Choosing A Career Path
Whether you are in grade 8 or grade 12, there is always pressure to choose a career. While the pressure increases as you get closer to graduation, it’s never a bad time to think about your future. The key to choosing a career is to follow the SMART goals formula. Always remember to set goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timed. This is a formula that is hugely useful when setting career goals.
To begin, start thinking about some hobbies, interests and/or school subjects that you enjoy. Ask yourself – what am I good at? What kinds of things do I like to do? Are you a people person or a person who prefers to work with machines and technology? Especially important is to know your preferences in terms of work environment. You are trying to set a specific goal, so think about if you would like to have an office job, be on your feet, or be outdoors doing work in the field. Whatever specific subject you choose to pursue, remember that there will be variety within each of them in terms of what kind of jobs are available.
Next, is to make the goal measurable. What time landmarks will be important to you? The first step could be choosing a subject of interest, then researching careers, then choosing a few careers of interest with similar requirements. Setting dates for each step is hugely important. Remember that your interests change, so some subjects can be ruled out very easily.
The next question is to ask yourself if the goal is achievable, and why not hit two birds with one stone and ask yourself if the goal is realistic at the same time. In other words, is the career you are choosing something that you really think you can do and achieve? Is the career compatible with the subjects you are able to succeed at?
The last step is to ensure that your career goal is timed, in terms of setting realistic targets for completing each required step. If you want to be a lawyer, you will have to complete high school, university and law school. This is a considerable amount of time, so breaking it down into sizable chunks is your best shot at success. Remember that your interests might change as time goes by, but it’s better to be caught with a sketch of a plan than to be caught without any plan at all!