Choosing Your Profession
By Annabelle Chua
Thirty years ago, there were no such things as financial analysts, web designers, graphic artists, materials engineers or forensic pathologists. People never imagined that wedding and debut coordinators would be in demand, or interior decorators could actually make money. The jobs they chose then were basic and general: medicine, law, business, education, engineering, accounting, art, English.
Picking a job used to be easy when the world was a lot smaller and people were way fewer. Today, not only are there a number of different professions out there, there are also a lot of graduates who are competing to gain employment.
In order to gain suitable employment, one needs not just knowledge and a degree, but also talent and excellence so as to rise above competition. One must consider his own likes and dislikes, his capabilities, his talents and skills, and of course, the prospects waiting for whatever profession he/she chooses. Add all those considerations to the wide range of possible professions, and one can understand why choosing a profession today isn’t as simple as it used to be.
Often, one feels confused on what course or profession to pick.
Here are a few guidelines to help clear up doubts and to decide which road to take in and after college.
1. What do I want to do?
This is the first question. What do you envision yourself doing? What do you think should you do that will make you happy? Remember that after you graduate from a course, chances are you’ll be doing something related to that course for the rest of your life. Therefore, determine first what you really want to do. They say that work isn’t work when you love what you’re doing. And believe me, if you hate your job, you won’t be able to grow and excel and climb up the ladder of success. Therefore, choose first what you want to do, what you can picture yourself to be doing for the rest of your life.
2. What am I good at?
Second base: your skills. Examine yourself and note your strong points and weaknesses. In choosing a profession, it’s best to go after something which you know you’re good at. Throughout the period of studying, and even after you find a job, you will definitely find your tasks a lot lighter if you already have the innate predisposition towards a particular skill. If you’re poor in math, then for goodness’ sake, don’t choose finance or accounting. Go instead for your better points. Play to your strengths, and you’ll find that your opportunities for success are a lot bigger.
3. What are the opportunities open to me after I graduate?
In picking the ideal job, we also have to consider the practical part of things. Think about the possible job opportunities and the salary ranges offered. Is the compensation enough for my personal necessities? Is the job in demand, or are the graduates of this particular course looking left and right for non-existent job opportunities? Will I be able to help my family with my earnings from this profession? Or will I still have to ask my dad to furnish me with my transportation and food fees each day?
4. What are my goals in life? Can they be reached through this profession/course of action?
We all have our individual dreams and aspirations, the fulfillment of which can lead us to self-actualization. It’s not that easy to attain these dreams though. Our short-term and long-term goals all require time, patience and the right conditions – conditions that only a good profession can help us achieve. Do I want to work abroad? Do I want to stay here and work in Gawad Kalinga? Do I want to become one of our nation’s leaders? We also have to consider if the profession chosen can gear us towards these goals.
Our chosen professions, whatever they are, will influence all aspects of our life. Our personal relationships and family lives all revolve around our career choice. We should put a lot of thought into the decision making process, because that single decision will lay down the path that we are about to walk – for the rest of our lives.