Life after high school can be exciting and terrifying at the same time. Deciding on the right path to take is the next step. Some choose to take time off after graduation to explore and know more about themselves. Others go to the military, chose to work, and continue their studies. Individuals planning to pursue their studies further enroll in reputable universities like the University of Alabama so that they can broaden their options as to the career path they wish to take. Aside from gaining more knowledge, they can also experience personal growth and holistic development.
For people who are still in search of their calling, here are some things to help you choose the right career path:
- Know your skills
Assess yourself and determine which career or professions you may fit in based on your skills. To help you understand your skills more, let’s break them down into parts and look at each of them closely:
- Common skills
These are the traits and skills you develop from childhood and throughout your life. Examples of these skills are patience, independence, adaptability, friendliness, and more. These common skills will help you determine your good traits as a person. Try to determine which of these common skills will be the most useful for the career you have in mind.
- Functional skills
These are the practical skills you obtain in school that are later applied in real-life experiences. Solving problems, logical thinking, and writing skills are some of the examples, to name a few.
- Specialized skills
These are your technical abilities and knowledge, which are essential in accomplishing a specific task. You can either gain them by going through training, acquiring additional education, or practicing them more.
You can know your skills even deeper—whether they fall into the common, functional or specialized categories—by understanding which aspect you are good at performing. Focus on that skill and match it with available resources around. You can then try to match that up with any career path and make these skills the basis of your search.
- Experience it
Another thing that will help you decide which career path to take is if you experience something first-hand. You may be thinking of several possible career paths but haven’t yet decided which one to pursue. Closely observing the routine of these particular fields of interest might help you decide if they’re suited to your skills. Try to get first-hand experience in the career paths you’re looking into by volunteering or shadowing someone working in that field. By getting the first-hand experience, you will be able to grasp the reality of what is demanded of a certain career.
- Ask around
If you cannot ask yourself what you want, then try asking other people. Find someone who can advise you about careers, like a guidance counselor or a teacher. Find someone who can provide you with insight, as well as an objective assessment of your skills. You may even look for people with different professions and ask them about their jobs. To do this, here are some helpful ways you can try:
- Casual interviews
You may ask around by conducting an interview. Depending on you and your target interviewee’s preference, you may do it personally or through a phone call.
- Use your virtual connections
Another tip is to utilize the power of your virtual connections. Some people, you included, may be shy and can’t really do the interview in person. If that is the case, you can use your virtual presence and connect with people you can interview. You can do this by casually tapping your social media accounts to mine for information or send them a message.
- Don’t just listen to your inner voice—scrutinize it
You may have a passion that your inner voice has been whispering for you to follow. However, remember that not all passions could work as a successful career. Listening to yourself is a good idea, but remember to not just listen to the good things. If you are going to listen to your inner voice, don’t filter the good ones to set aside the bad ones.
Listening to your inner voice may cloud your judgment when trying to choose the right career path since you might have the tendency to consider only the positive options or the feelings of attachment you have for your passion. Try to be pragmatic and scrutinize the feasibility and practicality of your so-called passion when considering it as a career choice. See if you have the right skills and abilities to turn your passion into a successful career.
- Don’t follow the trend
The only constant thing in the world is change. What may be doing great today may not be in the same position tomorrow. In-demand jobs today may not be the same sought-after jobs the moment you graduate.
Thus, do not try to follow the hype. Don’t do something just because everyone is doing it. Don’t rely on something which is outside of your locus of control. It will only leave you disappointed, if not devastated.
The Bottom Line
Finding your calling can be a tremendous task. There is no given formula for this and everyone has to figure out their own path.
In the process of finding your right path, there is a series of determinants which affect your final decision. Knowing your skills, asking for advice, taking action, and scrutinizing your inner voice are just a few things to consider when deciding on the career you want to take.