Your chosen career path will determine to a large extent your success in life since it will take up most of your working life. In the olden days previous generations had to settle for what was available to them and make the best out of it. For some of them they created the life that they loved while others remained mediocre and unfulfilled.
In the present day you have multiple options to consider to set your career path and realize your true potential. In this post I share six things you must consider when making that decision as follows:
1. Passion and interests
Anything of excellence is usually done by someone who exhibits a lot of passion for what they do. From my years of experience in the corporate world I have seen the importance of having passion for your work. One of the worst things in life is to wake up every day to go and spend eight or more hours of your life on something that doesn’t bring you fulfilment.
“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” ~ Matthew 6:21
Yes, there are seasons when you will need to work in an environment that is less than your ideal of what you want in life. The key thing here is that it must only be for a season and contributing towards your overall career objective.
Being successful in life to a great extent lies in your chosen career path because that’s where you can add the most value to the people around you. A mistake a lot of people make including their parents is forcing success in a career because of the potential monetary benefits only to find later it’s not what they expected.
Be careful not to make the same mistake as you may miss out on a potentially great career.
2. Your strengths and skills
Many experts have said passion alone is not enough for success in any career path you choose. Successful people understand this and I agree. Your strengths and skill set are just as important. So it’s not a matter of one being more important than the other because both are critical success factors in having a great career life.
What are the things that you’re naturally good at? There are so many ways in which people can be classified and each classification has a tendency for certain tasks or abilities. Some people are more oriented for office and administrative jobs while others like working with their hands out in the field.
“A man’s gift makes room for him and brings him before great men.” ~ Proverbs 18:16
Some people find it easy working with people while others prefer tasks that require little interaction with other people. The good thing is that no one is better than the other because everyone has a place where they add the most value.
Don’t allow other people to make you feel inferior if you can’t do specific things. It just means that you’re different and nothing more. You don’t have to pressure yourself into becoming something you’re not God because has something you can do and be of valuable service to other people.
3. Opportunities to add value
Those that are exceptional in their chosen career path tend to see what the average don’t see. Your sight is not just about what you can see with your natural eyes. What else do you see in your mind’s eye? For the most part what you don’t see with your natural eyes holds the potential to get you promoted in your field of work or rewarded in one form or another.
“It is the glory of God to conceal a thing, but the glory of kings is to search out a thing.” ~ Proverbs 25:2
Getting into a career that suits both your strengths and passion is a good start. Advancing your career life requires that you constantly ask the question, “How can I add value to what I’m already doing right now?”
In a practical way you can spend time daily to think about how you can make improvements. I dedicate about 15 minutes every day thinking about how I can do certain things better. In those times I’ve come up with solutions to problems that in some cases were right under my nose but weren’t so apparent initially. Opportunities to thrive in any situation are always there but they just need you to make time to search them out.
4. God’s purpose for your life
One of the hardest lessons I’ve learned in my career life is that the most important thing is to be in God’s will. I spent nearly seven years pursuing a dream that has not materialized in the way I expected. The dream is something I’m passionate about and naturally enjoy doing.
“Peace is the umpire for doing the will of God” ~ Edwin Louis Cole
For a long time it didn’t make sense to me until God humbled me to the point of allowing Him to not just be the Savior but also Lord over my life. Being successful requires that you understand and acknowledge that it’s God’s way and nothing else.
Some of the things you are striving for may be part of God’s purpose for your life but maybe it’s not the right time. So what I’ve learned is that you must bring your dreams and aspirations and submit them to Jesus. Pray over them and seek His direction on what He says about them. If they are part of His plan He will confirm them by opening doors for you to make them happen in reality.
Actor TC Stallings teaches about this subject in his book, “The Pursuit” where you can learn more about what it means to really pursue God’s purpose instead of your own.
5. Education to pursue
What you study is important to map out a successful career path. Based on God’s purpose for your life, your passion and strengths you must then identify what you need to learn to become who you were created to be.
People are at different levels and have differing needs so you must study that which suits you and not just because others are studying a certain course. I personally wish I would have received some sort of career guidance in my teenage years which would have helped me in a big way.
Your ambitions will determine what you need to study. There are various options such as a high school education, diploma, certification, college degree and postgraduate degrees. Take the time to look at the various options available to you and get some guidance from someone you look up to and you know has your best interests at heart.
Some of the most successful people we know today had little formal education and your success is not determined alone by having a piece of paper. Education also comes in the form of workshops, programs on TV or the Internet which is full of information today.
Don’t allow yourself to be limited by conventional definitions of what education is according to society.
6. Long term growth opportunity
Make time to study the trends in your field too. They give you a picture of what tomorrow will look like and helps you identify opportunities you can prepare to take advantage of. What’s important is that you get yourself in a position where you are constantly evolving in your chosen career path to keep up to date and remain relevant.
As times change everything around you evolves so you just need to evolve and adapt to the changes that come. That means constantly learning new skills in your field and taking advantage of the opportunities that come with them.