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IDENTIFY YOUR IDEAL CAREER

Your career choice determines the course that your working life will take - it determines how successful you are in your employment, how happy you are and whether you have a good, bad or indifferent career.

An important first step is to make a personal inventory - this helps you to understand where you are starting from and ensures that you recognise and make full use of your assets.

The inventory is a simple list of:

  • Your knowledge: What do you know? What subjects have you studied? What training courses have you attended? What specialist areas or industry sectors do you know about? What qualifications do you have?
  • Your skills: What do you do well? What do people compliment you on?
  • Your experience: What jobs and roles have you performed in the past? What have you learned? Where have you been successful?
  • Your interests: What do you enjoy doing? What are you passionate about? What hobbies or interests do you have?
  • Your resources: What financial resources can you draw upon? What assets can you use? What contacts do you have? Who (or what organisation) is prepared to help you? Who may be prepared to mentor you?

The process of making this inventory helps you to think through everything that can help you to find your next job. It also helps you to be realistic about the level at which you can operate.

Focusing on Your Aspirations - Setting Personal Goals

Once you know your starting point, the next step is to think through your ambitions and what you want to achieve with your life.

A great way of doing this is to set goals. A crucial part of this is setting priorities for these goals. No-one has the time to excel in all areas - if the major focus of your life is to spend a lot of time with your family and contribute to voluntary organisations, then you must recognise that this will limit the time and effort you can dedicate to your career. If you want to focus exclusively on your career, then you must understand and manage the consequences.

Bear in mind that your priorities will probably change over time - many people focus completely on their careers in their twenties as they make a place for themselves in the world. In their thirties, they may take more of a family focus. Other things may become important later on - this is a normal part of life.