Put enough thought into it, and you will increase your chances of making a good decision. Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels.
Put enough thought into it, and you will increase your chances of making a good decision. Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels.

Unsure of what career choice to make – Here are 5 tips to follow

By Tamara Mafilika Time of article published Apr 5, 2021

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Feelings of immense pressure and uncertainty are sure to follow if you are still undecided about your career choice. Choose a career that fulfils you intellectually and emotionally, yet at the same time encourages you to grow.

Put enough thought into it, and you will increase your chances of making a good decision.

Career development facilitator, Dawn Rosenberg McKay gives the following advice to help you make the right choice for your future.

1. Assess you

Before you can choose the right career, you must learn about yourself. Your values, interests, soft skills, and aptitudes, in combination with your personality type, make some occupations a good fit for you and others completely inappropriate.

Use self-assessment tools, often called career tests, to gather information about your traits and, subsequently generate a list of occupations that are a good fit based on them. Some people choose to work with a career counsellor or other career development professionals who can help them navigate this process.

2. Make a list of occupations to explore

You probably have multiple lists of occupations in front of you at this point – one generated by each of the self-assessment tools you used. To keep yourself organised, you should combine them into one master list. First, look for careers that appear on multiple lists and copy them onto a blank page. Title it “Occupations to Explore”.

3. Create a "short list"

At this point, start to narrow down your list even more. Based on what you learned from your research so far, begin eliminating the careers you don't want to pursue any further. You should end up with fewer than two to five occupations on your “short list”.

If your reasons for finding a career are unacceptable or non-negotiable, cross it off your list. Remove everything with duties that don’t appeal to you. Eliminate careers that have weak job outlooks. Get rid of any occupation if you are unable to, or unwilling, to fulfil the educational or other requirements, or, if you lack some of the soft skills necessary to succeed in it.

4. Make your career choice

Finally, after doing all your research, you are probably ready to make your choice. Pick the occupation that you think will bring you the most satisfaction, based on all the information you have gathered. Realise that you are allowed do-overs if you change your mind about your choice at any point in your life. Many people change their careers at least a few times.

5. Identify your goals

Once you make a decision, identify your long- and short-term goals. Doing this will allow you to eventually work in your chosen field. Long-term goals typically take about three to five years to reach, while you can usually fulfil a short-term goal in six months to three years.

Let the research you did about required education and training be your guide. If you don't have all the details, do some more research.

Once you have all the information you need, set your goals. An example of a long-term goal would be completing your education and training. Short-term goals include applying to TVET Colleges, apprenticeships, learnerships or other training programmes and doing internships.

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