In continuation of the series on career success tips, I would like to focus on making the right choice of career. Everything you see in your life or career today is a reflection of the choices you have made. The school you went to, the course you studied, the company you work for, the role you are occupying and so on are all as a result of the choices you made. Whether they were the right choices or not is a different issue. Whether you were compelled or you voluntarily made those choices is another matter. I learnt an important lesson about choices some years back when I was considering a job change. The new company I was looking to join had made me an offer. Though it ticked all the monetary and compensation boxes, for some reasons, I was reluctant to take the offer, I dilly-dallied because something just didn’t feel right about the job. The CEO grew impatient with me after waiting for about 3 weeks, then called me and told me categorically that my indecision was a choice – a choice not to join the company. So I learnt that day that indecision is also a choice. Since then, I have learnt to do what I need to do and never wait for conditions to be perfect. I eventually didn’t take the job.
A lot of people don’t like their jobs, they always complaining about one thing or another. They would say “If I earn more money may be things would change” Then they get a raise and suddenly realize that money is not the real problem. Several reasons might be responsible for their plight, but I will pick out just one here – not being in the right job that suits their personality, interests and skill set. In order to have a fulfilling and rewarding career, it is both important to be good at what you and also to enjoy what you do. Sometimes the path towards that dream career isn’t always a straight line, you might have to take a bend, a detour or even a step back to be able to get to the right place. The important thing is always to know what you want and be determined to do whatever needs to be done to get it.
Here are four things to consider in making that career decision that is best fit for you.
1. Your talents – “True happiness involves the full use of one’s power and talents” – John W. Gardner. Identifying and utilizing your talents gives you the biggest chance of achieving success in life. There is no use for a chick struggling to fly with eagles, it will only meet with frustrations and disappointments. Identify what you are good at and focus on building a career in that area, chances are you will do it effortlessly and also find joy doing it. Albert Einstein said that everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid. So, the question to ask is “am I in the right profession?” Is my current occupation giving me the chance to optimize my potential. Don’t go after a career because of monetary allure, chase if because you have what it takes to succeed there.
2. Your Passion – “If you can’t figure out your purpose, figure out your passion. For your passion will lead you right into your purpose” – Bishop T.D. Jakes. When your passion becomes your purpose, it will eventually lead to your profession someday. The best feeling in the world is getting paid to do what you are passionate about. Ask every successful person you know, they had a passion for what they do. They might have started out very little, but they persisted and grew along the way and because they were passionate, they made impossible things happen.
3. Your Personality – “Personality is every individual’s signature trait. There will never be anyone like you, therefore hold on to what makes you special as a person, a character and a human being” – Unknown . Does your personality type fit into the current career path you are in. If you are a sales person and are afraid of rejection, you might be in a wrong profession. If you dislike the sight of blood and are studying to become a surgeon, you are obviously threading a wrong path. When your personality fits into what you do, you will view every disappointment as a motivation to move forward, you will not be deterred by whatever challenges you face.
4. Your Experience – “You can’t get a job without experience and you can’t get experience until you have a job. Once you solve that problem, you are home free” – Jack Buck. Be realistic in your job search or quest to change career. Do an honest evaluation of your current skill set and experience. If you don’t have the requisite experience, you might want to consider a volunteer or freelancing opportunity. Ask yourself if your current experience qualifies you to apply for or get that job you are targeting. Are there identified gaps that you need to fill? Be specific and deliberate in your career aspiration. Don’t just take a job or promotion because the money is good. Always ask “where does this line up in my long-term plan?” If you plan to grow in a specific career path, consider every opportunity carefully and take the decision that is best for you. If you seek to grow in a particular field, say, sales, look out for opportunities to gain more experience and exposure along that line. Consciously focus on staying on course.