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Choosing A Career

Aug 17, 2007
One of the most important decisions to take in life is that of choosing a career. It is essential to put in a considerable amount of thought and energy when doing this.

How To Proceed

To proceed, you must first make a self-assessment. This means gathering information about yourself, in order to make an informed career decision by appraising your values, interests, personality, and skills. Self-assessment, without consulting others, does not always give a true picture because it is mostly subjective. It would, therefore, be prudent to seek the help of family and friends to find out where you really stand, which may lead to information that has a concrete bearing on your career choice. You could also seek professional help.

Self-assessment essentially comprises of the following four areas:

Value Assessment

While making a self-assessment, try to gauge how important different values are to you. These values play an important role in job satisfaction. Some of these values would be prestige, security, and interpersonal relationships and helping others. Ask yourself questions whether a high salary, interacting with people, having a prestigious job, or for your work to contribute to society, is important for you. If you do not consider your values when planning your career, there is a good chance you will dislike your work, and therefore not succeed in it. For example, anyone who wants autonomy in his work would feel unhappy in a job where others are the sole decision-makers.

Skills Assessment

You should also assess your skills which would help you figure out what you are good at and what you enjoy doing. You may be very good at solving mathematical problems, but a complete failure in repairing a fence. One can be very skillful in architectural design, but feel entirely at a loss writing a musical composition. One may be an expert orator, but have no idea how to fix a car that fails to start. Having assessed your skills, you can use the results to either choose a career that suits them, or acquire the skills you need for a particular career.
Personality Assessment

This is best left to professionals as it looks at one's individual traits, needs, and attitudes in terms of plans for the future, current skills and organization needs. However, if you can, you could assess which personality type you belong to: extroverts, introverts, intuitive, judging, or perceptive, to be able to evaluate whether you would fit into something you like. For instance, a career that involves public speaking would not be suitable for someone who is an introvert.
Interest Assessment

Identify your interest area, then assess your skills and abilities in that area. Because even though you may like doing something, your physical and mental abilities may not be suitable for it. It would therefore be unwise to choose a career simply because you find it interesting. A professional that is skilled at helping you make a career choice will ask you about your likes and dislikes regarding various activities, based on the premise that people who share similar interests will also enjoy the same type of work.

Adopting this approach would greatly assist you in choosing a suitable career path, which will give you immense career satisfaction and enjoyment, and will be conducive to your overall career growth and development.
About the Author
Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal. Aveta Solution's Six Sigma Online offers online six sigma training and certification classes for lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.
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