Tips on How to Choose Your Career Path

Get more tips and information on how to choose your career path at mywage.org. Choosing a Career is one of the most important things you’ll do in your life. We have some Tips to Help.

By Sam Banda Jnr

 

Choosing a career is one of the most important things you’ll do in your life. Choosing the wrong career can lead to many young men and women feeling unhappy, dissatisfied and unmotivated with their work. 

Mywage Malawi recently spoke to several young women and men to find out whether they were exposed to career-guiding tips at school to help shape their future. It was found that many young women and men leave secondary school without a clear idea of what they are going to pursue in college, and as a result they sometimes make the wrong choice. 

Stella Hara who is the sales and marketing manager of Blantyre Newspapers Limited, told Mywage Malawi that while she loved her work, she took up this career by default.

“I never had any idea what career I wanted to go for because I didn’t undergo any career orientation. At first I chose to pursue a Bachelors degree in Education to become a teacher just like my parents,” said Hara, who is in her late twenties.

She said a friend later persuaded her to change courses. Hara went on to pursue Business Administration, which her friend advised her was a well-paying job with a wide market.

She says today she thanks her friend for helping her choose a career which she is enjoying.

Career choices may well be more difficult today than at any time in history, for three reasons: There is infinitely more to choose from; career definitions are more fluid and changing; and the levels of expectation are rising. Most men and women entering the workforce today can expect to change careers three or more times during their working lives.

Mywage Malawi brings you five tips to choose a better career:

    1. Begin with your values.

What's really important to you? What turns you on? What do you like to do so much that you would almost feel guilty getting paid to do it? These questions are designed to help you get at one of the key elements in career choice: values. Satisfying careers are built upon the notion of a strong link between one's personal values and the work one will be doing.

    1. Identify your skills and talents.

A skill is something you've learned to do. A talent is something you've been born with, or at least that you seem naturally qualified to do. It's important to recognise the difference between the two. You may be skilled at something and still not find it interesting. Chances are, however, if you are naturally talented at something, there will be a correspondence between that particular talent and your values. Put another way: you are more apt to enjoy doing what you do well naturally than what you have simply been taught to do.

    1. Identify your preferences.

From early on, we approach the world with certain personal preferences - how we perceive others, how we think and make decisions, whether we prefer concepts over people or vice versa, and the extent to which we are comfortable with uncertainty in our lives. For many, these preferences operate at a subconscious level, but they strongly influence the way we function with others. Some questions may help: Are you outgoing or reserved? When faced with a decision, do you rely primarily on facts or feelings? Your answers to these questions can tell you much about the kinds of work you will find interesting and challenging.

    1. Experiment.

There's no substitute for experience, the more the better. It's probably safe to say that nearly every career looks vastly different from the outside than from within. If you're new to the job market or if you are considering a career change, get out and talk to people who are actually doing it. Take a job in the field or industry and see for yourself if it's really all you thought it would be. And don't rely on a single authority or work experience. Within the bounds of the area you've picked, try to get as much and as varied experience as you can. If you're committed to finding out about a certain career, you may want to consider volunteering in order to gain work experience. That way, you'll be able to test out whether it fits your values and preferences.

    1. Become broadly literate.

In this high tech information world, there is an incredible pressure to specialise, to know more and more about less and less. That's dangerous, because it increases your chances of being obsolescent immensely. Many people lose their jobs and scuttle their careers because they have gradually developed tunnel vision about who and what they are and what their capabilities are. Learn as much as you can about what interests you and about the jobs and careers your're considering - not just what those involved are currently doing, but about where the industry or profession is heading.

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