How to effectively choose a career

So how’s your career living up to your expectations so far? Is it okay, great, amazing? Or is it bad, worse, or is it the kind that makes you say, “I’ll never get into a job like this ever again!”? It could be the workplace or maybe it’s you, but something isn’t right and it has to change—fast.

This is common. And I can relate to this because when I graduated from college I couldn’t wait to take on my first job. I was young and stupid at the time so any job was fine for me. I couldn’t wait to become an independent, tax-paying citizen. But then after many years working and shifting careers, I’ve found that I wasn’t seriously going after what I really wanted to do. I wasn’t serious in looking for a career that would make me improve and grow as a person.

So if you’re in the same dilemma right now, how do you choose a career? Here are some lessons I’ve gotten over the years and they prove to be really useful. You might want to bookmark this web page. :)

Oftentimes, it’s about the innate human desire to try and contribute something.

As humans, we all have the innate desire to contribute to society. We want to make a difference in our own lives and in other people’s lives—especially those whom we love and those who need help most. This drive inside us is so strong that even though we don’t understand it sometimes, we find ourselves doing things that seem surprising to us, but end up helping other people.

What should you do when you have these experiences? What if you suddenly find a tension between something you think you want to do and something that you don’t think you’ll ever be doing, but do it anyway? And take note, this help contribute something to people around you.

I guess an honest-to-goodness soul searching will help define these abstract things you’re feeling now. Ask yourself, why do I do these things? And why do I get an eerie feeling of satisfaction when doing this? Take me for example. I’ve always wanted to have a clerical job in an office, but I always end up finding myself doing some talking in front of a relatively large audience and doing some writing at the sides? I’ve reasoned with my self about this. I told myself that it’s better to have a regular job, but I end up doing what I don’t expect myself to do and that is speak and lead an audience during a gathering in our organization.

Then I found out that I had the desire to speak in front of people or write for a group of people to share the experiences and the lessons that I’ve gotten over the past few years. And then, there’s another reason behind this. We will be taking that up after this.

Your actions do speak louder than your words or thoughts

After realizing that I had that kind of desire, I then moved on to observe my actions, and my tendencies. Do I have the natural inclination to speak to people? Do I get frightened once I step on the stage? Do I have a difficulty of relating with the people gathered? How do I act when I’m facing them? And how about writing? Am I able to send the message through? Are people appreciating the way I write?

These are the questions that went through my mind as I started to deliberately observe my actions. Did my actions and natural abilities back my desires up? Are the two matching up? And then I found out that all these years, I’ve been doing these things and the opportunities have always been there to give me the needed opportunity or platform to do the things that I naturally love and desire to give to people.

People’s feed back

Okay, this is not technically called listening to yourself, but I guess there is still a trace of yourself in each of your friends and family. We have the tendency to be with people who are like us, those who have the same passion, who have the same desires, etc. And so it would still be like listening to yourself when you ask for feedback from your friends. And this step is very important because it’s a perspective that’s from the outside looking in.

Remember that we have some aspects in our person that we don’t really see if we look at our own selves. But friends, families, and other people see things and they can give you feedback and advice if you’re open to it. And sometimes, it may seem uncomfortable, but a truly mature person is open to feedback.

If you’re serious about your quest to really choose a career that will work for you and will make other people’s lives better, then be open to feedback.

So there you have it, “What do I want to contribute to the world?”, “What am I doing now and what are my natural capabilities and talents? Are they matching up? Are the opportunities there and ready for the taking?” “What do my friends say about it?”

These are some of the questions that you need to answer if you’re really serious about choosing a career. Good luck to you, you can do it.

Your thoughts

What do you like to share with us? What other things do you like to add? What are your experiences about looking for the best career that works and contributes?

Let us all know in the comments!

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

About the Author

Stephen NellasStephen is part of the Software Jewel team, the company behind Clutterpad and BiP. He's also a regular author for BiP.View all posts by Stephen Nellas →