Choosing a Career (it’s not for life)

It’s no surprise that choosing a career is challenging.

According to new research by Oxford Open Learning Trust (reported in HR Review), almost a fifth (17%) of women aged 18-24 years old feel they have chosen their career path too young. The survey also reveals that over a third of young women aged 18-34 (35%) said that the education and training they’ve received so far has not prepared them for their current career.

And an earlier survey from the same organisation established that almost half (44%) of 25-34 year olds had already changed careers.

Interesting – not Surprising

Really, it all depends on how you think about your career. At school and at work we are encouraged to think about choosing a career as choosing a role, specialisation or profession. We define ourselves using phrases like; ‘I’m a lawyer’, ‘I’m a consultant’, ‘I’m a trader’, I work in IT…

But, this isn’t necessarily the most effective way to think about our career, especially as it is likely you’ll be working into our 70’s. It’s self-limiting and can prevent us exploring, developing and changing. It also can cause problems when our world changes, as it will. When for example, our employer decides to close our business unit, or outsource it. When our work becomes automated, as parts of it will.

We need a better way to think about it.

What Choosing a Career is Really About

Choosing a career is really about working out how to have an outstanding career over a lifetime whilst maintaining our wellbeing. And the only person who can ‘own’ this is you! you cannot rely on the career guidance you get from your school or University, much less on that given by your current employer or professional association. Instead you need to follow a guided process that leads you to crafting your very own, highly personal career plan.

Make it your Career Choice

I know that I’m recommending you read my book here – but more than that, I really believe that you owe it to yourself to do something different. It doesn’t matter how you choose a career so far. What matters is if you aren’t happy and fulfilled with where you are today, then you should change something!

And if you don’t know how to go about doing that, you may find the answers in the book.

I wish you every success. And you can always get in touch if you have any questions.

Susan Scott
How to prevent burnout and reignite your life and career
How to have an outstanding career

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