Majority considers career or work as one of the main priorities in life and getting stuck in a wrong job can be frustrating and can impact the personal life as well. Choosing the correct career is very important as it marks the first step towards the professional life. Sadly, survey shows that only less than 50% of U.S. workers feel that they are in good jobs, that shows more than half U.S. workers are unhappy in their jobs. Indeed’s latest ‘Work Happiness Score’ survey has found that three fourth of UK workers are not happy in their jobs most of the time. The reasons behind such statistics are many but a study published in Indian Journal of Commerce & Management Studies, showed that employees who make the right career choice are more likely to be satisfied with their job. Appropriate career choices and job satisfaction have major health effects on a person’s wellbeing.
Making a major career change or choosing a career is a huge professional and personal decision According to 2022 statistics, only 21% of college graduates pursue a career based on their qualifications and 39% of the people consider changing their careers based on salaries. Additionally, 70% of the workforce is actively looking for a career change. Due to several factors a constant need for career change is observed and some of the job expectations include the following:
Work-life balance plays a major role when choosing a career. Survey done on the impact of 2020 shows that work from home has increased overall global job satisfaction and Owl Lab’s 2020 State of Remote Work Survey Report revealed that work from home has become a requirement for work happiness for a significant portion of the workforce. The survey also uncovered that 46% of professionals surveyed would seek out a new position if current employers demanded a full return to the office. As the job expectations are changing, the need for career change is also observed worldwide.
Factors Affecting Career Choice:
While key factors while choosing a career may vary from person to person, following are a few basic reasons for professionals to seek new job opportunities:
5 Steps Assess Career Possibilities:
Knowing the above factors alone cannot make the process easy. Many times, it is stressful to choose the perfect career, but the process can be simplified by following certain steps.
. 1. Assess Yourself
This is a crucial step in choosing your career. Assessing can be done in many ways. It can be done systematically or even in an informal way. This includes understanding yourself, knowing your strengths, identifying your passion, and even understanding your weaknesses.
This step will help you to understand about yourself and knowing what your priorities are. It can be started by jotting down your likes and dislikes, asking your friends what your strengths and challenges are, asking yourself the same question, and understanding what excites you (it can be travelling, talking to people etc.)
You can get the guidance of a professional too. Taking aptitude tests, personality tests (like MBTI) and attending career counselling can make it easier. Career tests come in various forms, including questionnaires, card sorts, and multiple choice and short answer tests.
2. The long list
You can write down all the careers that can match your personality, likes, strengths etc. This can be the step where you can be creative and write down every single job that can interests.
Sometimes it is even fine if you go out of the box and include uncommon career paths or even the daring ones. It’s OK to feel different or misfit because only if you dream big, you can achieve the unachievable. As the psychologist Dr Ronald Fischer said, job choice and autonomy is more directly related to happiness than having lots of money.
. 3. Explore Your List
In this step, you explore all the options that was included in the list. This step forms the basis for your decision. Get all the information on the occupations you are interested in. You can use social media, online searching, talking to friends, parents, and other adults to know more about the options. You can also use LinkedIn to talk to professionals in the same or similar positions and even conduct informational interviews. Use all the possible methods to get the maximum information on all the job options.
4. Short List
Once you have all the details on the different job options that suit you, it is time to remove all the disinterested and unappealing options. You can have 5 to ten options in the final list. You should consider all the factors that can make it the best option or the worst. You should also identify your must-haves. It can include the monetary part, growth opportunity, limitations, and feasibility.
The important point here is, “Do not let others make the decisions for you.” According to this survey, students are most influenced by family when choosing a major; 22% chose family as the most important factor influencing their choice of major.
5. Make Your Career Choice
Considering all the points discussed before, a final decision should be taken here. Sometimes you are stuck between two appealing options. In this case, go to the step four and do more research on the two occupations.
Make sure you choose something which you know is challenging and interesting because only ifyou are challenged you grow more otherwise it can lead to burn out. Once you choose your career path, identify your goals (short-term and long-term), and write a career action plan. It might be too soon in your career journey but it’s always good to have goals that can keep you on track. It can be as simple as “getting a degree” or “doing an internship”.
Remember that this need not be your last decision. It is OK to change your decision, try something new or change the career path in between. In the end, you should feel content and motivated when you are at work. As David Suzuki said, “It is not too late to take another path.”