What do I want to do with my life? Will I make enough money to support myself? Is this the right job for me? Choosing a career path raises a lot of difficult questions. While there are no simple answers, the right outlook and approach can make exploring careers that much easier.
In this module, we'll talk about the importance of assessing your career needs, evaluating your skills and personality, considering your financial needs, and developing job skills as you begin to explore different careers.
Assessing your career needs
Taking the time to assess both yourself and your career needs will help you discover the right career path. It's important to understand how your skills and interests match up with potential careers, along with your personal and financial needs. Without enough planning and foresight, you might choose a profession that could leave you unhappy or even financially unstable.
Consider the scenario below to see the difference that a careful career assessment can make.
Meral went to college to study business, and after graduation she took a job as a data analyst with a large company. Even though the salary met her financial needs, however, Meral didn't like the job very much. She wasn't working on projects she was interested in, and sitting in front of a computer all day left her longing for interaction with other people.
Taking some time to assess herself, Meral reflected on her personality and skills. She realized that she needed a career that would allow her to engage with people directly while also expressing her creativity. After more research, Meral determined that she might be better suited to a career in marketing. While she knew her salary in marketing might be lower than her current one, she calculated that it would still be enough to meet her financial needs.
Because Meral's degree in business was related to marketing, she didn't need additional education to be qualified for a job in her new field. Instead, she developed her career path by volunteering at a friend's small business in her spare time. Volunteering allowed her to learn the new skills she needed to be a competitive candidate for a job in marketing. Meral's friend also introduced her to people who worked in the field.
Meral was eventually able to use her new contacts and volunteering experience to find a permanent position in marketing at another small company. This job was a much better match for Meral, and she enjoyed coming to work every day. By carefully assessing her personal and financial needs and learning some new skills, Meral had found a career that suited her personality and interests.