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Research and Self-Examination Lead to Enhanced Career Options

Updated on March 20, 2020
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It is not uncommon for workers to feel trapped in their current employment. They feel that their career options are limited because of a lack of education or experience. Maybe they would like to switch industries, but are concerned about having to take on a lower salary. Whatever the reason, workers should try to identify what is holding back their careers. Doing so, and taking steps toward removing those obstacles, can be the gateway to finding a fulfilling career that is not only remunerative but is also rewarding in other ways.

A large percentage of workers essentially stumble into their employment, rather than making a considered career decision. They finish their education and begin to seek employment – often any employment they can find. They have little direction and no sense of what kind of work they might actually enjoy doing on a daily basis. In these early years, they are often more preoccupied with simply paying the rent and utilities as opposed to finding any kind of personal fulfillment with their work. Without ever performing any kind of in-depth self-examination, they may drift from jobs with one company to the next, or even take on a variety of positions within the same company, all without any clear career goal in place.

Typically, the worker without clearly defined career goals feels a vague sense of dissatisfaction with their job but has little idea how to remedy the situation. They cannot imagine a world in which some people actually enjoy the work they do; for them, work is just a way to pay the bills. Fortunately, there are a variety of ways to maximize career options. They all require some degree of effort, but for the individual who has made a sincere decision to alter their career path, the effort is usually eminently worthwhile

The first step to exploring career paths may be as simple as taking a trip to the local library or book store. A multitude of books has been published over the years dealing with the subject of finding a dream job or switching careers. Many of these texts include personality tests that may reveal a particular person’s strengths and weaknesses and pair these traits with certain career choices. By reading such works, and taking the provided test and quizzes, the individual may discover a career path they have never before considered.

It is also possible to find such self-help career guides on the Internet. Between visiting various websites and reading a few books, people should be able to compile a list of possible career alternatives. At this point, it is not a good idea to narrow down the options too stringently. Even if the list of possible careers contains nine or ten entries, it’s worthwhile to check them all out. Some will be easily eliminated as the individual looks into them farther. Others will grow more interesting. This list of possible careers has a way of naturally whittling itself down to the most likely candidates.

With the list in hand, the individual is now ready to begin researching each possible career path. This may involve reading more books and spending more time browsing the Internet. For the career possibilities that look really promising, it might be a good idea to get in touch with a local professional organization to speak with people who are already working in the field. They will likely prove to be a rich source of information, and individuals considering a career change can benefit from the experience gained by others.

For the most promising career options, it is important to look at educational requirements for gaining at least an entry-level position. Potential students must determine how long their education might take and how much it is likely to cost before committing to a career path. Similarly, the student will need to look into whether suitable degree programs are offered in their area and whether they can complete their education at an online university.

Finally, the individual must determine whether there is a market for their prospective field in their community. If they choose a particular industry, will they be required to relocate in order to obtain a job? Whatever career path is chosen, the individual must be prepared to make compromises and sacrifices along the way.

Beginning a career, or switching industries is no small or easy task. It requires dedication and perseverance, and it may demand no small measure of sacrifice. It may involve taking a substantial cut in pay initially, but if the individual finds the work emotionally fulfilling, they may discover that the strain to their finances is a small price to pay. People who use creative problem solving and are not averse to self-examination will find they have the best chances of expanding their career options.

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