Choosing a career path can be a very daunting task, not only to fresh graduates who are just starting out and haven’t decided on a career, but also to those that are dissatisfied with their current career paths.
Just like any other task with goals, an individual has to strategically plan every step of their move in order to visualize their career development goals. But what is a career path anyway?
A career path is a series of jobs that help you progress towards your goals and objectives. Typically, career paths tend to include vertical growth. This is moving from entry-level to management positions although they can also include lateral moves in which an individual maintains similar roles across different industries.
So, if you are thinking about designing or redesigning your career path maybe you should start by considering the following:
Most, if not all careers require that you have both soft and technical skills!
So, first things first; take an audit of what you already have at hand in terms of skill set. Are you someone who finds beauty in numbers, patterns or proofs? Or do you just enjoy identifying and developing solutions to complex problems? Do you enjoy being out in the field and engaging with your clients or do you perhaps prefer being behind a computer developing software and applications?
Answering this kind of questions is the first step to your long-lasting career journey as it helps you become much more self-aware to what skills you already have and what you need to develop further.
Naturally, different personality types may gravitate toward different interests and in the end develop different strengths in their careers.
It IS therefore very important for you to be self-aware and to understand your personality type. There are various tools available online such as “The Mayer Briggs Personality test instruments” to enable you identify your personality.
Take note of your interests and passions. Where do you draw your zeal from? Careers don’t have to be uptight and boring. “Find out what you enjoy doing most and get someone to pay for it!”
Consider your salary needs.
While salary certainly does not equal an engaging, satisfying job, it is still an important factor to consider when mapping out your career path. Be clear on what your salary requirements are, decide on the range of what you’d like to make and what you need to make. This will enable you to remain realistic how much money you’ll earn when first starting, as well as your earning potential after you’ve gained a certain amount of time and experience.
It is of absolute importance to speak with people who are currently in your industry and hold positions that are of interest to you to solicit valuable insight that you may not be able to get anywhere else. They will be able to guide you and give likely give you tips on how to navigate your way through.
Temporary job placements & Internships:
You eventually have to get your ball rolling in terms of gaining experience. For fresh graduates, you can start your journey by seeking out for internship opportunities, most companies often advertise internships through their career pages. Alternatively, staffing agencies like Gap Recruitment Services Limited help place candidates in short- or long-term openings across industries and positions, that could also be your best chance to quickly get a job.
You will eventually need to build your network. Start by asking your friends, family, colleagues, classmates, and acquaintances to introduce you to their network and then work on expanding. Connect and follow thought leaders in your field of interest on LinkedIn, reach out to contacts from your network and join relevant associations and professional bodies like Law Society Of Kenya, ICPAK, IHRM, PRSK etc.
You can always engage a career coach to help you in outlining your career goals, create short and long – term goals, help you assess your personality and skill set. These experts help to guide career seekers through their job search, assisting with CV Writing help and Interview Coaching to prepare candidates for interviews or promotions.