HELP! I don’t know what to do with my life!!!

Career choices. There are hundreds of different career choices out there with hundreds still to come into existence over the next five to ten years. My sons, who are 3, 6 and 7 respectively, will have career choices presented to them that I can’t even imagine. With so many options out there many people get stuck in their career decision making out of fear of making the wrong choice. We are in an economy that does not offer the greatest stability and as a result many people have lost jobs and entire labour market sectors have been decimated- think manufacturing.  Who wants to spend thousands of dollars and devote all that time and energy to train for a career only to find out at the end that they chose a career that is not in demand? How do you know what career has the legs to stand on over the next twenty years? How do you pick?

You can look at it in a couple of ways. I have had clients study those jobs that always seem to be in demand even in a poor economy; recession proof if you will. Well, as about ‘recession proof’ as a job can get because no job is truly recession proof. Some just have more padding against economic downturns and they usually involve meeting people’s needs on things we can’t do without. People require medical care, housing, people need to be taught, to have their hair cut and to bury their loved ones.  I’m thinking about jobs in medicine, carpentry or construction, mechanics, teaching, computers, hair stylists or funeral directors. Many people seek out these jobs and hope the skills required to perform those jobs are a match against their own interests, skills and abilities.

Other people look within themselves for the answer. It can be difficult to write down your own strengths and weaknesses, which is completing some career assessments can help sort out the facts. Employment Counsellors can administer assessments that measure your interests, abilities and values.  Assessments can also shed some light on your personality and can help explain why you do those things you do; why you thrive in some environments but not others. All of this is fantastic information to take into consideration as you decide what career to follow.  First you find what environments match up best with your interests, vales and abilities and then you begin to look at career options.

In my opinion, the best approach is an educated approach. Take a good hard look at yourself and determine where you are at your best. Talk to Employment Counsellors and complete some assessments. Then look at the labour market to see what’s in demand. Take a look at what you need in a career and what you are willing to do in order to pursue it, for example, how many years of post-secondary school can you afford, do you want to stay locally or are you willing to commute, what kind of salary do you realistically want to earn.

Don’t rush the decision. Do the leg work, talk to over with someone and you will find the perfect career for you.

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