Starting our careers isn’t always easy. And it already starts so early in life. As a Career Coach at Mastering It, I get to hear many stories of many different people’s career journeys and I can conclude that there is for sure no right or wrong way of doing it. Our careers are life-long, long term projects that we endeavor in. We choose how we want to write our stories but we never do it alone. We partner with mentors, friends and family or we reach out to professional services to invest in our careers. 

Perhaps if you just came out of school, your Career, which actually already started, is a whole new world to get to know. By that time it would’ve been necessary to make some big decisions that determine your Career path already – choosing your subjects in Grade 9, choosing a direction for after school (further studies, work or perhaps a gap year) and the part-time jobs that you did beforehand. 

Or perhaps you are already in a career but are at a point where you want to make a change or are wondering, “What is next?”. And in today’s society that is not an uncommon place to be at. Going into a new career direction is not the worse of things that you could choose to do. But do it in wisdom and with guidance from people that know you.

The main thing we also need to realize is that everything about you – whether you studied in a certain direction before, stayed at a hostel during university years or started to work part-time early in life, all of these things adds to who you are for your career today. You learn skills, personality traits form and you build a network of people that can bring new opportunities. 

So then, by looking at your Career, there is for sure some starting points that you can consider:

  1. Know yourself

If someone was to ask you now, what are your skills, values, personality traits or strengths, will you be able to answer them? 

A simple exercise will be to take some time and reflect on this. 

How have people described you in the past? What are the skills you needed to use in the past for different things? What gets you excited and what are you passionate about? 

You don’t always need to have big things to identify here – the little things you regard as almost of no importance, are actually the things worth mentioning.

Try an online personality test, for free, and get to know yourself a bit better – https://www.123test.com/career-test/

 

2. Know your opportunities

There are so many different job opportunities out there, actually so many industries we also are quite unaware about. 

It will definitely help to get to know the type of industries out there a bit better – https://joboutlook.gov.au/Industry. And thereafter take a few moments and write down what industries attract you and the different jobs in that field that you can see yourself in. Consider what you know about yourself and evaluate what you will enjoy about the different jobs and what you will not. Knowing what you wouldn’t want to do and what you wouldn’t enjoy in a job, is also a step in the right direction – you can eliminate things.

Other ways of grasping opportunities are perhaps to chat with mentors, volunteering somewhere to get exposure in a certain field or do a few weeks of job shadowing. This will help you to also get a better idea of what a certain job is all about as well as what opportunities are out there. 

 

3. Keep on investing in your skill set

This is quite an important principle – practicing lifelong learning. This doesn’t come naturally for all of us. But online platforms make it so much easier these days for us to enroll in a course and then complete it at your own pace, within your own schedule. Have a check-in on the hobbies that you are interested in, or do a course on a skill you want to improve on. There is such a variety to consider out there and we can find a lot of great courses on platforms such as https://www.udemy.com/

From Mastering It’s side, should you be struggling with making these Career decisions, we can advice to start making use of professional services. You can consider options such as Career Coaching or Aptitude testing, as this will bring clarity on directions you can consider.

Contact us at Mastering It for more information:

Location: George, Garden Route
Website: www.masteringit.co.za (Online services available)
Contact details: Maryke Jooste – maryke@masteringit.co.za 

We are passionate about Careers and helping people to reach their full potential!

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