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How to Pick a Career

Puja Lalwani
Many students and graduates find themselves in a dilemma when it comes to making a career choice. Find out here, how to pick a career.
Deciding what career to choose is a tough task. It might take a lot of sleepless nights, stressful days, and a failed career to finally help you decide what you want to do. Its not easy and we completely understand the dilemma most of you are facing. We will help you decide how to pick a career and get rid of the uncertainty that plagues you.
Before beginning, we'd like to tell you all that career planning is important for everyone, but it is not irreversible. Sometimes you just have to learn from your mistakes. Here's all you need to know about picking a career path that is meant for you.

Identify Your Skills, Abilities, and Interests

Before you decide what career is right for you, determine which career you are right for. For instance, if you are a creative person, you are not going to be able to carry out a regular 9-5 office job. However, if you're creative, you also ought to pay attention to the smallest of details. It is important that you identify your interests in different fields.
With interest, come your skills and abilities. Having an interest in music or singing is not enough if your abilities as a singer are not good. Not everyone has inborn skills, but in certain cases, they do have enough that can be honed to achieve perfection. Understand where you stand in the scheme of things before you take the plunge.
Write down everything you are interested in. Then prioritize these interests as per your preference. Write down the level of your capacities in each field.
If you are unsure of your skills, speak to a career counselor, opt for some online aptitude tests that will help you assess your abilities and skills and then shortlist further. This way you will be able to reduce the list to a few options you can pick from.

Identify the Career Requirements

Being interested or talented at something isn't enough to meet the job's demands. Before being a writer, you might have been an interior designer and thought the job involved picking the right colors and accessories for the house.
However, when you actually started working you learned that color was one of the last choices one made when designing interiors. It was all about dealing with clients' demands, ensuring materials were supplied at the right time and labor was available to carry out the work, keeping an eye open for every detail, and among all this, meeting deadlines!
You soon realized you are not cut out for this profession, for no one would allow you to have the privilege of just designing, while they went through the trouble of executing the project.
The bottom line is, you got enticed by the glamor of the profession, without researching what the job really demanded. So before making such a mistake, speak to a few people who are already in the field, do your research online, and then take your decision.

Get an Internship

Now that you have identified the career you wish to pursue, take up an internship in the field before you pursue the career full-time. This will give you an exposure to the field, and enable you to meet people belonging to the same career.
As such, an internship will provide a window into the bigger picture, and help you identify all the little things that go into getting the job done. Also, in case you find you are not interested in the field, you can quit at that level instead of plunging in and finding yourself stuck in there.
A lot of people feel guilty about opting for a career change, and therefore, an internship is a better way to understand whether you actually belong to a particular career or not.
Once you have understood and executed all these steps, you will have to set your career goals to flourish in the field and expand your horizons.
With the variety of career opportunities that are now present in the job market, taking a decision about picking a career field can be very overwhelming. However, you can get the pressure off yourself by following the mentioned tips.
Also remember that it is alright to make mistakes. Several people realize much later in life that they are not suited to a particular career. It is absolutely normal to feel that way.
In fact, diversity in career choices, or pursuing related career fields adds more variety to your resume, and strengthens your skill base, and is actually appreciated to a certain extent in today's times. However, just remember not to become a 'Jack of all trades, and master of none'!