Deciding your career path should be a fun discovery. Enjoy the process because your career path becomes narrower and more rewarding as you discover, develop, and deploy your skills, knowledge, and experience.
1. Identify the Ideal salary.
Identifying the ideal salary provides a realistic approach to your career path. Your salary is based on your living expenses and desired savings. Being financially responsible is important for short- and long-term stability. When you know what you need to maintain your standard of living, you are more likely to have confidence and assertiveness in your interview process.
2. Identify Your Interest.
Your passion, interest, or ideal career is second to being responsible because we live in a world that uses money in exchange for goods and services. Without money, we cannot purchase food, clothing, shelter, transportation, or communication devices. Therefore, money is important for survival. Once we identify the ideal salary, we can align our interests and make realistic and quality decisions that satisfy short-and long-term career goals. Your interest may be based on the industry, company size, type of business, work environment, work shift, type of work, temperament, or developmental / intellectual capacity. If you participate in emotional intelligence assessments, volunteer to gain experience, or research topics or subjects, then journal your likes and dislikes. You will discover some recurring themes or common threads in your experiences that interest you. Do not rush or get anxious over whether you made the right decision. Enjoy the process. You have to know what you do not like to get to what you do like.
3. Identify Jobs Aligned with Ideal Salary and Interest.
Finding jobs aligned with your ideal salary and interest will help you create a roadmap to achieve your ideal career path. Jobs are steppingstones along your career path. Once you identify jobs, you may realize you may or may not have the skills, knowledge, or experience needed to qualify for the position. Do not be discouraged. Simply identify the hierarchy of jobs and find the one that best fits your current skills, knowledge, and experience. Low-hanging fruits (aka jobs) are easier to reach. In the meantime, add the advanced jobs to your roadmap and revisit them within the next two to five years.
4. Identify Skills, Knowledge, and Experience Needed.
Understanding the skills, knowledge, and experience needed to qualify as a potential candidate for a position is crucial. If you noticed more experience is required, you would want to develop a timeline and identify the more efficient way to achieve the prerequisites for the desired job. While you reach for the lower-hanging job, you are using your free time wisely; learning the skills and gaining knowledge experience needed to qualify for the next position.
5. Identify Jobs Compatible with Restrictions.
If you have a developmental or intellectual disability or need to work from home, then focus on positions that meet those needs. To avoid being fired for inability to meet the job requirements, you won’t identify barriers to employment and consider them when searching for jobs.
After you have completed these steps, you see a roadmap forming. You can move forward with confidence and clarity. Along the way, life may throw you some curveball, but you can stay calm and re-calibrate. Talking to a Career Coach or Job Coach can provide innovative strategies to keep you on track.
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