Career Tips

How to choose the right career

Sandip Kumar Banerjee
Sandip Kumar Banerjee
Posted on 12 Feb 2022
10:53 AM
Being organised is key to making the right career choice.

Being organised is key to making the right career choice. Source: Shutterstock

Draw up a list of possible occupations and research on them
Do not be influenced by other, choose what is best for you

How does one choose a career of one’s choice? If you don't have any idea about what you want to do, the task may seem very difficult but, fortunately, it isn’t.

Firstly, one needs to get organised. Following an organised process will increase your chance of making a good career decision.


Know yourself: Self-assessment

Even before making a choice, it is important to understand oneself. This will not only transform your belief but also make you a confident person.

Belief: Things that come directly from the heart, which is influenced by the environment, elders, and sometimes the media which talks about options when it comes to careers.

Confidence: Things that get established through analytics and techniques, which picturise the self.

Self-assessment is something where one needs to sit down with paper and pen to learn about oneself — values, interest, soft skills, and aptitude. One also needs to understand one’s personality type to draw up a list of occupations that could be a good fit. Others may be completely inappropriate.

You may require some self-assessment tools or maybe some career tests such as a psychometric test. This will help you draw up the list of suitable occupations. One can also take the help of a career counsellor who can help navigate this process.

To summarise, it is very important to understand one’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Concerns/Threats.

Make a list of occupations to explore

By now you probably have multiple lists of occupations in front of you — one generated by each of the self-assessment tools you used. To keep yourself organised, you should combine similar traits into one, to draw up the master list. Check the qualities required for each of the occupations that you have chosen.

Now, on a piece of paper align the qualities you have to the requirements of each of the occupations you have listed. Your self-assessment will indicate the best occupation that fits your traits.

Next, find any occupation on your list that appeals to you or it aligns with the passion you have. They could be professions you've heard of but want to learn more about. Include any professions that you are unfamiliar with. You may learn something unexpected.

Here again, I want to touch on the two words — passion and profession. I have seen in many cases that we choose a profession, which endorses the wish of our guardians or our influencers but may not be what we like from the core of our hearts.

This creates a mismatch in our ambitions and hence later in our career we diverge. I have seen cases where an engineering graduate pursues a master’s in business administration to align the want of becoming a professional in the occupation of one’s choice. This may result in losing some precious time of a valuable career.

Hence, it becomes very important, that we choose our profession, align it to our passion in the beginning to pursue excellence in life.

Shortlisting of careers

The above work is nothing but the research one does for oneself increases the scope of becoming more confident and then depending on the belief. It is more of knowing one’s inner-self better. I am sure by now you are confident about your strengths and have started analysing your opportunities, working on your weaknesses with your eyes open to the threats.

Now that you have more information, start to narrow down your list even further. Based on what you learned from your research so far, begin by eliminating the careers you don't want to pursue any further. You should end up with two to five occupations on your shortlist.

If your reasons for finding a career unacceptable are non-negotiable, cross it off your list. Remove everything with duties that don't appeal to you. Eliminate careers that have a weak scope of jobs. Get rid of any occupation if you are unable or unwilling to fulfil the educational or other requirements, or if you lack some of the soft skills necessary to succeed in it.

Information verification

Post shortlisting and narrowing down to very few options, start doing more in-depth research. Make plans to meet people who work in the fields that interest you. They may be able to share first-hand information on the jobs on your shortlist. Perhaps the accounts you've built on social media sites like LinkedIn will help you talk and get advice.

Career choice

After all of your research, you're probably ready to make your decision. Choose the occupation that you believe will provide you with the most satisfaction based on all of the facts you've collated and that corresponds to your life's needs.

Please realise that you are allowed do-overs if you change your mind about your choice at any point in your life, maybe, because of the changes of the environment or getting clarity in one’s needs later. Many people do change their careers. It is recommended to be patient and more analytical before one does so.

Set your goals

Determine your long-term and short-term objectives once you've made your decision. This will assist you in charting a path to finding work in your chosen field. Long-term goals normally take three to five years to achieve, whereas short-term goals may usually be accomplished in six months to three years. One has to look at immediate skill building which aligns with passion and pursue the professional goals with a long term vision.

During the entire journey, take the self-research and self-assessment you did about required education and training to be your guide. There might also be a requirement to assess yourself further, which I recommend that you do. This will always help to open your mind and intensify one’s wants with clarity.

Now you have all the information you need, set your goals.

Career Action Plan (CAP)

CAP is not to wear but to cover oneself to become a professional of tomorrow. One must put together a career action plan, a document that lays out the steps which you need and wants to follow to achieve the goal.

This will become a detailed road map that will make you what you are today to what you see to be the future. The road map to transform your dream into reality.

Do not forget to highlight your short-term and long-term goals separately with an aligned calendar and monitor regularly. Enjoy every step that gets accomplished as one moves forward and works on the concern to improve on.

This may sound like a lecture, but please appreciate this is nothing but the process of having oneself grounded with the realities of life and boosting one’s strength to cover all the weaknesses. In the long term, taking these steps early will spare you a lot of pain and confusion.

Look forward to everyone becoming a Shining Star.

The writer is an Education Counselling Specialist, Group President – EC & C, Adamas University, Kolkata. He has 29 years of experience in the Education & Training Industry from Vocational to Formal cut across Corporates and Formal Academics.

Last updated on 12 Feb 2022
10:53 AM
Read Next