For many young Sarawakians, determining what career path to pursue can be quite a challenge. With an almost endless number of professions to choose from, narrowing it down to the right job can require a lot of groundwork.
Planning your career is not necessarily a one-off event – you should revisit the subject every few years to assess whether you are on the right path. But whether you are deciding what career to pursue for the first time, or you want a change in direction, there are always certain things you should consider to help guide your decision.
“The first thing I always tell students is, know what you really, really want to do,” Azid Allan, HR Manager with Sakura Ferroalloys, recently told SarawakYES! “I know it’s quite difficult to ask yourself … what is it that you really want, but it’s important to try to understand what path you actually want to go on.”
Below are 7 things to help guide young people in Sarawak who are thinking about what career is right for them.
1. What are you passionate about?
Although money is a motivating factor, don’t allow this to be the only thing that drives your career choice. Money alone won’t give you the necessary drive and energy you need to succeed. So think about what excites you and take that passion and adapt it for your career. Do you love cooking for friends and family? Then consider becoming a chef. Are you passionate about animals? Maybe pursuing a career as a vet is right for you.
2. Make a list!
Once you start assessing your potential options, make a list of jobs that interest you. Then take the time to research each one to gain a better understanding of what the job involves – that will help you make your list shorter and shorter and really narrow down your choices.
It’s important to choose a career that will allow you to thrive. Understanding your personality can help you eliminate many professions. For example, if you are quiet and shy, Public Relations or Communications may not be the best choice. If you love mathematics, maybe an engineering career is best suited to you.
4. What are you good at?
Everyone has certain skills or talents. Think about what kind of things you excel at and how you can utilise those skills in your career. Maybe you’re good at art – so perhaps a career in graphic or creative design is the right path.
5. Develop a career plan to determine where you choice could lead you.
Put your ideas down on paper. Once you have narrowed down the jobs that interest you, sketching out the potential career path for each one will allow you to see where they may lead you – and which one is the most appealing.
6. Take up an internship.
If you’re really unsure about the direction you want to take, consider an internship. Even if you discover the industry is not right for you, it will provide some clarity on your future path. Spending time within an organization is also a great way to start building up your professional network, which will be important later on as you advance your career.
7. Talk to people.
Think about the people around you who go to work every day. Ask friends or family about their jobs and what their role involves day-to-day. This is an easy way to learn about more career options and hear first-hand the experience of others and what inspired them to choose their career path.
* This article first appeared in The Borneo Post (www.theborneopost.com)