your chosen career choice.