If you are a teenager, you may be stumped when people all around ask you about your career. Sadly, no one tells you how to make a career choice. The real solution to career discovery, then, is to keep exploring through real world learning – where you learn by doing, instead of just reading about it in textbooks. It is a crucial step to long-term life success. It can help you go beyond test scores and lead you to a path of self-discovery.
Here’s how you can understand your true career calling with the help of real world learning:
Figure out what you’re looking for
Before you find a career that is good for you, you must understand yourself and the things that you excel at. Some studies have shown that the top 10% of successful people do about 50% of the work. Here’s something to think about:
- Research multiple paths to see what interests you
- Find out your strengths to align them with your choices
Don’t just limit yourself to passion
Following your passion is excellent. But it would help if you equally focus on the ultimate impact of your effort. About 75% of respondents to a survey in America said they had changed their career at least once, and approximately 33% thinking of changing yet again. So, the right fit is a must.
Let your passion guide you, but don’t forget to put in the hard work. Figure out if you’re interested in a particular area enough to pursue it long-term. Moreover, you can find out more about your interest by participating in activities or events related to it.
Look for overlaps
What you know, what a company expects, and what you want to achieve may differ, but the connection between the three should be found. This is how you find your perfect way to work.
Think about your interests, abilities, and learn how to interpret this instead of looking for a job. Look back at past experiences to guide you towards your future. What did you like to do in the past? What did you not like about it?
You will see what work you have to do by knowing your values, passions, and abilities. And being sensitive to these factors means that you can take a closer look at technologies that require 21st-century skills.
Shortlist your choices
You can’t try it all. It can work better if you reduce it to a minimum number of possibilities. So, measure up which of your talents and abilities can actually make fit within career paths. And, just make a list of the pros and cons and shorten it down to things that really matter to you.
Network your way to career discovery
When you are actively looking for a new career or trying to figure out which way to go, it’s a great way to get your feet in the water and seek help from those already in it.
When you meet more people, you can gain more insight into how they work, why they love their work. And mentoring is crucial if you are looking for a job. Surveys reveal that around 85% of the jobs are networked!
Seek professional internships
Did you know what a veterinarian does all day? There is no better way to learn a job than to spend a day shadowing someone. Even universities help you plan to visit a professional body as long as you follow the rules.
For example, if you want to do an internship with a family friend or neighbour in their office, they will be asking you to contact the HR department in advance for authorization. (This inquiry can be initiated on your behalf by the friend or neighbour.) This will, in turn, increase your exposure to the industry.
Hold on to what inspires you
This is an obvious step: everyone wants to enjoy their work and appreciate it. If you are afraid to talk about work, it is the most significant sign that you are on the wrong path. While passion is not the only way to fulfil your mission, most people would say that it is still important, not least because passion keeps you going through difficult times.
The road to career discovery is not a straight path, but it is filled with great learnings and personal growth. Happy exploring!