Career Guide Series - How to Make Informed Career Decisions


In keeping with our vision as "Careerslead", we are going to take you through a comprehensive career guide series which is aimed at exposing you - especially new graduates - to some of the rudiments in a successful career development and job search techniques.

We believe this will help our teaming readers in making informed decisions in their job hunt journey.

This career guide series shall include step by step guide on career development, career management techniques and success tips which we shall break down into different topics as outlined in the table of content below.


How to Make Informed Career Decisions

Choosing a definite career path after studies is the most important decision a graduate has to make, as the whole future of the applicant depends on it. Due to lack of experience, awareness and proper guidance, the candidate can end up choosing the wrong career path.

In most societies, there is an impression that only medical and engineering fields are worth joining, but there are a limited number of seats and not all candidates can get admission in these fields.

The tradition has to be changed, as there are many significant professional careers in virtually every field where you can realy gain reputation and it is not limited to your country but also worldwide.

Many students who fail to secure admission in medical or engineering field most times waste valuable time of their life worrying about it, instead of exploring themselves and choosing some other field of their interest for further studies and career development.

Experts have observed that to make informed career decisions? One will need to consider the following:

1. Self-Knowledge
  • Know what motivates you to excel
  • Identify your strongest skills and abilities
  • Have ideas of things you want to do within the next two four years
  • You should be able to list your major achievments in actual terms
2. Knowledge of Employer Needs
  • You should know what skills you can offer
  • You should be able to explain what you do well
  • You should also be able to tell why an employer should hire you.
3. Job Search Skills and Tips
  • Conduct research on occupations, employers, and organizations in your field of interest
  • Know where jobs and internships of interest are posted
  • Know how to network to develop connections in occupations and companies that interest me
  • Write effective resumes, cover letters, and thank-you notes
  • Know how to interview effectively
These points serves as a visual guide for understanding the steps in career development, we encourage you to take them in your career development and decision making process. It is meant to be a dynamic process with movement back and forth, though it is recommended you start by building your self-awareness.

Skills such as the above give you an opportunity to:
  1. Apply academic concepts in practice
  2. Explore possible future occupations
  3. Network with others in the field
  4. Develop transferable skills such as communication, critical thinking, teamwork, change management, information technology, leadership, interpersonal diversity, social responsibility, and technical knowledge.
You can use these same steps even when you consider making a career change. Though there may be differences in the details, but essentially, it is the same process.

Self-Assessment

Assessing oneself provides an essential basis for making career decisions. Carefull self-assessment helps you to concentrate on organizations and opportunities compatible with your goals, and enables you to market yourself knowledgeably and confidently.

When choosing a career, it is important to consider your interests, skills, and values, but first you must know what they are!

Seven Clues to Help You Get Started
Learning pattern of interests, satisfaction, and motivation, that are unique to you, is an important initial step in your career development. Think about these questions and consider meeting with a counselor to discuss your thoughts.
  1. What class do you want to belong?
  2. Which are the jobs of your dream, and why?
  3. What are you naturally good at?
  4. What societal, local or world issues actually interest you?
  5. What is the most gratifying thing you ever did? What experiences turned out to be the most dissatisfying to you?
  6. If you knew you couldn’t fail, what might you most like to do?
  7. What is something you are doing when you lose track of time?
Accomplishments Inventory
What is the thing that you accomplished or achieved that you are proud of. It however, do not need to be academic achievements, but consider any area.

What strategy have you applied in reaching your accomplishment? and which did you enjoy most? You can make a table of it so keep track. Assess your skill level for each item with a checklists. Put a check by skills you think you have; double check skills you feel are your strongest.

Now that you might have made your informed decision as to which career path you wish to take and after haven completed your educational programs and graduated, it is now time to look for a job within your choice of expertise. To do this successfully, there are a handful of tips you need to have at the back of your mind. These and many more are what we are going to be discussing in our next post in the Career Guide Series and it will focus on how to search for a job.

What is your thought? Feel free to make your contributions, observations or ask questions on this topic of How to Make Informed Career Decisions or any part of our Career Guide Series using the comment form below and we will be more than happy to add to our data base of knowledge.

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