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Take the Right Path to Career Selection

Firday / May 07, 2021

A/L results are just out. Whether you’re eligible to enrol into a degree program with a university or not, you must now be evaluating your higher education options and wondering how to take the right path to career selection. Here are 08 simple steps for you to figure out your dream career and how you pick up the right skills, knowledge and experience to secure and build it and reach the top.

Step 1. Perform a self-assessment

Each individual is unique and has different goals, talents, interests, and values. In other words, the chosen career path should be aligned with the personal traits. Know your strengths. Trust on your strengths. Do not follow others. One will be successful in a particular career but someone else might fail in the same. Do a thorough self-evaluation and determine what you'd enjoy and excel at by taking a career assessment before receiving career counselling.

Step 2. Make a list of potential occupations

Make a list of careers that wish to pursue as per your self-assessment, likings and strengths. Make this list with clear rational. Ask yourself exactly why I am doing this. Is there a demand? Can my character take this challenge? The list should be used to determine where to begin your career search. Select 5 to 8 careers and create a new list prioritizing your choices.

Step 3. Explore the options

Learn about each potential career after narrowing your list. Be sure to learn about educational or training requirements, job duties, employment outlook, potential earnings ( do not go for money initially, engage in internships within your focus career even without payments) and opportunities. You will probably find that you have people known to you who can guide you and/or provide information to enable you to make a well-informed decision.

Step 4. Narrow down the list of your career options

Based on your assessment, start eliminating careers that no longer interest you. This should be done with a very clear and sincere mindset. Even after doing proper research & assessment many take flawed decisions based on unimportant or biased opinions. Once you've become acquainted with each career, narrow your list to 1-2 options.

Step 5. Envision your career journey and set your career goals

Once you've shortlisted your career choice, establish attainable goals. Make sure that you are informed enough to establish short- and long-term goals. The short-term goals are goals that should be achieved within 1-4 years. They may include career education, internships, career exposure and networking with people who can help you progress in your career. Long-term is beyond 4 years. Develop a mind map of your career progress according to your age. For example, envision your position at 25 and have a clear plan to achieve it and look at this plan almost daily and re-adjust it from time to time, if needed. Likewise at 30 or 35, envision yourself reaching a certain goal in your career and work dedicatedly towards achieving these goals. It may not be easy to achieve each goal, so you must work hard when you are young to achieve your career dreams. Then, you can lead a good life when you grow older. Hence, set yourself step-by-step goals and stay committed to your plans. Objectives or goals are only achievable when they're clear and well-defined, flexible, realistic, and achievable.

Step 6. Develop a career action plan

Once you've established your career goals, start on crafting the career action plan. Break down your plan into digestible pieces / steps clearly defining short-term goals and specific steps to reach them. These include your career education, best education centres, obtaining the right qualifications and as mentioned earlier right networking, etc. Also, assess your challenges and obstacle and take strategic plans to overcome them. Be consistent and be relevant. Consider resources that can be utilized, when needed. This clearly defined committed plan will enable you to clearly define how you manage and receive your training or education, find employment, develop professionally and see to your continual professional development.

Step 7. Focus on getting an internship & career training

Getting the necessary career exposure in the chosen field is extremely important. Your qualification and career training whilst you learn will place you in a very advantageous position. Spend good time to obtain career training through internships etc. Depending on the chosen career, you may be required to earn a professional qualification or a degree, complete vocational training, learn new skills, or complete an internship.

Step 8. Start cultivating soft skills (even more important than qualifications)

Most job-seekers wish they could unlock the secret formula to winning the hearts and minds of employers. What, they wonder, is that unique combination of skills and values that make employers so badly want them?

Every employer is looking for a specific set of skills from job-seekers that match the skills necessary to perform a particular job. But, beyond these job-specific technical skills, certain skills are nearly universally sought by employers. People with right soft skills will always be recruited, liked and given responsibilities. Job-seekers who're weak in these areas must improve their skills through training, professional development, or obtaining coaching/mentoring from someone who understands these skills.

These are some of the key attributes employers look for in addition to qualification and experience:

1. Right Attitude
2. Subject Knowledge
3. Qualifications
4. Communication Skills
5. Honesty & Integrity
6. Interpersonal Skills
7. Motivation / Initiative
8. Teamwork Skills
9. IT skills
10. Strong work ethics
11. Analytical Skills
12. Adaptability

Right Attitude Job Awareness Leadership
Willing contributor Ability to Work Effectively Vision
Integrity Planning & Organizing Empowering others
Professionalism Creativity Accountability
Respect for diversity Business Orientation Strategic Planning
Commitment to Vision Continuous Learning Professionalism
Self-Management Accountability Managing performance
Respect to people Technology Awareness Entrepreneurship
Respect to time Communication Decision Making
Personality Setting objectives
Time Management
Ability to Present
Social Skills

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