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28 January

Finding the right career path

An honest self-evaluation of your key interests, attributes, skills and experience can help you determine which career paths to pursue, says Nick Kirk, UK Managing Director at Michael Page

Do you ever wonder if you’re on the right career path? Whether you’re a graduate or an established professional unsure about a midlife change, career decisions can be difficult without a clear pathway. Having goals and ambition are crucial and your career search should be focused on finding a role that you love; and one that provides a challenge and progression opportunities.

Half of employees say they would like to change their careers if they had the opportunity, but more than half of those do nothing at all to try and improve their career prospects, according to recent research by recruitment firm, Michael Page. We often spend more time at work than anywhere else, so it is essential to find employment that fulfils us right from the beginning.

In order to find a role that delivers this, it’s important to match your skills, personality and values with an industry and role where you can put them to best use.

Your skills

Being in a job that does not utilise your skills can be a waste of your time and is unlikely to lead to long-term job satisfaction. Take some time to consider your skill set and how you like to work; think about tasks you have enjoyed or excelled at in the past and determine why that was the case. By identifying what you are good at and what you enjoy, you can target roles where you will be able to put these skills to practice.

Company culture

Feeling at home in a business is just as important as the work itself. When your values align with those of the company, long-term job satisfaction is much more likely. It’s always a good idea to research a company before taking a job; what is the working environment like? What kind of people work there? Does it have any charity or community initiatives in place? All these questions will give you an idea of a company’s values and whether they align with your own. It’s also useful to check the organisation’s website and social media presence to get a further feel of the company culture and the type of people who work there.

A challenge

Being challenged at work is important and when work is easy it can quickly become monotonous. Relying on your existing skills and experiences will only get you so far. Challenges do not have to be huge, but it is important to feel accomplished and satisfied at work. So, while you should be looking at jobs which utilise your skills, make sure that you are not doing something beneath your capabilities. Challenge yourself and your skill set will grow as you move forward in your career.

Career progression

A key indicator of job satisfaction is the opportunity for growth. Not everyone expects, or even wants, to progress right away, but it’s important that the opportunity to do so is there when the time is right. When considering taking a new role, ask if there will be professional training and development, and what the long-term career prospects look like.

Based on a self-evaluation of your key interests, attributes, skills and experience, you can start to formulate ideas on the type of roles/industries that you’d like to work in. Begin by brainstorming all the ideas that come to mind. Then, narrow these ideas down by process of elimination using a realistic assessment of your motivations, skills and values. Reflect more closely on your skill set now, as this will be an important indicator in helping to decide which direction you should go in.

Michael Page’s research also showed that three-quarters of respondents feel as if their career forms a part of their identity. That’s why the firm has partnered with FindMyWhy to create bespoke ‘selfie reports’ – tailored psychometric reports that help employees determine the working standards and ethos they should strive for. These reports aim to identify individuals’ values, preferred ways of thinking and behaviours, as well as their workplace drivers and attitudes to wellbeing, with a view towards helping clarify what they should be looking for in a career. If you’re looking for a starting point in your journey to the right career path, this kind of self-assessment is a good place to begin.

Original source: https://businessgraduatesassociation.com/