There are plenty of instances in life where you have to make a choice; and no, this is not just about which ice cream flavor you should pick. There are important scenarios, your choices during which can go on to shape your life, at least for the next few years. One of these scenarios is when you are at a multi-pronged fork in terms of career and you have to choose one that you can follow, probably for the rest of your life. Often, this is the only prong that people can select, and there are very few people who can get the option to make another choice at the fork. The big conundrum is: how to choose the right fork for you?
For generations, a majority of people have been choosing their careers after consulting their acquentions without really considering their own aptitude. This method can be called anything but foolproof, and it is very much similar that you'll end up doing something you have absolutely no interest in. Fortunately, there is a better, more fruitful method for selecting and planning a career, one that can definitely be more help to you. The method is using Mind Maps.
Here are a few steps as to how you can utilize mind maps to plan a career:
1. Make a note of your current skill set
Enlist your skills, your strengths, your weaknesses, tasks at which you can excel and tasks at which you can tank horribly.
Now objectively compare this with the requirements of your current job. If you find that you are overqualified, it's time to say Hi to new interviews.
If you find that you are just about qualified, highlight those regions which you can work upon. Set targets for yourself, wherein you can improve and be a better professional.
2. Set goals according to your limits
This is quite important because setting too high a goal is just as effective as asking a cat to spell out 'onomatopoeia'. Every person has their own limits and boundaries as to what they can achieve or even work at, and it is, in fact, quintessential that you set realistic goals. That way, you can constantly compare yourself against realistic benchmarks, and hopefully, at some point, exceed your own expectations.
List out all the realistic career options available to you. Add everything that is possible and you might like doing, even if it includes playing some sport for a career. Now, add four more columns against each of these options, sometimes your desirability for the job (listen to your heart here), the potential it has (brain, not the heart), how realistic the option is to actually carry out for you (brain again), and the drawbacks of each option (of course the brain).
Fill out these columns realistically, with a neutral perspective, as if you are doing this for someone else. You will be able to eliminate a majority of the options with this simple screening process, and it will be a lot easier to choose between five or six options, than to choose between twelve to fifteen options.
With a bit of stringency in the elimination process, you will be able to single out one job possibility that will be best suited for you, something where you are most likely to succeed. Good luck choosing the right career with Mind Maps!