A B.Com (Hons.) graduate frets over a choice between C.A, Entrepreneurship and MBA. A political science student considers switching over to psychology because it fascinates her. A B.Tech graduate, has devoted 4 years of his life to engineering, yet has no idea what to do next.
Are these people discrete cases, the outliers of a group of graduates who have their life sorted? It is a general presumption that the prime career junction of students’ life is 10+2, when choosing their major delineates their whole career trajectory for them. However, real life rarely goes from A to B to C. A multitude of students find themselves at cross-roads after graduating, the stage at which they are faced with “true” career decisions. Factors such as allure of their dream college, lack of knowledge about the subject, limited exposure, and inexperience are all too common influencers of career decisions at the undergrad level. However, as graduation comes to a close, the bubble bursts, and they are faced with the realization that they still have no clue about what they wish to do in life.
SO WHAT SHOULD GRADUATES DO WHEN THEY CAN’T DECIDE ON A CAREER PATH?
1. Figure Out What Makes You Tick: The experiences you gained throughout your college life must have given you a fair share of idea about what sparks your interest. Make a list of 2 columns, one of the things that get you going (your hobbies, interests, passions), and one of all the things you are good at (your strengths, talents, skills). Try to find a match between the two.
2. Do Your Research: There is no substitute for diligence, when it comes to your career. Take the initiative to learn more about potential career options, what they entail, and the route you need to follow. The internet can be your best friend in this, as there are innumerable online resources where you can gather information from. Be persistent and meticulous, as no individual can help you till the time you take the effort to help yourself.
3. Get Some Experience: The best way to explore any career is to “live” it. Internships not just allow you to discover nuances about your chosen field, they also help you gain relevant skills that can pave the way for a future job. They are thus a great way to explore a career without committing to it for a lifetime.
4. Talk to Professionals: Who is more equipped to give you knowledge about a field than the one who lives through it daily? Get in touch with people who are currently working in your field of choice, and interview them. Ask them about their daily activities, challenges, experiences and other details to get an insider’s perspective on the career. Professional networking websites and personal contacts are a great way to find such professionals.
5. Be Scientific: When in doubt, undertake the scientific approach to career decisions. There are online tools available that leverage the power of technology to profile your personality, interests, aptitude, orientation style and emotional intelligence to suggest the best fit career matches for you. Such tools would facilitate accurate and bias-free decisions.
6. Talk to a Counselor: When in doubt, always seek the expert. Career guidance is more than just about taking the right career decision, it seeks to empower you with knowledge about your inner self so that you have the right skills to take career decisions now and in the future. Since career development is a dynamic and an on-going process, counseling helps you play a proactive part in your career.
The key thing here is to keep things in perspective. Career Indecision is something that plagues millions, and you are not alone in this. So don’t get dismayed, keep on searching till you find your true calling!
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