Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Uncertainty over courses and work choices

My friend's cousin A was tossing over whether to pursue a career in IT or in science. He mentioned that IT came naturally to him and it was easy and cruisy. Science was harder and it wasn't as natural for him but it was more interesting. It's a common dilemma for most of us. Choose the path that's easiest or the path that may be more challinging but is more interesting to us?

I've included a few useful pointers from an article written by Judy Barnsley. By completing the following sentences, you may find out what your interests are:
* I can ...
* I find it easy to ...
* I have a flair for ...
* People have told me I am good at ...
* I have done well in ...
Which area of life do you ...
* Get the most satisfaction and personal enjoyment from?
* Spend the most time on?
* Put the most energy and effort into?
* Feel the most positive and excited about?
* Gain a positive or confident self image from?
* Experience peace and harmony from?
* Wish to invest more time or effort on?

Many people start studying courses that their parents have pressured them into studying or they followed their friends into courses. The problem with not quite knowing what you want to do isn't a huge problem - it may result in you pursuing a few career changes across your life but that's not a big deal unless you're going to end up with a huge student loan once you've finished your degree. In that scenario, it's best to stop and think first before plunging into your degree.

One of our friend is studying his third degree, from accounting to phsysiotherapy to medicine. And he's young so that does raise questions about whether he'll have any more career changes in the next 35 years before he reaches retirement age.

We all change as we get older and what may interest us in our youths doesn't necessarily mean it will interest us as adults. I read the interview of a certain DJ who flew all over the world to DJ at various events however as he got older, he no longer desired the late night hours and he longed for more normality in his life. Music and being a DJ was still his passion but the joy that it gave him no longer outweighed the negatives that came with the hours.

Anyway, when trying to decide what line of work you want to do, consider a few of the following points:
 * Ability to progress and advance, creativeness, job security, team work and how important that is to you, autonomy and ability to work without supervision, financial rewards/remuneration, the contribution to society from the line of work, professional status, challenges on the job, the complexity of the work and whether the work is dynamic or static and never changing, co-workers and their attitudes

That said, our interests are always changing and evolving and it's not uncommon for most of us to have a few career changes in our lifetime.

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