Making a Career Choice – The Decision Making Blues
Making a good career choice is actually about a lot more than choosing a job; it’s about choosing something that will provide you with the lifestyle you seek. A career is a long term investment that requires rigorous deliberation. A successful career starts coming together when you combine things that you are good at with things that you love and are passionate about. Also remember that making a career choice is a continuous process and there are a numbers of aspects that influence making an informed career decision.
Factors that Influence an Incorrect Career Choice
A successful career choice begins when you begin understanding your likes and dislikes. Initially it can be a chaotic process to combine the things that you are good at with the things that you are passionate about. An effective strategy would be to list down everything that can land you at the wrong place. Some pointers that elaborate on the elimination technique include:
- Being lured by the brand name of a college or a company
- Haste to take up a job because of the money that it promises
- Parental pressure on your career decisions
All in all, the reasons why people make a bad career choice revolve around greed, fear, familial obligations, social sentiments and lack of opportunities. Unlike what many think, when it is about making a career choice, it is better to let the heart dictate your decisions.
Points to Consider While Making a Career Choice
Every choice that you make has intent behind it. The intent is the driver of the decision. While there is nothing like the right or wrong career decision, you have to pick the alternative that will be the best suited for you given you knowledge, skills, and ability. To set a strong foundation for your KSAs, making the right knowledge pick is important. The following three should be the main drivers of a practical career choice:
- Knowledge: Without knowledge about a subject, you are handicapped to take up specialized work related to the subject of interest. If you have the requisite knowledge about something, it becomes your natural choice to search for a job that makes use of it.
- Skill: Basically divided in physical and mental skills, these are the deciding factors with regard to your progress in the job. Without the skill and understanding to do a particular job, your knowledge about it will be of little use.
- Abilities: Unlike what many think, ability is not just a summation of knowledge and skill. Ability is defined as the surety that you will be able to take up and finish a job despite all odds. For example, if you are 18 years old, smart and tall, you are capable of being an airhostess. However, if you are thinking about getting married that year, as per the employment laws you will not be able to take up the job.
It’s like a full circle – your abilities should be the decision making point behind your knowledge and your knowledge should enhance your skills on the job. Further, your skills should be the deciding factor behind your abilities. For example, if you have obtained a management degree, enhancing your managerial skills is the apparent choice.
Asking everyone for advice on career will definitely land you in trouble. If you let fear take control over you, there is not even one percent of chance that you will land up in the right career.
What to Do Once You Have Made the Wrong Choice
You realize you are stuck in the wrong job
- When you don’t feel excited about taking a leave from work every other day
- When money no longer remains your motivation to work
- When you stop interacting with people at office
It is a too common a conundrum that most of the people aren’t happy in their present job. There are only two choices in front of you if you make an incorrect decision. Either you need to move out of the trap, now, or you need to trick yourself into loving the wrong choices. While most of the people end up settling for the latter, there are a few brave souls who risk returning to their original passion.
Making a career choice may look like a simple process. However, it is the most complicated and lengthy one. Being lost in one’s career is not fun. It can make you feel worthless and often depressed. Remember that a well thought-out career choice is very close to the correct one.
Premlesh Machama is the Managing Director of CareerBuilder India