Are you feeling lost about your desired career path and wondering how to start your personal projects? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Many young people struggle with figuring out their career goals and taking the necessary steps to achieve them. However, with the right tools and mindset, you can learn about your desired career path and start your personal projects with confidence and consistency.
We have gathered a collection of valuable tools and tips to assist you in finding a suitable career path if you are currently facing difficulties in doing so. These points are curated to help you assess your skills and interests, explore various career options, and develop a plan to achieve your professional goals in the long term.
The first step to finding your desired career path is to reflect on your interests, skills, and values. Ask yourself questions like “What am I passionate about?”, “What are my strengths?”, “What do I believe in?” and “What are my core values?”. These questions will help you identify what you’re naturally good at and what motivates you. This is the first step in getting clarity about the line of work that you are interested in. After doing some self reflection, you can decide to enrol in an academy that trains young people to be experts at what you’re interested in. Read more about online learning platforms and academies for skills acquisition.
- Career Exploration Websites
Once you’ve identified your interests, skills, and values, you can start exploring different career paths that align with them. Career exploration websites such as CareerOneStop, MyNextMove, and Indeed Career Guide offer a wealth of information on various career paths, including job outlook, salary, required education, and skills. Exploring these websites gives you an insight into the career paths that you may be interested in, so you have some knowledge of what to expect before embarking on the journey. You can also attempt to apply for jobs and get interviewed, just for the experience and feel. This builds your confidence over time and lets you know what to expect for certain roles, the experience needed and how to answer questions better. Read more about creating a powerful CV.
- Job Shadowing
Job shadowing involves spending time with professionals in your desired career path to learn more about what they do. This can be a great way to gain practical knowledge and experience in your chosen field. You can reach out to professionals on LinkedIn or through professional organisations, to ask if they would be willing to let you shadow them for a day. You can also attend masterclasses and tech events, where professionals gather to share knowledge and information about their careers to younger audiences. From this, you can gain access to more resources, insights and understanding about your career choice and the job industry in general.
Networking is essential in any career path. Joining professional organisations and attending networking events can help you connect with professionals in your field and learn about job opportunities. LinkedIn is also a great tool for networking and connecting with professionals. Networking can also be done by taking up responsibilities in smaller areas of your life such as church, mosque and school. This enables you to meet with leaders at such institutions, who can connect you with opportunities in the right places.
- Personal projects
Starting personal projects can help you gain experience and showcase your skills to potential employers. Consider starting a blog, creating a portfolio website, or contributing to open-source projects related to your desired career path. These projects will demonstrate your passion, dedication, and skills to potential employers. You can also register for and participate in hackathons and other tech events which are sponsored by tech companies. This gives you the opportunity to liaise with other professionals and upcoming newbies like yourself. The responsibilities from the group projects at these events gives you an avenue for networking, adding the experience to your CV and including the work done in your portfolio. It also gives you ideas for problems to solve in your immediate environment.
Starting your personal projects can be daunting, but here are some tips to help you get started:
- Choose a project that aligns with your interests and desired career path. This will help keep you motivated and engaged.
- Set realistic goals and timelines. Break down your project into smaller, manageable tasks, and set deadlines for each task.
- Find a mentor or accountability partner who can offer guidance and support as you work on your project.
- Take advantage of online resources and tutorials to learn new skills and techniques.
- Embrace failure and learn from your mistakes. Starting personal projects is a learning experience, and it’s okay to make mistakes along the way.
In conclusion, finding your desired career path and starting personal projects can be challenging, but with the right tools and mindset, it’s achievable.
The NextGen Academy also offers opportunities to industry newbies, to learn for free about various career paths that they can explore. There is a free masterclass on the 17th of March, 2023, where you can learn from tech professionals for free via Zoom. The NextGen Academy pulled this together to give clarity to people who are unsure about the career paths they want to pursue. Register and join the free masterclass to navigate your journey and choose a niche in the job industry.
Self-reflection, career exploration websites, job shadowing, networking, and personal projects are all valuable tools to help you learn about your desired career path and gain practical experience. By taking action and pursuing your interests, you can turn your passion into a fulfilling career.
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