Some Thoughts on Selecting the Right Career: There is Only One Choice - UP!

By Dr. Hennie Cheepers

So, here we are in the entrance hall of a tall building where we are faced by a row of elevators, a couple to the left, and a couple to the right. Some of these elevators only go to the first couple of floors, others go halfway up the building, and some go straight to the top without stopping anywhere during the trip. Then there are the service elevators that go down into the basement and parking garage.

Before getting into just any elevator, we have to answer a few questions: where am I at the current moment (what floor of what building?), where would I like to end up going, and which elevator will get me there without too much hassle? If you have not been to this building before, chances are that you will first need to determine the answers to the above questions after which you may - or may not - ask for some assistance!

The process of choosing a career is in fact very similar to the above scenario. Every moment of every day in our lives is characterised by the need to make choices; some are easy and more or less inconsequential; others require much more thought and time and could be categorised as life-changing. When we arrive in the entrance hall of life and have to make a career choice, we are challenged to answer some profound questions. Firstly, it is essential to know exactly where I am before being able to make any choice - taking some time to determine what is important and what I want from life (my values), what I like to do and have a keen interest in (personality), and what I am good at (aptitude).Secondly, I need to know something about the building I have entered into; this means that I need to have some insight as to who and what can be found on what floor of the building (understanding the world of work and the various career options).

As you may have seen, the above two steps have not translated into any form of action - it was suggested that some will ask for assistance and some not! To make the most suitable career selection, asking for assistance is highly recommended. When deciding on a career, getting professional assistance - finding out which elevator will best suit my needs - is characteristic of those who are able to take action, make the most appropriate choice, and get into the elevator of life! Therefore, getting assistance is highly recommended; selecting the correct elevator may seem quite daunting at first, but getting someone who has been into the building to provide some guidance and insight, will effectively mean you will reach your chosen destination in the shortest time and will be able to start a career, which will possibly take you to new heights.

Another factor to keep in mind is that, since we are in a built-up city, there are multiple buildings to choose from. In the same vein, there are multiple career choices one can make. Adding another dimension to our discussion, the increase in the number of high-rise buildings translates into even more options - and an increased need to ask for assistance. Since the process of career choice is never a once-off event, we are bound to access multiple elevators, which may even be located in different buildings. At the time of moving from one building to the following, in search of the next elevator, asking for further assistance is still a good idea. In addition to approaching career choice specialists, one could now be looking out for assistance offered by career and life coaches.

To summarise, one has to accept that in future we will probably be accessing multiple buildings and multiple elevators - the world of work has changed, and will demand an ability and willingness to keep abreast of changes in ourselves and the world around us; asking for assistance is no longer a sign of weakness, but rather a clear indication of focus, determination, and wisdom!

Dr. Hennie Scheepers