Making an informed and correct career choice is more difficult than ever before. In the old days, there were a few main-stream professions from which young people could choose. Today, however, the range of careers consists of countless new specialties stemming from modern technology, and vocational guidance officers are finding it increasingly difficult to keep up with the rapidly changing industry. To make things worse, during pressure-filled programmes and the writing of examinations, school leavers are often required to make one of the most important decisions of their lives – that of choosing a career.
To make a correct and informed career decision one needs a set of skills and qualities. These qualities include:
- Self-confidence: Feeling insecure and lacking in a healthy self-image is not conducive to making a career decision. To make a self-initiated career decision, you ideally need to be bold and feel secure of yourself.
- Self-knowledge: Knowing yourself from different perspectives such as your interests, talents, strengths, weaknesses, mental style, passions and intellectual capacity is of paramount importance when making a career decision.
- A significant level of maturity: Making a career decision is a responsible action and a certain level of maturity is essential to ensure that you can think analytically and systematically when deciding about career options.
- Thinking time: Career decisions should not be made hastily or impulsively. The slower the process, the more information and self-knowledge can be gathered to assist you in making a correct decision. Moreover, career decisions are partly a subconscious process which should be nurtured over a sufficient time span.
- A relaxed mind-set: Career decisions should ideally not be made while being under pressure (such as writing exams). The negative effects that stress has on decision-making abilities could impede the career seeking process.
- Up-to-date information: To design your career path, it is very important that you have access to the latest information regarding tertiary courses and institutions as well as new and established career possibilities. Receiving out-of-date or incorrect information could cause delays and frustrations.
- Self-motivation: Being self-motivated for a career path is imperative to make a success of it. A career decision should ultimately be made by the student self, supported by a self-defined vision for his or her future. Students who are not self-motivated easily tend to lose interest in a career or study programme or give up when they need to work under pressure.
EQUILIBRIA School of Life™
Dr. Hanri de la Harpe