How Did I Pick My Career?
Hey guys, if you have read my Get To Know Me post, you know that I work in Human Resources (HR) and I absolutely LOVE it! Don't get me wrong, there are days where I question why I even considered getting into it but for the most part, it's a career I'm really grateful for. I wanted to write this post to document my journey to discovering my passion for HR and also sharing some general advice for how you can do the same. I always think I was quite lucky in how I chose my career path at a relatively young age (in my opinion) and thank God I genuinely love what I do. There's so much pressure that comes when you're getting older, especially growing up in an African home. I've spoken with so many young people who were super stressed about choosing what uni they should attend to what career they should enter. Both are not decisions that should be taken lightly or quickly as doing so can cost you a lot (financially and emotionally)!
Following on from that, I studied Psychology & business at college which, for me, allowed me to combine my two biggest passions. After lots of time spent researching career options, I came across an article talking about HR and that's where it all clicked for me! I'd never heard of HR before then and the more I read about it, the more I was convinced this was the career for me. One thing I wish I could have done was speaking to someone who worked in HR and gain a deeper understanding of the career path for this field. Prospects was the best resource I had for career mapping and was very useful in even identifying the degrees that would help with my chose career path. My parents were incredibly supportive of my chosen career path and, having owned their own businesses, they understood me better. In addition, they were both very supportive of me pursuing something I was passionate about and didn't put pressure on me to go for the doctor, accountant, etc. type careers.
Based on my own journey and experience of picking my career path, here are some of my tips for choosing something that you will be happy to do and will bring you fulfilment:
Find what you're passionate about: this is just career 101. I give this advice to anyone, regardless of age, because I have spoken to people who picked something they were not passionate about and ended up hating it. Whilst it's not the end of the world to change your career in your 30s or 40s, we can all agree that if you know what you love and choose otherwise, you may not be as happy or fulfilled even if it pays very well.
Do your research: Google is such a wonderful tool and anyone who's not using google every day, what are you waiting for?! Seriously, even if you find something you're passionate about, unless you know more about the different career options, you may not enjoy the fullness of that career path. This includes reaching out to people who are already in a role you aspire to. LinkedIn is great for this as many professionals are very willing to answer questions. The career recommendation tool on LinkedIn is also great for matching you with people in your chosen field who can end up as mentors if the connection is right!
Think outside the box: If after doing research, you still don't find what you're looking for, maybe this is a good opportunity to start something new. It's very possible the thing you want to do is not widely known yet and you could be a pioneer in that area so don't be afraid to do something new. If you have SEVERAL passions, think about you you can bring some or all of them together to form something new. This includes starting a new business or teaming up with someone to do that. If I had the courage earlier, this is something I definitely would've done.
Don't give up: For some, it takes a while to pin down that thing that rocks your world and that's ok. There are so many choices sometimes that pinning one thing down can be very daunting. That plus the pressure to pick something before a certain age is just pressure on pressure! The most important thing is to do all the above and keep working at it. Find the resources that work for you and find people who can mentor/coach you in this area.
So, guys, these are just a few tips that I hope can help you. These will apply at any age because sometimes in life, you want a change and it's never too late to do that. My mentor once advised me to have at least 2 careers; he was an author, ran for MP in London and was a consultant! Seriously though, doing one thing for the rest of your life might get boring so that's definitely something to consider! Let me know if you followed any of these tips when looking for your career path!