The interconnectedness of the world is truly a gift, it allows so many people to get out of poverty, more efficient transportation, communication, and so many more things. Education and career potential have also been multiplied, to the point where a “new” kind of problem arose: the overwhelming amount of choice. It has been well documented that the more choice we have, the more frozen and indecisive we get, it is somewhat fine when you are choosing flavors of jams or color of clothes, however what about the choices that will have massive consequences on your life over long periods of time?
The impact of those choices is so massive, the number of choices leads only to paralysis and inaction, a relevant question for our period is then: how do you choose a career in a time of unlimited access?
Here is the starting point of the answer, it is not exhaustive, nor will it be a good one for everybody, it aims to provide some guidance in a world overflowing with information.
Start with self-introspection
Oftentimes, when contemplating large questions like this, people tend to immediately immerse themselves in content from other people's point of view. This outward exposure is necessary; however, I would argue that it is not the first step. Looking at other people's lives and experiences have a tendency to create a prism that acts as a lens from which you are observing and drawing conclusions. It is dangerous in the sense that it is warping your vision based on what somebody else’s let you see, which nowadays have a tendency to only be the positive side of things, it often leads to the feeling of “grass is greener on the other side”.
While it is important to have these kinds of experiences, a better idea would be to start with self-introspection first. If you are choosing a career for the first time or considering swapping, start with yourself. What do you know about yourself, what is consistently important to you, what are your values, put everything on paper and look for key points in your life to validate what you are about, plenty of tests available online to help you put words on those feelings. I would recommend learning about your values through Shalom H. Schwarz’s work. When crossing with what you know about yourself, it will help to put words on what matters to you.
Once, you have a clearer idea (prism), then look for outward exposure.
Now that you have an idea (more or less), of what you are about. It is time to look outward, look for people you admire or people that work in your target industry/jobs. The internet is the single best tool you have for that, there are plenty of different communities out there which can guide you toward making a choice, it is a crucial part of the discovery process as you will not get a more honest answer than from people who are already experiencing it.
If you are still wide in your decision-making process, LinkedIn is a good place to start, with plenty of information on companies and people. Do not hesitate to contact people, oftentimes, humans are happy to share what they know, keep it short and simple at first.
Once your direction is confirmed, go for your specific community. Adaptivity is all about the digital community, helping people who have an interest in joining digital or tech careers, if you are longing for tips and advice on how to join this world, go to https://adaptivity.us and join a community of people like you.
One way or another, use technology, and its vast access, to what it is great for; connecting people outside your circle.
Time to act
Unfortunately, even with all the information in the world, if you still lack personal experimentation, your goal will not be complete. The only way to get a real answer is to act on what feels right for you. The previous steps are merely to narrow down the research and help you focus; they are useless if no action is taken afterward.
Oftentimes, people stop acting because they feel scared, inadequate or out of place, those are the exact reason why people should act, it means you are going outside your comfort zone and start doing something meaningful, that triggers something in you. There is no right form upon which to act, it can be anything that gets you closer to answer your question:
Have a talk with a stranger of your target industry, look for internships or job opportunities, volunteer if possible, write an article about what interests you interviewing relevant people. When it comes to acting, things are limitless, doing will always be better than contemplating once you have an idea of the direction.
When it comes down to it, choosing a career is one of the most difficult things to do in our time, but do not get it twisted, it is a blessing, fewer and fewer people are forced to take very difficult jobs because they need to feed their families, just the fact that we have difficulty choosing shows how the world is doing better overall and we should be grateful for it.
Let’s take this opportunity to discover more about ourselves, people around, and far from us. Remember that this process is ever-changing and evolving, your answer today will probably be different than your answer in 15 years, no worries if the feeling comes back, it is similar for many people. Stay curious, stay adaptive, if you are interested in any careers or simply want to learn more about digital do not forget to visit us at https://adaptivity.us.