How To Choose And Launch The Career You’ll Love

For the first time in human history we have a huge, increasing number of choices for work. A growing number of new job categories are being created because of the increasing complexity and options inherent with frequent change, new work processes and all the new technologies.

But as the number of types of jobs gets bigger, the amount of specialization required to fill these positions also increases. For the job or career-seeker this situation actually reduces the number of choices a person has unless they have a directed goal, appropriate training, and background or apprenticeship in a field of their choice. As time goes on, it becomes harder and harder to leave a current job, even though its unsatisfying, and go off in search of a better life-unless you know how to navigate with a plan.

So in today’s work place, we need new and better approaches for discovering, choosing and launching a career that is satisfying – one that you’ll be excited about pursuing.

Why 50% stay stuck in the wrong jobs:

Research continues to show over 50% of workers are unhappy in their jobs. Often people stay in a job they don’t like for a number of reasons:

1. They don’t believe it’s possible to have a satisfying career.

2. They don’t know how to go about finding and choosing a career.

3. They are “comfortable” where they are and don’t want to take on any new risks.

4. They have financial obligations – family, credit cards, payments – that handcuffs them to staying put. They feel they can’t jeopardize their current job by looking around.

5. They don’t know enough about themselves – their abilities and interest.

6. Their parents have other ideas and “plans” for them, which are pushed subtly or overtly. Maybe it’s a family history where everyone has been in the legal profession. Or a family business that one is expected to enter. Or a mother’s wish for a child to become a doctor. Then, not having made a clear choice for themselves, these paths are accepted, even though the person knows in his or her heart of hearts it’s not the right thing for them.

7. They don’t how to thoroughly investigate careers, and instead they rely on their limited job experiences or advice from well-meaning friends.

But if a person knows how to go about career planning, most of the above reasons for staying in the wrong job will vanish.

Career decisions are complicated:

First, recognize that career happiness is your choice — a choice that you control.. Taking just whatever job happens to be available, or random job hopping will not expose you properly to a sufficient number of vocational situations. Without adequate choices and a plan to go through them, you never find the career that really is right for you.

Career Planning Requires – A Plan:

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Empower yourself by beginning with an action plan. According to our career experts the fastest surest way to career satisfaction is to develop and follow a plan. This allows you to focus intensely on career goals and breaking each goal into specific actions and completion dates. You get to take an active role in concentrating on weekly and monthly steps, recorded in your career action plan.

A career action plan should include who, what, where and when you need to act. For example, the action plan to complete an assessment of your interests and abilities would include:

o Who to contact to take the assessment.

o What the assessment should cover.

o Where will this be done.

o When will it be started, and when finished.

Next we’ll look at some of the situations that could stop a person from successful career planning.

What can go wrong:

– When your school career center does not help.

– Old approaches no longer work. Information overload.

We often hear that school career centers and library programs have not helped. One of the most common places we go for help is our school career center. Especially in college, students rely on the career office to guide them to the right path and to get hired. Typically traditional career centers offer testing, brief counseling, some resume work and interviewing preparation.

Our research shows most people feel frustrated about their career choices before and during their job search.

An important missing piece in many traditional career centers is a very thorough
exploration of hundreds of careers.

Exploration should involve brainstorming exciting career possibilities in the work world and matching the right careers with an individual’s unique strengths, interests and needs. Discovering more about yourself and stretching your imagination as you explore 100s of career opportunities is a critical step for finding the perfect career.

Old approaches no longer work:

Today there are unprecedented career opportunities around the globe. To make the most of these opportunities, we must go beyond conventional career approaches with a new way of thinking.

A complete and structured program is essential to fully explore an individual’s wildly different strengths and talents to unleash their potential. To thrive in a complicated work climate we need to thoroughly examine a full range of careers-in the public and private sectors, in organizations or in entrepreneurial areas.

Too many resources -information overload

We recommend exploring careers in a structured program with access to resources you can use while you investigate.

College career centers offer a broad selection of career books and online resources. With so many to choose from it’s often overwhelming what will help. How do you know which to use?

Our experts suggest using books or workbooks where you can record your answers and develop a plan. Also avoid “how to” books presenting 1000s of different steps because simple is best for reaching your goals.

Why Internet courses may not work for you:

The one word of caution we have is not to plan your future alone. Sitting for hours at your computer attempting to go it alone easily discourages people from following through.

We recommend the most effective way to move your career forward is to find supportive people and talk regularly. You may need to brainstorm ideas and talk about your frustrations or plan how to work around obstacles. Career planning alone is very difficult. Our most important advice is to include others when making career decisions. Ask friends, family, colleagues who are knowledgeable and caring.

In our series we will walk you through other important information on discovering the right career. Next topics are: The Big Rewards when working with our passion. How to know what’s calling you?
Sticky situations: How do you combine many different interests into one career? How do you identify your strong interests. What if your field dries up?