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Career Choice and Development

One of the first steps in determining your right career choice is to ask your self “What do you really want?” And this is particularly important with your career – afterall, you may end up working 8+ hours per day, so you want to enjoy it!

It’s also most likely going to be your main source of income, so you ideally want to find a career that you’re passionate about, and that pays well enough for you to have a comfortable life.

And remember that a career isn’t just a job. A job is just something you do, your career is your life – so treat it the same way you would treat any other aspect of your life. Nurture it, develop it and celebrate it!

But what career is for you?
Career choice and development is about working out what you really want and how to get there – and for most people it is a continuous and life long process. But before you can work out what career is best for you, ask yourself what’s most important for you:
  • What do you enjoy doing and what are you good at? What are you doing when you are most happy?
  • Do you want to make a lot of money to fund a lavish life, or are you just happy earning enough to live comfortably? Be honest now!
  • Do you want to be challenged and stretched, or would you prefer a career where you can just plod along at your own pace?
  • Do you want responsibility and leadership roles, or does this thought scare you?
  • Do you want a job where you need to take risks, or do you prefer stability and routine?
  • Do you like working in the big city, or do you prefer the lifestyle of a small regional town? Do you have a preference for seaside living, or are you more of a bush and mountains kind of person?
  • Do you like working with people, kids or animals – or just prefer working by yourself?
  • Do you work well in a team, or do you work better as your own boss?
  • Do you like the concept of shift work or do you prefer working 9 to 5?
To help answer these questions, just visualise yourself in your ideal job, doing what you do and enjoy best. And then describe everything about this vision – what are you doing? Where are you? Who else is there? What time of day is it?

And look at your interests, abilities, personal strengths and existing skills and then see what careers may or may not suit.

The important thing is to find the thing that you are most passionate about – what floats your boat and makes you happy? Afterall, your career needs to reflect you and your passions – not the other way around. It’s important to be you, and to do that you need to know who you are.

Career development gaps
Of course, if you’re just starting off on your career or still thinking about which direction to chose, there are probably some gaps between what you want to achieve with your career and where you are now.

It’s important to identify these gaps and develop a strategy to start bridging them.

Perhaps it’s just a matter of getting some good work experience in a particular area, or perhaps you need to do some further skills training. Whatever the measures are, these become your career goals for your career development.

Tools that can help
The website “Achieve Goal Setting Success” includes a FREE “Life Planning Workbook” which contains 3 essential tools for career choice and development – if you don’t use the whole Life Planning workbook, that’s fine – but at least look at these 3 tools contained in the workbook to help with your career goals:

Behaviour Profile and the DOPE Test
:
we all act differently to different things. This is a natural behaviour that is unique to you and affects how you view success and failure and also affects what careers you may or may not be good at. Find out what your natural behaviour tendency is and how this will affect your career development.

Multiple Intelligences and the HGMI Test: we all like and are good at different things, and this affects what goals we set. Find out what your interests are. No this is not an IQ test, but rather an assessment of what type of things interest you and therefore what your ‘natural’ intelligence or aptitude is. Use this as a guide to what careers will suit you better than others.

Personal SWOT analysis: we all have strengths and weaknesses which we can turn into opportunities, or have turn into threats to our career. Use the personal SWOT analysis process to identify these and in particular, identify your strengths that will launch your career.
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We are not certified financial planners or advisors. The information in this website is general information only. Always consult a licensed financial planner before making any finance or investment decision.


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