You should first begin by investigating all of your options. This will help you focus in on the types of careers and positions that make the best use of your Career Assets. It will enable you to broaden your awareness of influences that will shape and/or affect your career decisions as well as expand your thinking about the possibilities available to you. Often there are many more opportunities available than you first imagine. You may learn of careers that you never knew existed or discover new ways to apply your existing skills and talents. Thinking about all the career possibilities available to you can be an exciting and daunting prospect at the same time. You might ask yourself:
- How do I figure out which career(s) is the right fit for me?
- How can I avoid making the wrong career decision?
- Do I want to change to a new career or is it just that I am in the wrong environment?
- Where do I begin my career exploration?
One of the key anchors you can fall back upon throughout the career transition process, to help you answer such questions, is your Career Assets. Career Assets are the distinct competencies you bring to any organization, including your strengths, abilities, interests, and values. They provide valuable direction for your career decision-making process, in that they help you:
- Identify and make a decision about what types of careers, companies, and positions you will enjoy, and that fit best with your personal skill set.
- Discover new careers and fields of interest that you had not considered before.
- Determine the unique assets you bring to the table and make you most marketable to employers.
- Identify areas you need to develop in order to make a change to something new.
- Determine careers and professions that you would not enjoy, and should avoid.
Other factors to consider include the career influences that have shaped your career thus far. How did you select your current occupation? If you are a teacher, perhaps your mother or father was a teacher as well. Perhaps you are a financial analyst because you did not know that there was anything else you could do with your finance degree. Remember to think about the following important areas as you make decisions about your career:
- Your assumptions and beliefs about your strengths and skills.
- Your ideas about what types of jobs are “acceptable” – for example, to fit in with friends/colleagues or meet family members’ expectations.
- Your ideas about the availability of jobs, and the requirements to enter different positions.
- Your beliefs about different careers and the level of salary you can earn.
- Your vision for the future and the type of lifestyle you want to enjoy.
Many times, people make career decisions without being aware of the many influences that impact their decision-making. Or they base decisions on perceptions, beliefs, and expectations about themselves or different careers, which are not always fact-based, and may or may not be accurate. As you begin your exploration, be aware of those influencers that led you down your current path and choose not to limit yourself. Recognize that little voice that says, “You are not creative enough to do that,” or “You will never make money doing that.” Now try to shut that voice out!