Career Development

The Basics


Choosing a career can be a herculean task. You feel skeptical about what career to go for as it might determine your standard of living for the rest of your life. You think and think and think about what skills you have, and how best you can turn those skills into a working, efficient career.

It’s a lot of pressure. But it doesn’t have to be.

Choosing a career can be simple if only you know what you want and what you enjoy doing.

I have a friend who once told me she enjoys carpentry; she even makes her own couches. If she takes that up, she could build a very big and lucrative business out of it. That, becomes her career and guess what? It will thrive and grow because she enjoys it.

You can’t develop a career out of something you don’t enjoy doing. That’s a basic law of life. It will be a disaster; a mistake you’ll wish you hadn’t made. This is where career development comes in to play. In order for a career to be developed, knowing the basics and what it entails is very crucial and a prerequisite to choosing and developing your career.



The word ‘career’ can be used to describe your occupation or vocation. It can also be used to refer to jobs one has done over the period of a lifetime. Such as; working as a carpenter, a short-order cook and a sales representative. These are jobs you might have done and you can refer to the series as your career.



Developing a career occurs as we get older and have a sense of existing jobs and working to gain independence. You begin to find out that there are some jobs you love doing or a talent you have that you can develop a career out of. Therefore I’d say that career development occurs without any intervention. It comes gradually as we get older. On the other hand, career guidance involves getting assistance most times professional help while developing your career. It involves getting help in making an occupational choice and finding a job.



Most times while developing a career, you might become confused on how to go about choosing from your career options or developing the one you’ve already chosen. This is where career counselors can come in to help you. You only have to make sure they are very qualified to help you. It wouldn’t be a great thing if they aren’t qualified and they end up confusing you even more.



Wouldn’t it be so wonderful to have a series of questions or tests to answer in order to determine what career to go for? It would save you all the mental stress and trauma.

Sadly, there are no such tests or questions to tell you what to do and which career to go for. Rather, you can only find tests known as self-assessment tests that will help you discover where your interests lie, your aptitudes, values and personality type. This test will then go a long way to help you find what occupations match your traits and interests.



So your self-assessment test left you with a long list of career options or probably a short one. Options you can fit into and that seem quite interesting to you. But now a question looms at the back of your mind. ‘Which do I go for?’ Since you aren’t Jack of all trades you most assuredly won’t be able to do all, as some of them will suffer because you might not have the time to take care of them all. First off, I will advise that you gather information on what you have on your career list. Do not jump into one because of the amazing description you’ve gotten on it from friends or the appealing number of zeros that can brighten your morning. No, do not make that mistake. You need to learn more about what you have on your career list and know if you even have a chance of finding a job in some of the sectors you’re interested in when you are ready.



After having settled on a prospective career, the next thing you should do is to draft a career action plan. These would include your short and long term goals, what you wish to achieve and how you can invest in your career plan.



Of course you can change your career as you may no longer be satisfied with what you were doing as a young adult. Or probably employee demand for the job has changed and has left you unemployed. But have it in mind that you can only do this if you are willing to take upon the task of preparing for a new field. So before you make that exit, be positive that you are ready to make the leap and also, investigate your options thoroughly before making that leap. So that it wouldn’t be the case of a fish jumping out of the frying pan because it was too hot but ended up in the fire which was heating up the pan. So whatever you do, have fun doing it.

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