Research suggests that people are unusually bad at foreseeing how they would feel while deciding about their future. It is quite possible to find someone who started out assuming that they would love the career they chose, only to end up hating it. How are you supposed to know if you would be satisfied with your job as a lawyer or as an actor or as a doctor if you have not experienced any of them ever? Career decisions should not be taken emotionally but should be taken scientifically.
Important decisions like choosing acareer or applying for a college, interviewing for a job or accepting a new job, should be taken in a methodical manner and with the help pf professionals rather than just going by your ‘gut feeling’. Career and academic guidance counsellors, coaches and psychologists would be of immense help during such confusing situations. Career supervisions/counselling programs/assessment tests develop an individual’s capabilities in self-knowledge, educational and occupational exploration, and career planning.These benefit students and working professionals both alike. These professionals include psychologists, experienced faculty with vast experience in their respective fields who would be of invaluable help to you. Through counselling sessions and by conducting assessment tests, they will help you to make better career decisionswhich you would otherwise might not take wisely.
These tests or assessments can help you with the process of information gathering and self-discovery. Any aptitude or career test,when combined with the guidance of a counsellor,will yield maximum benefits. Let us see why these methodical assessment tests and career-related guidance are required:
- These tests tell you about yourself by identifying areas in which you already have skills, talents, and interests. They can also make you aware of areas where you need to develop your strengths.
- They tell counsellors about you and your actual interests/skills thereby helping them guide you choose the right career for you.
There are a lot of situations in which assessments can help on your career path:
- You may have just passed your class 10 and are aware of your subjects of interest but not quite sure the exact course to choose that would ultimately become your career choice.
- You may just be trying to get a job and are unsure of the type of training you need to help you getit or even what type of job you would like.
- You may have been looking for a job, but your efforts have not been fruitful because you do not have the required diploma/certificate.
In such situations of dilemma, decisions cannot be taken based on emotions and an orderly and logical help fromcounsellorswho are trained in interpreting many kinds of assessments would be of immense help. They match information about you that isobtained from these tests. Then they share that information with you, and in an organised way, jointly you can figure out how well different types of careers, jobs, training, fit your particular interests, skills, and strengths.
Imagine a situation where you are unhappy with your current job but you don’t know where to look for another one. Or you could be a topper in the class securing excellent grades in all subjects but not sure which subject interests you the most. Assessments conducted by professionals can help you recognise careers with a future. While being in a satisfactory career, you may be required to upgrade your skills. Tests can help you identify your particular training needs for such requirements. In short, assessment tests can help you identify your strengths and abilities. Apart from seeking help from these tests and counselling, it is very important that an individual follow these steps too while making a wise career decision.
- Evaluate yourself – Each individual is made differently and has different talents, interests, and values. Understand what you would enjoy and excel at by taking career assessments, receiving career counselling, and conducting thorough self-evaluation.
- Make a shortlist ofpossible occupations – After conducting some self-evaluation, it should be obvious (to some extent) the types of careers you should pursue. Make a shortlist of all the possible options available to you and select jobs that interest you the most. Match them with the results of career assessment tests, to make a perfect choice.
- Discover the options – Learn more about each possible career after narrowing the list of all choices available. If you are a student learn more about the universities where these courses offered and the future job prospects of pursuing those courses.If you are seeking a job, know all about educational or training requirements, job duties, employment outlook, earnings, and growth prospects. Discussions with a professional in each field to gain in-depth details about each choice of profession is invaluable.
- Shorten your list – Once you’ve become aware of each career choice available, narrow your list to one or two choices.Reject careers that no longer interest you after methodicallystudying each one.
- Set practical goals–By now you should beknowledgeable enough to establish short and long term goals and work hard towards reaching those goals.
- Make a career plan–After career goals have been set, a career action plan consisting of goals and specific steps to reach themis needed. This plan will help you outline how you will obtain required training or education or employment and develop professionally once you’ve begun your career.
- Get training–This will take up most of your time while you pursue a career depending on the choice of the course you decide on or profession you select.
In conclusion, emotions play an important role while making decisions which may not always be the best choice, hence, if you want to make smart choices, use your rational brain. Making choices that conflict with your basic values will unavoidably lead to dissatisfaction. If you aren’t happy with the career choices you’ve made in the past, assess your values and what inspired your decision. Don’t rush yourself and follow the methodical and scientific way of making the right career choice –by consulting professional counsellors and taking assessment tests.
About the Author :
Lakshmi Kompella is a Post Graduate in Computer Applications, with diverse and varied experience in IT consulting Organizations, Media Houses, Start-up organizations. “Albert Einstein’s ‘Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school” is her mantra and she pursues knowledge relentlessly.