Choose Your Career
How do you choose the right career track, one you’ll actually like ten years from now? Lots of people wish they asked that question back in college.
Figuring out how to choose a career has always been a mystery. For many, the consequences of a youthfully optimistic (a.k.a. hormonally guided) career choice don’t become obvious until much later. Lots of thirty-somethings say their career choice turned out be the equivalent of unwanted tattoo of their high school sweetheart, “What the heck was I thinking!?” I’ve worked with hundreds of lawyers, PhDs and other highly educated professionals who say their career choice “seemed like a good idea at the time”—until it wasn’t. Most say they more or less fell into something they thought they were interested in only to find out later they don’t have the right aptitudes or motivation to sustain a successful career in a field they don’t care about.
Pathfinders has played a key role in developing tools and techniques that can help you design and choose a sustainable career path, including professional career aptitude testing and expert one-on-one guidance to help you put the pieces together.
Why is it so hard to choose the right career path?
Choosing a career path is one of the most complex decisions of your lifetime. And, you’re expected to make this decision on a whim without much guidance. Many of us go to college before we know much about our natural talents or what niche of the career world we might find meaningful. The consequences of making shortsighted career decisions aren’t pretty—only 13% of people say they’re engaged and excelling in their careers.
When we’re young we tend be overly optimistic that “things will work out later.” Forecasting how much we’ll like a career can be daunting; many of us throw up our hands and just hope that somehow our “future self” will figure things out. When we face really difficult decisions, like choosing our future, we tend to copy well proven shortcuts or success strategies. For example, “go to college, and then wander and job hop through your 20s and you’ll eventually find your path” is familiar cultural wisdom. Although this seems to have worked for previous generations, things have changed. (We should be critical of this wisdom, I’ve met thousands of successful-but-not-so-happy gen-xers, now in their late 40s and 50s, that are still trying to figure out what they really want to be.)
For millennials today, there’s much less wiggle room to experiment and stumble on happiness. The game has completely changed, our new ultra-lean economy is unfriendly to wanderers without a clear destination. And unlike their parents’ generation, happiness means holding out for something authentic. Pathfinders sees lots of uber-educated 30-something career changers who are frustrated that they haven’t found their bearings yet (even after going to grad school and traveling the world), who are eager to make a career switch but want to make sure they’re heading down the right road.
Pathfinders Career Design: The Better Way
Pathfinders has brought a systems engineering “career design” approach to choosing a career path. We take the mystery out of career choice by breaking it down into manageable career design elements that you choose to architect a customized future. If designing your career sounds like more fun than trying to “find” one out there, you’ll love this process. Whether you’re a high school or college student, a young professional just heading out into the world, or a slightly more seasoned professional who just hasn’t figured it out yet, we can help you create a custom-designed career path that combines your natural talents and abilities, your interests and values, and your real-life needs.
Our exclusive Careerpath Quest program steps you through the career design and career decision methods (phases 2 and 3), which builds on the foundation of your natural talents and strengths discovered in phase 1.
When you’re ready to go on your career quest, Pathfinders can help you design and choose your career path wisely. Contact us to explore a fit with your career situation: