What are my Career Goals and what skills do I need to achieve Them?

I met a man the other day who – at the age of 33 years old – still didn’t know what he wanted to do with his life. I don’t mean he had a general idea, but was a little bit hesitant to stick to one thing, I mean he was completely lost in his decisions and had no plans for his future! He had been tumbling from one job (say, sales person) to another completely unrelated job (for example, exterior painter, cook, traffic controller, then martial arts instructor, just to name a few), never staying in one field for long. Jack of all trades, master of none perhaps, but you have to wonder if he really ever sat down and asked himself what he truly wanted to do with his life! I asked him… he had not.

Some of you will read that and think, “whoa – how can somebody go through life like that?”, while just as many of you will probably think “huh? What’s the big deal? Plenty of people feel that way” and they’d be right. It seems the more I delve into the topic of courses, job seeking and careers through my writing, the more I discover that the average person is either like my friend mentioned above, or stuck in a job they merely tolerate, because they are too scared to leave out of fear they won’t be able to find another job. Not many people are in a well-paying job they actually love and that’s really sad. No wonder people think modern society is in crisis – we’re all walking around unhappy!

So, how do we change this? Well, we certainly can’t flick a switch and instantaneously give every person a cushy job they’ll love, but we can help one person at a time – perhaps you – to figure out what their career goals are and what they’ll need to achieve them. This will at least give that one person a sense of direction and the motivation to move forward and grab what they want out of life. Here’s how:

Unshackle those societal chains

The first step to changing your life for the better is to change the way you view life. Imagine this; you’re working in a nice job, but it doesn’t pay enough for a flashy car and a huge house, so you – living in your modest home and driving your secondhand car – are under financial stress because you feel as though you need those big, flashy things. That seems like a pretty standard life complaint, right? Now, imagine if the modest house and secondhand car were considered by society as valuable as the bigger, fancier ones (and believe me, they ARE considered as valuable to a huge chunk of Earth’s population!)? Now, you’re not just an average Joe, slogging it out like the rest of them – you’re an achiever living the dream!

The thing is though, you don’t need to change society to achieve this effect. You just have to change the way YOU think! That’s it – to change your perception of the world, only you yourself need change. Lose those assumptions; no, you don’t need to buy that oversized home with the bowling alley – you just need a comfortable dwelling with a leakproof roof over your head. No, you don’t need to shower your husband / wife with expensive diamonds and other gifts – if they love you, then your happiness is a gift itself. No, you definitely don’t need that Corvette – it’s one hell of a nice car, but seriously, why do you actually want it? Is it because you assume that it will improve your standing in society’s ranks, or because you actually want to feel the wind in your hair at 195 mph? If it’s the later, just know that you could ride a roller coaster every day for thirty years  and you’d still spend less than the cost of a new Corvette!

Obviously, this concept only applies to things that are actual ‘wants’, rather than ‘needs’, but these are very easy to tell apart when you actually question your motives for wanting to buy specific things. Trust me, after a while of doing this questioning, you’ll look at your life in a whole new way!

Stop beating yourself up

Another factor that stalls people from pursuing their dreams is self deprecation. This is so common, that even the most brilliant, talented people among us might miss wonderful, life changing opportunities because of it. You decide to stay where you are, in a job you don’t love, because you feel you’re not talented enough / too old / not skilled enough for the job you want. Well, you’re wrong! Unless you are physically unable to perform in any particular role,  you’re never too old and in fact, many employers value the reliability and experience of older employees.

As for not having enough talent or skills, that may be true, but that is something completely within your control to change. If you can’t stop work in order to complete a course, you can study part time. Regardless of your perceived limitations, it can be done and the sooner you do it, the better. Stop making excuses and just start – if you begin a course in a field you love, it won’t feel like a chore and but by the time you’re a quarter of the way through your course, your investment of time and effort up to that point will compel you to continue.

You don’t need to sacrifice everything

Regardless of your determination to pursue a career that you’ll actually love, it can be extremely daunting to start fresh. Instead, step back and identify which aspects of your current career you dislike, and which aspects you do. Could you change just a few things about your current situation to improve it? Maybe you’d just like different working hours? Maybe you love the field you’re working in, but not the specific workplace? Can these circumstances be changed?

Similarly, are there aspects of what you already do that you’re great at? Those skills can almost always be put towards the pursuit of a new career, even if they seem irrelevant to an unrelated role. For an extremely obscure example, you may be working as a bricklayer right now, but you might want to be an Emergency Medical Technician. It seems completely unrelated, but consider these transferable skills:

  • Physical strength (which is definitely important in an EMT role).
  • Problem solving skills
  • Organizational skills
  • Ability to meet deadlines (is there any need to point out why this is so important?)
  • An understanding of measurements, weights and mathematical formulas
  • Ability to work independently or in a team

These are just a few, can you think of more? 

You don’t need to do it by yourself

As with everything in life, when you are going through a tumultuous time, call on your support network to help you through it all. Not only to give you emotional encouragement and perhaps financial support, but also to help you determine which of your skills and talents you possess. It’s always a great idea to use career-based resources to help you along too and this is where our services may be highly beneficial to you.

Finally…

You can begin taking steps towards doing what you love, right now! Start by asking yourself these questions to figure out what your goals are and what you need to do to achieve them, then go and do it! Good luck.

  • Which career appeals to you the most?
  • What else are you really passionate about?
  • Which of these passions can be applied to a career and which of them would be better off as just a hobby?
  • What are you really talented at and what skills do you currently possess?
  • Based on your skills, talents and passions, which career do you think would suit you best?
  • Does the career that’s best suited to you align with the career you want? If not, could you pursue the career of your dreams with the talents and skills you already have, or do you need to upskill?
  • Besides upskilling, what other factors do you need to consider (finances, time, family, health e.t.c)?
  • Are your decisions based on an actual passion or desire, or are they erroneous? (You don’t want to be making life changing decisions based on a whim or mid-life crisis, for instance)
  • Do you know what you need to do to ensure your decision will be successful?
  • Are you 100% committed to your decision and willing to sacrifice time and energy towards it?
  • Do you know where to find the support you’ll need?
The CFS Team
Helping You Achieve Success

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