4 Important Steps to take to Choose a Career Path

We've all heard about finding your passion, doing what you love doing, keying into what turns you on and the likes. Deciding what career you want to pursue is exciting, but with so many career paths and interests, making a choice can be a taxing. In a country like ours, where what you apply to study in a higher institution could be radically different from your actual course of study and this ultimately does not really determine the career path you will thread.

You might read about a court case in the news and want to be a lawyer. Then you watch a good TV anchor, and appearing in the front of the camera might seem like a great idea. Or when you see affluence being displayed by the political class or maybe you see the ovation and accolades being accorded to footballers, you decide yes that’s where you should be. How do you decide which to choose, or even where to start? Here’s an activity that can help you explore the possibilities and possibly help you with making the right decision. Following these steps, you will gain more than a better understanding of various jobs; you’ll also learn something new about yourself.

Step 1: Think About What Really Interests You Divide a page into four columns. Label the first two columns “Interests” and “Job Ideas.” In the first column, list your interests, such as; fashion, security, children or sports. Then in the second column, list jobs that have something to do with each interest. Need help? Think about people you've read about or met who have interesting jobs, or use the career quizzes that are available in your counselor's office or online.

Step 2: Consider How To Get There. Label the third column “Requirements.” No, you don't have to plan your whole life right now, but it’s good to know what skills, classes and degrees different jobs require. You might discover that you don't have a degree that does make you fit into the career path you have now decided to choose and follow, never get despair. There are so many professional courses out there that can help you change your direction. To get information about education requirements for different jobs, use Major and Career Search and also talk with those you know in that field, if possible get a mentor in the field.

Step 3: Try It Out. Label the last column “Things I Can Do Now” and list ways of getting a feel for what one of the jobs on your list is really like. You can choose some of these ideas or come up with your own: Volunteer where you’re likely to meet someone who has one of the jobs you’re interested in. Look into a paid or unpaid internship or chose to be an apprentice. Accompany someone working in that field to see what a day on the job is like. Conduct research at the library or on the Web. You will get loads of information from the internet with just one-two-click offs. Find a mentor who can give you perspective and advice. Talk to family members and friends who work in those careers or know others who do. Once you’ve gotten a better feel for a career, decide whether you still want to keep it on your list. Even if you decide to cross it off, you'll have gained valuable insight into what you might like to do.

Finally, which is the most important, always seek Allah’s (SWT) guidance. A good way to do this is through Istikhara. O Allah, Guide us to the straight path, The path of those upon whom You have bestowed favor, not of those who have evoked [Your] anger or of those who are astray (Amin).

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