Sunday, July 14, 2024

Choosing a New Career Path? How to Get it Right.

( It’s really scary when you don’t know just what you want to do with your life, but lots of people find themselves in exactly that position every day whether because they’ve been laid off from their job and need to find new work or because they’re tired of their current career paths and want a change.

Right now, due to the coronavirus pandemic, a lot more people are rethinking their careers and looking to make a change, but they’re worried and even afraid of choosing the wrong career path and either training for a job they hate or in a field where they’ll struggle to get hired. If you’re one of them, here are some tips to help you get in right…

Identify your skills

There isn’t a single job out there that doesn’t require skills of some sort, so it makes total sense to start by working out where your strengths lie. If you’re a people person, for example, you might want to consider a role in Human Resources or social work, whereas if you’re a very analytical goal-orientated person, training as an engineer or banker could be a better bet. When you’re good at something, not only is it easier to get hired, but you’re more likely to have an enjoyable, fulfilling career too.

Define your goals

What are your goals in life? what do you hope to get out of your career? These are two questions you should definitely ask yourself if you want to choose the right career path going forward.

Do you want to make a lot of money? Is helping people the most important goal in your life? Do you just want to be happy in your work? 

Choosing a career that enables you to meet your goals means that it doesn’t feel so much like work and more like a fulfilment of your life’s dreams and goals. That may sound a bit hokey, but think about it— how much happier would you feel if you got up every day knowing you would spend the next 8 hours doing what’s meaningful to you? Really darn happy, right!

Do the math

A fulfilling career isn’t all about money, but most of us do need to think about the financial side of things, especially if we have families to support and mortgages to pay, so before you decide on a new career to pursue, look up the salary for finance graduates or check out the average earnings of a personal trainer and see if you can lice on and live with the amount of money you’re likely to bring in. Remember that you’ll just be starting out, so you’ll likely earn at the bottom of the payscale to start with, but if you work hard, you could achieve much more.

Check out future predictions

The last thing you want is to train for a career as an accountant, for example, only to be out of a job 5 years down the line that the role has become obsolete due to advancing technology. So, make sure that you check out predictions for future skills gaps and industries that are likely to still need people 1, 3 and even 10 years down the line. Of course, you can also retrain again in the future, but it’s sensible to avoid occupations that are on the way out right from the off.

Talk to people in that industry

So, you’ve decided that you want to be a journalist/engineer/doctor/whatever. Before you start applying for school or taking a class at night school to get your skills up to date and give yourself a fighting chance, it would be prudent to get out there and talk with some people who are already doing that job. If you don’t know anyone in your chosen field, you’d be surprised by how accessible people are online, especially if you express an interest in what they do.

Pick their brains and ask them what they love about their job, what they find difficult, how hard it was to break into the industry — things like that — so you can get a good idea of what it would really be like to have a similar career.  If you can convince them to let your shadow them for a while, then so much the better!

Try an internship

A lot of people don’t realize that you can work an internship as an adult, which is a shame because it can be a really useful way of trying out a new career path before you fully commit. It can also help you to build connections with people in that industry and even get full-time jobs once your time as an intern is up. Of course, a lot of people can’t afford to take the financial hit of being an intern in adulthood, but if you can make it work, you definitely shouldn’t discount it as a possibility.

Get educated

It isn’t always the case, but often, when you’re making the leap to a new career, you will find that some of your skills and knowledge are lacking for the roles you seek. If that is the case, it makes sense to update your skills. This could mean going back to college ot undertaking an online degree, but you may only need to take a short course at night school or community college to ensure that your resume is as desirable as possible. Before you get to this stage, it’s a good idea to have really nailed down the path you want to take because it can be expensive to get the qualifications you need. But, spending money on your education is rarely a poor investment, so bear that in mind too.

Choosing a new career path can be challenging, but if you take your time, bear in mind the advice above and stay open to new ideas, you should be able to find something that suits you and makes you happier, and more secure than you ever thought possible.

Staff Writer; Mark Jacobs

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