Career selection was and is a complicated process. Have you ever gone to shopping mall to buy a dress? Of course, you would have! How would you make this buy? Most probably, you must have first tried it on yourself in the changing room. If it looks good on you, then you go for it, otherwise not. Similar example can be taken of buying a new car or a bike. You would first visit a showroom and ask the executive for a trial. If you find the automobile good in performance and suiting to your physic as well, you would go for a buy, otherwise you will go to the next showroom to try another product of another company. We may recall another few examples also in which before going for a final shot, we ‘try’ things.
Unfortunately, we cannot do this with ‘Careers’. We cannot ask a university to ‘try out’ a course so that if you like it, you will go for it. If not, then you will move on to another university for trying out another course. Even if you wish this may happen in any world, you can’t afford to spend your time and money for this ‘Trial’, Isn’t it? This non-availability of ‘trial’ makes career selection a tough and nerve-hitting job.
What is the possible solution? Well, we cannot practically try a career or even a job (it is possible up to certain extent though); we can understand a career well. But, this all should start with understanding your own personality. Personality-Career mapping is one good practice to avoid falling into a wrong career.
Psychologists have defined personality as a critical combination of hereditary/genetical , environmental and cultural influences, but they have also agreed that a major part of your personality is pre-determined and basic tendencies of a person remains unchanged throughout the lives. Let’s take an example. If you are an introvert, you will remain introvert throughout your life. You may learn to be more sociable, you may become more talkative, even you may start going to various parties and enjoy them too for the sake of professional growth or acceptance among peers; but if someone ask you what would you really like to do? Your most probable answer will be, “I would like to go to the beach, lay down there and read a book”.
So, why not choose a career which really suits your personality? There are various personality assessment tests available which can give you a clear idea about your personality and the best suited career as well.These tests cost you not more than the price of a branded Shirt! There are some free resource also available but their reliability is doubtful. Seek professional guidance, ask counselor at your school/college or any psychologist for helping you out with this. It will surely help!
The best time to go for Career-Personality Mapping is when a student is on any career junction, like in 9th or 10th standard, the time to choose a stream (Maths/Bio?Humanities etc). Similarly, for 11th or 12th graders to choose what after 12th? Students studying in 2nd/3rd or final year of graduation should also go for it either if they just want to re-assure or planning to change fields.
You are going to invest a huge amount of money of your parents as well as your valuable time and efforts in shaping your career which may go waste if you enter into a wrong field. So, why not take some proactive measures to be doubly sure!!
Tapan K. Pandit
Guidepost- Center for counseling & personalized coaching