Good Career Choices – Maximize Your Chances of Making the Right Decision

Making good career choices is a complex process and requires careful planning. Most places in the developing world have witnessed a huge shift in the labour market recently. Although warnings that the job will soon be a thing of the past have been a little exaggerated, it’s now much more likely that everyone, irrespective of career, will move from job to job before they reach retirement age – and even afterwards, as more and more people struggle with finances as they get older. So, making bad choices is definitely something you want to avoid if possible. Having said that, finding your vocation is not an exact science, whether you are just starting out or embarking on a second career. So look at mistakes in a positive light – they can help you identify what you really do want to do and what you most definitely want to avoid!

So, what is the best way to go about making a career decision? Is it advisable to go after a post in an expanding market or should you stick to what you love doing? You can take the following steps to maximize your chances of securing an interesting job which gives you some measure of security in an uncertain world.

First of all, watch out for trends. With career change an inevitable part of life, this is becoming more and more important. Advances in technology are also leading to new jobs – careers you’d never have considered because they simply didn’t exist! So your ideal career may have just been invented. Or perhaps you can invent it yourself – increased flexibility in the workplace now allows individuals to work part-time or freelance more easily and this gives you the opportunity to create your own portfolio. So don’t discount the possibility of developing a new work style.

Next, you should think about training and education. Change is happening at a much faster rate than it did in the past and if you want to keep on top of your game, you need to be involved in lifelong learning, whether that means keeping up to date in your present industry or learning new skills which could help you find a post in another one.

Another good strategy is to develop expert status in your field. New developments and discoveries are happening in every field and the more you know about a subject, the better your chances of getting hired. You can narrow this down a little by focusing on one or two aspects of your area, particularly those in which demand is highest now or will be in the future. And of course, make sure that your computer skills are constantly updated. Most jobs involve computing these days and if you can add some extra relevant IT skills to your resume, you’ll open up more doors.

Don’t forget the element of job satisfaction. It’s really important that you enjoy what you are doing, or at least enjoy the majority of tasks you have to perform. Do you feel that it’s vital to be passionate about your work? Some people will sacrifice money and security for a job they feel passionate about, while others feel that it isn’t realistic to work in a job you love and that it’s better to choose something realistic which is relatively secure. You need to find the balance which works for you.

You can never know 100% if a career will be right for you – until you’ve actually done it for a while. Remember that good career choices are different for everyone and the best career choice is the one that gives you what you want.

3 Golden Ways to Create Meaning in Your Career

Creating Meaning in Your Career (New year, new career!)

Have you promised yourself to not let another year go by stuck in an unfulfilling career?

Change is the order of the day, and so we are blessed with the opportunity to stop and reflect on our future personal and professional goals. Many people like you have made New Year’s resolutions to make some changes in their career path, either by altering it, finding another place to work, or veering off in another direction completely. The questions raised are how and when do I make these career changes?

A better question may be why. Why create more meaning in your career? Why make changes? Rest assured, there are many ways to find meaning in your career, but before you can make corrections to your career plan, you must first consider what you are looking for in a career. Are you looking for something more in the position that you currently hold? Are you looking for a change in environment within the same field? Or are you looking to discover a totally new career field? If you are seeking meaning, you are no doubt seeking something that is missing, something that perhaps your soul intends and needs to express to the world.

What kind of gold digger are you? The digger, the jumper, or the intuitive?

Planning for a career can be likened to panning for gold. There are three styles of “gold diggers.” The first style is the person who picks one spot and digs and digs. This person may or may not find gold, and often does not know when to stop digging. They often are so focused on the perceived value of the gold that they hardly take notice of how boring their job has become. The second kind of gold digger jumps around from spot to spot, panning on the surface, never venturing deeper to see what may be below. Sometime they may find a nugget here and there, but most of the time they never hit the jackpot. The third kind of gold digger uses her intuition to lead her to the gold. S/he use a variety of approaches, depending on what their inner guidance is saying. S/he may sometimes dig deeper, try another location, and even change directions entirely by ditching the pan in favor of the mine. This person often hits the jackpot!

Real Gold vs Fool’s Gold

In terms of your own career development, consider whether you choose a job or company and dig in deep, hoping to one day find a sense of meaning? Or do you jump from job to job, position to position, and company to company hoping to finally feel fulfilled? How about planning your career in accordance with your inner guidance, the small voice that tells you when to stay, when to go, and when to try something completely different?

Most people who lack meaning in their professional lives, also lack clarity. You must know what you are looking for and why you are looking. You must also know what you want from a career— money, prestige, creativity, a sense of pride, security, or happiness, etc. In order to create meaning in your career, you must decide what makes a “golden opportunity ” and one that is nothing more than a golden stone.

Using Your Internal Career Map

To create more meaning in your career this year, you must commit to finding your gold by following your intuition. You must listen to what your inner voice is saying. Does it say “stay where you are, reinvest yourself, and find the meaning.” Does it say “seek out another environment, rejuvenate yourself, and find the meaning.” Or does it say “explore another trade, reengineer yourself, and find the meaning.”

Each of these career transitions require courage. Courage is the ability to face difficulty or danger without fear. Courage requires listening to yourself and believing that there is a higher self that sees what is best for you, and acting on what you know needs to be done. At times, staying in your comfort zone can be exactly what is needed, and other times taking a risk can create the confidence needed to strike out and find a new environment or path.

By becoming a courageous, intuitive gold digger, you can create meaning in your career and discover the professional riches that were waiting for you all these years.

***Excerpt from Michelle’s new book, Get Your Career on the Fast Track