Six things every teenager can do to build a successful career

The earlier you start, the better

School’s out and everyone’s asking you what’s next, but it’s completely okay to not know just yet. Allow yourself the opportunity to find what you truly love—the journey is half the fun! In the age of social media and the Internet, you can deep dive into all the available information to see what works for you. From knowledge of up-and-coming careers to success stories that inspire, it’s all just a click away. However, it’s important to ensure this access doesn’t breed insecurities about your own future. Instead, sift through all the material in an organised manner, and start planning your journey methodically.

Here are six things to remember that will help you along the path to a successful and fulfilling career:

  1. Use time to your advantage: Don’t let a ticking clock stress you out. If you’re thinking about your career and are evaluating different avenues, you already have a head start. Instead, capitalize on this advantage by focusing your energies on growing your mind.
  2. Make the most of what you have: Use the tools at your disposal, like books, videos or podcasts, to expand your knowledge base. Rather than worrying about what you don’t have, turn your attention to what you do.
  3. Prioritize: The goal, as tempting as it may be, should not be to make money or become famous. Those are by-products of being good at something, and working hard at it—day in and day out. Find what you love, follow your passion, and strive for excellency; the rest will follow.
  4. Don’t stop exploring: The more you learn, the more you’re going to understand yourself as an individual, and the easier it will be to zero in on your calling.
  5. If you know, you know: Once you have a sense of where your interest lies, get moving! Identify the resources that you can tap into to start specializing. Remember, being 60% certain is good enough; there’s nothing like 100% clarity and trying to achieve that is a waste of time.
  6. Hands-on experience is invaluable: By taking up internships and trainee assignments, you will get a clearer sense of what a career in your field looks like. Instead of procrastinating and getting caught up in the theory of things, jump in the deep end and start working. You’ll be amazed at how much you can learn, just by showing up to work.

 

Also read: Is Alternative Education your ‘Next Thing’?

Confused about your career? 5 steps to help you make the right choice!

It’s not what you achieve, it’s what you overcome. That’s what defines your career.
– Carlton Fisk

We all go through this phase in our lives when we question ourselves: What’s right for me – Following my hobby or getting into the family business? Pursuing engineering or becoming an entrepreneur? Doing something that makes me happy with small earnings or something that offers great packages?

And do you know why these questions arise? The two main reasons why we can’t decide our career path are:
>> Either we have no clue about what we genuinely like,
>> Or we know what we actually like but don’t think it’s a perfect option to go ahead with!

Have you ever come across someone who slipped smoothly into the right career shoes, and walked away without any troubles? Maybe yes, but very less.

Also read: How experiential learning is the way forward in India?

Well, well. Just take a deep breath and read on to know what you should do to find the right career path! This guide has got your back, trust us:

STEP 1: Mirror, mirror on the wall; what’s my favourite hobby that can become a job?

That’s right. Look deep inside. Figure out things you are passionate about, that make you happy, and can be worked upon. Give directions to your all-time favourite hobbies and pursue them seriously. Self-evaluation is the key!

STEP 2: Say hello to the too-many options and follow the ideal process

In the times when you feel like pursuing multiple things and end up getting confused, just follow the filter process. List down all the options available, research about them and explore as much as you can. Make comparisons and see what’s better, prioritize or rank your choices, and voila! You will reach the next main step about experiencing the future.

STEP 3: Getting on it by using ‘experiential knowledge’ as the shield

A mind troubled by doubt cannot focus on the course to victory.
—Arthur Golden

With that list of shortlisted options in your hand, your succeeding step should be choosing and getting on to your ‘next thing’ with the help of career advisors. Mentors play an important role, for seeking guidance from our seniors or parents is indispensable. However, words or pieces of advice are not enough in today’s world. You need to feel, experience, and then decide your career to avoid any repercussions.

Experiential learning means acquiring practical knowledge about any topic by getting a hands-on experience. In simple words, it is the process of learning through experience, more specifically defined as “learning through reflection on doing”.

An internship is sure to give you some perspective and a good curriculum will help you get a clear picture regarding your career choices. Gaining experience by doing internships, taking classes, reading books, etc can help you develop the skills and abilities to strengthen your goals.

STEP 4: Be an opportunist

Knowing in a few months is better than investing your life trying. Pre-acquired knowledge also helps in saving time & money, because what if you realise later that the path you chose wasn’t meant for you! Make use of opportunities to become what you really want to be. Make a career plan, make a choice, get experiential knowledge, and you are good to go. Explore, experience, and then pursue that path.

STEP 5: Right Decisions = Right Path

Decision making is the most crucial process and setting goals is not an easy job. So, now what? After you come down to one option and finally decide that this is it, start focussing on how to grow in that field. Build networks that help you reach the top of the ladder and kill it with your phenomenal performance.

Hope that we helped you get on the right path to the most suitable career. Here’s a small tip! Don’t spend years to learn the curriculum that changes every day, rather equip and prepare yourself with the tools of today! Ready to find your next thing?