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There are some people who give more thought to what to wear to work each day than they gave to choosing their careers. That might explain why many people are unhappy in their jobs. Often people choose to go into a particular field because someone they know works in that field, their parents or a friend said they would like it, or even because their favorite tv character works in that field. None of these is the best way to choose an occupation, especially when you consider the amount of time you will spend working. Generally, it takes a lot of time to figure out what you want to do with your life. Career planning is a multi-step process that involves learning about yourself, discovering which occupations are suitable for someone with your personality type, values, interests and skills; exploring those occupations in order to narrow down your list; finding the occupation you think will be best for you; and laying out a plan that will allow you to reach your goal (getting a job in that occupation).

Not everyone will be unhappy with their career choice if they don't go through the career planning process this methodically. Many people have discovered their ideal career serendipitously. Even if you stumble upon an occupation haphazardly and truly believe with all your heart it is the right one for you, it's entirely worthwhile to go through the career planning process to ensure you are making the right choice. You have nothing to lose by doing that and in the long run, you may save yourself a lot of aggravation. The best that can happen is you decide you were right all along. And if you find out you weren't, you can move on to another option. More: The Career Planning Process.

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