Before discussing how to avoid the wrong career objective, lets mention the #1 mistake we make when choosing a career. We don’t do our homework! Americans take less then 3 hours when choosing a career objective, less time than most of us take when choosing a new car! A career will affect your entire life, and everybody in it, so take adequate time to research your new career. You should also research all the amazing opportunities available to you and across different industries. And what about creating your own position, one that you would love and know it could help employers? Employers are so stretched, they often do not have the time to develop new job descriptions and career objectives for their own staff, even if it would pay to do so.
If you are not happy with your current career objective or job, I will be the first person to encourage you to change. Many of us are taught by parents and others that it’s not wise to change careers just because we’re unhappy. Many of us are taught that if we bring in a paycheck, that is enough. NOT SO. Unhappiness in your career can lead to relationship problems, increased stress and health problems, increased conflict with coworkers (due to unhappiness), financial stress from overspending, searching for that quick fix…..etc. But the real key is, when you are not being authentic and doing work you dislike, you are blocking your energy, your creativity. The ‘Law of Attraction’ has been around for centuries and when it comes to energetics you can’t defy physics. Thoughts and feelings have energy, just read Dr. Matura Emoto’s book – The Hidden Messages in Water. A physicist that has documented the power behind our thoughts and words. So if you want to prosper in your career, you’d better find something that resonates with your body, mind, spirit and emotions.
Changing career objectives, or choosing your first one, is a decision you should take your time with. If family and friends pressure you to hurry your decision, run.
Here are a few considerations before you jump ahead.
1. Even if you know what your next profession will be, have you reviewed your ‘likes’ and favorite hobbies to see how they could be transformed into a new career objective?
2. Have you spent 20-30 hours investigating your new career objective, including interviewing employees and employers within your next position or profession?
3. Have you researched demand projections for that position/profession for the next 5-10 years?
4. Is it possible to volunteer or shadow someone for a short time before changing to your new career? Write up a paper on the experience and send it to the person with favorable highlights about your mentor and experience. People love this.
5. Have you thought about creating podcasts of prospective employer interviews in your new career that you can use along with your resume? This not only helps you discover more about the position but demonstrates your creativity.
6. Have you reviewed what the new career objective will do for your mind, body, spirit, emotion connection?
7. Enroll in membership to an association or club within your new profession. See what it will take to get a position of responsibility. This will help your job search and put you in front of key people.
8. Identify your ideal lifestyle, personality, your skills, and likes/dislikes thoroughly before selecting a career. I often have to remind clients that if they are night owls waking up at 5:00 am to get to work by 7:30 am goes against their ideal and they might become resentful toward the job.
9. If you’ve noticed, I haven’t mentioned anything about the $ behind the position/profession. This should NOT be a reason to choose a career. The reason to choose the career should be your passion and interest for that type of work. If you love what you do, the money will come. You might need to go beyond employment to start a little business but if you love your field, you will think of a bunch of ideas how to make money with it.
10. Have fun with this process of looking for your next career. It should not be stressful but fun. Take lots of notes on your experience and who knows maybe it’ll bring you some humor someday or you might publish a book on your life and will need them.
Thank you for reading this article. I hope it has helped clarify how to begin looking for a new (or your first) career. On a personal note, I am on my fifth career after choosing the first 3 for their financial rewards……MISTAKE. The last 2 have come from my heart and have changed my life. I became a Horticulturist at 48 yr. old and love it so its never too late. I am now teaching, coaching and counseling people (my fifth career) and loving it, so don’t stop. There are no limits to how many careers you can have, except you.