Ever felt too much pressure to choose a career? Your parents have certain expectations, your friends might have certain suggestions, family members are always chiming in with advice and everyone from neighbours, teachers to even relatively unknown strangers will have an opinion on what you should be doing with your life. While these suggestions may come from a good place, more often than not, they only add to your confusion. To top it all, there are over 12,000 career options to choose from, automation is changing just about every field, and your school or college has managed to introduce you to only a fraction of your possible options. How, then, are you expected to make the right choice and stick to it for the rest of your life? It’s not like you have all the time in the world to jump from one option to another until you find out what you’re truly meant to do. Sure, people talk about switching careers at all stages of life, but how many switches would it take to find your perfect fit?
So how do you make the right choice, when you’re constantly shackled by the expectations of everyone around you? This Independence Day, we’re going to help you free yourself from these expectations and do what YOU love.
1. Free yourself from external advice
When you’re about to make a career decision, just about everyone will weigh in with their opinions. While the advice is helpful, no one knows you as well as you do. You need to consider YOUR interests and YOUR passions while choosing a career. That being said, there are other factors that play an important role when it comes to having a fulfilling career. If your passion is writing but you can write only about one subject and don’t really have any marketing skills to promote it, you will find it very difficult to follow your passion.
Pro-tip: Apart from figuring out which of your passions would make for a great career, make a note of the skills you have and what you’re willing to learn or do for your job. For eg., would you be okay with travelling if your job requires it? Would you be open to learning different functions within the job before settling on one specialisation? Look for jobs that do not demand more than what you are ready to give. This will make sure that your career is the perfect balance between your interests and your capabilities.
2. Free yourself from career myths.
There are some careers which are considered to be more secure or successful than others. This may seem like sound advice when it comes from experienced people, but reality differs from this perception. With tremendous competition in every field and automation wiping out jobs by the day, it is very difficult to gauge which job is secure and which one isn’t.
Pro-top: Look at other factors. Try an internship in the career of your choice before you write it off and settle for one you’re excited about. Don’t ever give up on learning, as it’s the only thing that will help you remain relevant in an ever-evolving world.
3. Free yourself from the herd mentality.
When all your friends flock towards a certain career, or all your loved ones advise you to choose a certain field, it seems easier to simply go with the flow. However, in doing so, you fail to consider your own skill-set and passions. What works out for your friends might not necessarily work for you.
Pro-tip: If you want to rely on someone for guidance, do it once you’ve already chosen a career based on your interests. Find someone from your field to mentor you and learn everything you can about the finer workings of your industry. Ask them to introduce you to others in the industry who have made it. If you must go with the flow, ensure you’re going with the right kind!
4. Free yourself from limited learning.
This is a piece of advice that has been repeated time and time. What you learn in school differs from what you have to do on the job and even that changes on a regular basis. The world is constantly evolving in every sphere, and it’s important to keep up with the updates. Essentially, you never stop learning if you wish to grow in your field.
Pro-tip: Assign at least two hours each week for learning about the latest developments in your career. Set Google alerts, follow the right websites and social media profiles, and speak to your seniors to learn from them. As long as you’re up-to-date on your field, you’ve got nothing to worry about!
5. Free yourself from ‘compromise’.
There may be a time in your life when your passions may not be able to pay your bills. At that point, it may not sound like a bad idea to settle for something that brings in the money but doesn’t necessarily fulfil your interests. However, you will only half-heartedly take up that job and the work pressure will leave you with little to no time to look for your ideal one. This results in a lifetime of misery at a job you hate.
Pro-tip: Make a list of options that serve as a stepping stone to your passion. Look for jobs that work as a ‘foot in the door’ for your real passion, and ensure that you devote enough time to your passion as well.
We hope this blog helps you free yourself from the shackles holding you back, and helps you pursue what you truly love. If you’re unsure which passion to pursue as a full-time career, reach out to us – we’d be happy to guide you down the right path!