‘Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.’ Confucius
‘How do I choose a job I love? How do I choose a career that’s right for me?’ These are the questions that students ask me most of the time. So follow this process to discover your best career.
While choosing a career, an essential first step would be understanding your personality and nature. Now you’re, you may say – ‘what’s difficult about that? I already know who I am.’ So why should that be tough? When I’ve asked students to tell me about themselves, they usually come up with answers like ‘I like playing cricket, watching movies or meeting up with friends. But, when I dig a little deeper, they cannot talk about who they are as a person and their deeper interest, likes and dislikes. This understanding of oneself, especially while choosing a career or courses, is crucial and requires some reflection and thought. So if someone is trying to understand themselves. Here are some of the questions to reflect upon –
What are my likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses?
How do I react in various situations?
What are the things I really love doing?
What are my interests? why do I enjoy these particular activities?
What do I excel in effortlessly? And what are those things that I find challenging?
What do I do when faced with a challenge or a task that seems insurmountable? Do I shy away from it or do I move through it with determination?
Do I take risks?
What are those things that I don’t enjoy too much?
Do I like working in groups, do I need to be around people to feel energised or do I enjoy working on my own?
Do I learn by doing or do I learn from courses and study material?
So when asked these questions, most will need to think about them before they answer. And that’s perfectly fine because we keep discovering things about ourselves as we go through various situations in life. A career that is going to stay with us for major part of our lives. So it makes sense to take the time to do this self-analysis.
Here are a few ways to know yourself better –
Keep a journal. One could spend 15 – 20 minutes a day to write in a journal. Over a period of time this will give a lot of mental clarity and help delve deeper into ones nature as well.
Another thing one could do is speak to a close friend or family member to validate some of the ideas about oneself. Ask them questions about what they think of you. You need to take their feedback and reflect upon it to see if what they are saying sits with your own thoughts and ideas about yourself. Others might see you differently from how you see yourself. But this gives you an additional data point to work on.
There are also a number of personality tests that will give you insights like the MBTI, 16 Personal Factors, DISC Profile.
Getting to know yourself better will help you choose a career that is suitable to your own personality, interests and skills. Having a better understanding of oneself will help not only in choosing the right career but will also equip one to make better decisions in other areas of life as well. So it is definitely time well spent!