Asking “What is the right career path for me?” is one of the most important decisions you will ever make. The right career can bring you success and happiness. Deciding what you want to do can be daunting; however, you need to take one step at a time. Just ask yourself, “Am I happy with my career path?”.
The traditional three-step career plan is pretty much outdated; graduate college, get a job and then work your way up the ladder for the next 40 years at the same company.
Although there is nothing wrong with doing this, most of today’s professionals swap job titles like kids trading snacks at the lunch table, changing throughout the course of their career.
As jobs change due to technology and the economy; choosing the right career path from the beginning can help you avoid the emotional and financial stress down the road. Young people nowadays have so much choice and fantastic opportunities to pick from but the choice is never easy.
You might have many different skills or be interested in more than one profession or job.
Perhaps you have a burning desire to teach but you would also love to be your own boss and build your own company? Maybe you can’t decide which A-level subjects to study at undergraduate level or your GCSE results weren’t what you hoped for? There are lots of factors to consider.
Too many choices aren’t always a good thing, especially when it comes to picking the right career path.
Don’t just focus on those factors when choosing a job. You should consider other factors too. Using questions as a puzzle is best as a foundation as you ask yourself,
“What career is right for me?”
“What am I good at?”
“What do I love?”.
Now, I know you have probably heard the term “follow your passion” from the day you were born but while some have a clear passion, others find it hard to establish theirs. You’re not alone if you haven’t found a clear path or goal, even if you have a passion, it would seem impossible to achieve it but determination and drive can help overcome such thoughts.
Some of us see goals as an opportunity to become more advanced, to achieve more and reap rewards. You might think about what you’ll gain if you are successful at achieving them. If you are someone who sees goals in this way then you have what is called a ‘promotion focus.’
Promotion focus professionals are classic creative’s and entrepreneurs. They work quickly, seize new opportunities and think abstractly.
The rest might see goals as security, about not losing everything you’ve worked so hard for. When you are prevention focused, you want to keep things running smoothly. You might prefer to plan, ensure constant reliability and thorough analytical thinking.
While we all need a little bit of promotion and prevention-orientated thinking, it is important to determine which way you learn before driving down a career path. If you are more promotion focused, you should consider looking for jobs that offer progression and growth within the company. You could consider fast-paced industries where products and services and rapidly changing and at the forefront of improvement.
If you are prevention focused, you could look for jobs that offer a sense of stability and security. If you are good at keeping things running, handling complex situations and always having a backup plan ready at a moment’s notice, you should consider where your strengths and attention to detail is best suited.
“But what about the entrepreneurs?”
“I’m thinking of starting my own business”
“Which motivational focus is best for that?”
The truth is, you need both promotion and prevention. An entrepreneur might be all promotion which will get a business going but potentially won’t last long. You might be unprepared for the obstacles that come your way. The prevention focused entrepreneur will develop concerns and worry about the business never getting off the ground at all. So if you are starting a new business, make sure you’ve got a healthy balance of promotion and prevention thinking.
Whatever career path you choose, it should be one that you have chosen willingly. "Trust your own instincts, and refrain from being swayed by naysayers," quoted by Joellyn Wittenstein Schwerdlin, owner of The Career Success Coach. "Know that trial and error in choosing a career path is part of the process."
I guess the same can be said for people making a career change; it's never too late to achieve your professional goals. Even if you've been on the wrong path, you can still switch to a job that you may not have considered but will make you far happier than the one you have now. Happiness will ignite further determination and willingness to achieve and succeed.
--By Lottie Foskett --