Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Choosing a career !

Choosing a career can be the most exciting or most confusing task for a person.There are a lot of myths associated with choosing a career.I would like to state a few of them over here:

#1 Choosing a career is simple

Actually, choosing a career is an involved process and you should give it the time it deserves. Career planning is a multi-step process that involves learning enough about yourself and the occupations which you are considering in order to make an informed decision.

#2 A career counselor can tell me what occupation to pick !

A career counselor, or any other career development professional, can't tell you what career is best for you. He or she can provide you with guidance in choosing a career and can help facilitate your decision.

#3 I can't make a living from my hobby !

Says who? When choosing a career, it makes perfect sense to choose one that is related to what you enjoy doing in your spare time, if you so desire. In addition people tend to become very skilled in their hobbies, even though most of the skill is gained informally.

#4 I should choose a career from a "Best Careers" list !

Every year, especially during milestone years, i.e. the beginning of a new decade, there are numerous articles and books that list what "the experts" predict will be "hot jobs." It can't hurt to look at those lists to see if any of the careers on it appeal to you, but you shouldn't use the list to dictate your choice. While the predictions are often based on valid data, sometimes things change. Way too often what is hot this year won't be hot a few years from now. In addition, you need to take into account your interests, values, and skills when choosing a career. Just because the outlook for an occupation is good, it doesn't mean that occupation is right for you.

#5 Making a lot of money will make me happy !

While salary is important, it isn't the only factor you should look at when choosing a career. Countless surveys have shown that money doesn't necessarily lead to job satisfaction. For many people enjoying what they do at work is much more important. However, you should consider earnings, among other things, when evaluating an occupation.

#6 Once I choose a career I'll be stuck in it forever....

Not true. If you are unsatisfied in your career for any reason, you can always change it. You'll be in good company. Many people change careers several times over the course of their lifetimes.

#7 If I change careers my skills will go to waste....

Your skills are yours to keep. You can take them from one job to another. You may not use them in the exact same way, but they won't go to waste.

#8 If my best friend (or sister, uncle, or neighbor) is happy in a particular field, I will be too !

Everyone is different and what works for one person won't necessarily work for another, even if that other person is someone with whom you have a lot in common. If someone you know has a career that interests you, look into it, but be aware of the fact that it may not necessarily be a good fit for you.

#9 All I have to do is pick an occupation... Things will fall into place after that !

Choosing an career is a great start, but there's a lot more to do after that. A Career Action Plan is a road map that takes you from choosing a career to becoming employed in that occupation to reaching your long-term career goals.

#10 There's very little I can do to learn about an occupation without actually working in it....

While first hand experience is great, there are other ways to explore an occupation. You can read about it either in print resources or online. You can also interview those working in that field.

Hope these tips will help you in making a better career choice !


  1. Very interesting and helpful piece. Everyone is pretty money focused, though stereotypically women aren't.

  2. I just had a 2 hour long discussion with my career
    counselor and she told me that I shouldn't have money in my mind but I must move further in the field I love and have my interest in,which might even be my hobby.Money will come itself.
    So I suppose you got yourself wrong when you say you can't choose your hobby as ur career.
    BTY the post was some how helpful as I'm at the stage I'm meant to choose a career for myself.

  3. hey zehra u got me wrong....you definitely can go after a career which is also your hobby...
    Read carefully !

  4. OMG,Maybe,i read it too fast,as a result I misunderstood.sorry.

  5. DEf i agree wid Zehra - i chose teaching after doing MBA and also engineering in HSC so u can see all three are diverse. teaching paid nice, but not well enough. now i m tired of teaching and want to go to writing. applied in a lottt of places - got selected in 2-3 and rejected the low salary offer myself. Writers r paid so low, but i will accept any good offer that comes my way. till then blogging improves my skills!

    Bilal...very nice and aptly written post!