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7 Things to Consider When Choosing a Career Path

Mar 9, 2018 12:41 IST
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7 Things to Consider When Choosing a Career Path
7 Things to Consider When Choosing a Career Path

When you enter college suddenly there are a lot of responsibilities on your shoulders. For you are not just managing your finances, part-time jobs and striving to maintain your grades in college but you also are burdened with choosing the right career for yourself. Surely, there are people all around you who can assist you in this, like your parents, professors, seniors, elder siblings, friends and should the need arise you could even pay a visit to a career counsellor. But the decision, in the end, is yours to make and you are the one who's to live that life.

So, no matter what, having to decide what you want to do the rest of your life is quite tough. There are innumerous doubts and what-ifs that flood a student's mind like what if I make the wrong choice or what if I don't like it? Or what if industry witness a decline? Such thoughts make the process all the more complex and confusing for a student. However, you can avoid all this unnecessary stress and easily decide upon the right career for yourself if you take into consideration some the factors that we have mentioned here.

Avoid making the mistakes that we have listed here and you will smoothly sail through the process of choosing the perfect career for yourself. 

Look out for the signs of industry decline

Apart from some exceptions most of the industries come and go. How long would they survive, however, depends on how fast is the technological advancement in that industry. For example, there was a time when the 'print' was one of the most popular mediums of communication industry but then came the television and now the digital medium is gaining popularity at the speed of light. Take another example for that matter, horse carriages were once a very prominent means of transportation but they simply disappeared after the automobile industry boom.

The clear conclusion that one can draw from these examples is that very few career choices are bulletproof. But the question that we are concerned here is with, 'can one track the changes that are occurring in the industry and determine its future?' More often than not, it's possible. New technological advancements in any field mean the old ways will soon be outdated. But how long would that be, depends on the speed at which the tech is made available to masses. So, be aware of the current trends in your dream industry, track the changes happening in it. Is it staying steady or is it witnessing a decline or what future does it hold over the next 10-20 years? nalyze all these things and then make a decision accordingly.

Should Money be the first priority or not? 

A lot of famous people have been quoted to have said that, 'money is not everything.' That money cannot buy one happiness. However, for someone struggling to pay his bill or feed his children, money is indeed the source of his happiness. But, does that mean that money should be your first priority when choosing a career? Certainly, not and that is indeed something that is highly advised against. Money might bring security but it cannot be the primary factor when choosing a career. Taking a job purely for the monetary benefits surely is going to lead to a lot of unhappiness and problems in later life.

For know this, you must enjoy the career you choose only then can you succeed in it. Suppose, you have a big home, a fancy car and every luxury you ever dreamed of but you hate the work that you are doing. Then, these luxuries also will lose their charm they won't able to bring you any happiness. The point here is that you must strike a balance between the two things. Choose a decent career that you'd enjoy and demand a decent pay for your work efforts. You might make less money initially but if you enjoy the job you'll work hard and gain more success than the other way around.

Jobs with limited prospects of growth

In almost every industry there is a hierarchy, ladders to climb. We all start from the bottom rung but we all have the dreams of reaching the top. There are some great examples of people who have started at the entry level jobs and reached the level of the senior management positions in some really big companies. But that is not the case for every industry and you must be okay with that. Look at the growth prospects in your industry and determine, whether its fine with you. Would you be content in a career that does not offer a lot of promotions or power shifts? Also, consider would have to struggle to get a steady rise in that industry. Whenever choosing a career also consider picking the industry based on your interests for personal growth and rewards for hard work.

Doing what your parents want you to do

Often students are faced with the pressure of upholding the family traditions. Like suppose, you come from a successful business family it's highly likely for your parents to hope that you'd follow in their footsteps and take the business ahead. They would want you to graduate from some good management schools preferably the IIMs or even send you abroad for management education. But what if you are not interested a single bit in leading the business. What if you think that you do not wish to pursue management studies but study music.     

There are different roads that you could end up taking in such a scenario. First, you could succumb to your parent's wishes, drop music and study management. Secondly, you could also pursue music as a side thing and third you could pursue music wholly and disregard your parents' wishes for studying management. Ironically, there is no right or wrong path here. What's important is what is it that you want to do? What makes you happy? Or are you doing it simply because of your parents? For remember that this is your life and you'll have live with the choice that you make. And most often than not, you only have one shot at it so follow your passion whatever it may be and try to bring your parents on board with whatever you choose.

Just Going With the Flow

Sometimes students get too tired or are so confused that they just drop it all and say, 'I don't know what I want to do, but this looks good so let's try it out.' Or  that, 'I am not sure what I want to do but my friend is doing this so, I might as well try it out.' Mistakes like these are quite common and lead to lots of regrets later on. Your career is not something that can be picked on at just randomly or just because your friend is doing it. This decision would determine how to spend a major part of life so it's imperative that you give it a serious thought.

'If you are of the belief that you can always switch career later in life' then you want to hold on that thought. Talk to people around you who are not satisfied with their jobs. Many times people choose a career at the start because it pays bills, offers hefty salaries or is convenient. But over the few years, you get experienced and promoted. But a switch is quite hard to make as you have acquired skills specific to your field and the other fields to have changed a lot over the years making you outdated in them. Thus, you are stuck where you are whether you like it or not. So make a decision only after careful deliberation when choosing your career and never choose it at random.

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Wasting time waiting for that perfect career

It's understandable if you want to wait for the right job but make sure that you do not go to waste other good opportunities waiting for the dream job. You might not want to jump into something unless you are perfectly sure that it's your calling but sometimes, it does more harm than good. If you adopt a highly rigid attitude of no compromises, no wiggle room but want every thing as per your demands and preferences then it's quite hard to find that perfect career.

And if you are unable to find such a job it often leads to disappointment and frustration. You must understand that no career would be a 100% match to your preferences. You must have some room for negotiations and compromises. Just ensure that you would be happy for the majority of the part in the job. Even the people who love doing their work have some down days and not so good experiences in the office. But in the end, the positives should outweigh the negatives for that's all that matters.

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Assuming that you need to have a natural talent to take up certain careers

There is a very famous quote that you must always keep in mind that is, 'If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything.' Often we believe that there are certain people such as artists, writers, musicians who are just simply born with that skill. But that's not always true. Having the skill is a good start but even they cannot succeed unless they work hard with that skill. And it's not like that only the ones with innate talents in the field are the ones who should make a career in it.

Like, suppose you are interested in music but do not pursue it as a career because you think you are not a good singer or maybe not good with instruments. Is it the way you think that you can make a career in the field of music? Well, the answer is a big NO. There are so many other things that you can do there. Also, if you are not good at something but have a passion for it, then instead of running away work hard and master the skill you love. For, if you believe in yourself then no career would be impossible for you to pursue.

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Hope the above mentioned advice will help you pick the right career path for yourself and avoid making regrettable mistakes that students often do. For more such articles on career guidance related topics please visit the jagran josh website.

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