We all want someone to tell us what job we should do, to make the decision on our behalf so we can simply focus on enjoying our career.
Sounds good, doesn’t it? I know that’s what I wanted when I was pursuing a career change. The decision-making process was hard work and I just wanted someone to tell me what to do. When I was advised that the best decision would be the one I made for myself, I realised I needed to take responsibility and do some serious thinking!
What did I discover? I found that I was frequently being given advice on what I should or should not do and I didn’t know which advice to follow. I soon realised I would be far more committed to a decision I had made personally, rather than a decision someone had made for me or advised me to make, and what I really needed to do was develop a thorough understanding of my skills, passions and aspirations to enable me to make that decision.
Still not convinced? Let me give you another example….
Do you remember the career advice you received at school?
I have a very distinct memory sitting in the school careers room completing a personality questionnaire and subsequently being advised, amongst other things, that I should be a probation officer. It was as simple as that…the answer to my future career was found by completing a 10-minute test. Was this the right answer? Well, I did not become a probation officer!
There can be limitations in being pigeon holed into a specific career before you are ready to make that decision. It can lead to career paths being pursed but not enjoyed and an individual’s confidence being knocked. Many people need time to build their self- awareness and once they really understand what they want from their career, they will then be in the best place to move forward. Many of my clients say they regret following early career advice for this reason. They wish they had spent more time thinking about and discussing their personality and aspirations before taking the next step.
Have I just talked myself out of a job?!
No, because the best thing about all of this is that, although it may be up to you to make the decision, you do not have to go through the process alone. I become part of the process when individuals become stuck and need some help and guidance in moving forward. I help individuals build self-awareness to enable them to discover and explore different career possibilities and find the best career choice for them. I also help individuals to eliminate issues of procrastination, fear and anxiety to enable them to believe that they can achieve a fulfilling career. Career advisers can also help with the decision-making process.
It is all about you and how your career is going to fit in with your life. You may need a bit of guidance and assistance in getting there but….
…the best career decisions are those that you make and discover yourself.