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Career Choice: A Journey Into The Unknown

There’s a lot on the line when making a career choice, and most people end up dissatisfied with their career path.

In today’s world, work satisfaction is extremely low. In fact, a whopping 70 percent of people, according to Gallup, are disengaged at work. This affects personal psychological well-being and national productivity alike. How do we avoid becoming another unfortunate statistic?

Higher education doesn’t make you workforce ready

We often approach a university education with the reasonable expectation that a degree helps us land a lucrative job in our industry of choice. In reality, the correlation between education and actual career outcomes isn’t as strong as many of us would suspect.

We pick majors with the intention of making a splash in that field upon graduation. Unfortunately, many of our academic concentrations were designed to prepare us for a world that no longer exists. Far too often, the skills provided to us during college don’t neatly translate into marketable skills that employers crave.

This is why many people fall into lines of work that don’t motivate them. In essence, they don’t make informed career choices, and instead land wherever they can secure steady work.

Lack of Career Mentorship

Parents and professors are woefully unaware of how the world is changing. When it comes to career advice, they probably aren’t caught up with the latest growing industries and what skills are necessary to enter those fields.

In many cases, your existing support network won’t be helpful when it comes to career mentorship. Often, they’ll point you in the directions of professions that they perceive as prestigious (medicine, law, etc.), or refer you to industries that are prevalent in their geographic region. For many, none of these will be an appropriate match for your passions and competencies.

So how do you make a career choice then?

Our world is changing rapidly, and the well-paying jobs of tomorrow may not even exist yet. How do you prepare to work in an industry that isn’t even here?

At GenFKD, we’re focused on addressing the gap between higher education and the real-world job market. We want to empower young folks to pursue their passions, while equipping them with the 21st century skills they need. Wherever they eventually settle, we want students to have the leadership skills and the technical know-how to succeed.

In an attempt to make a difference in everyday students’ lives, we’re rolling out a semester-long workshop at Colorado State University called Launchpad. The program aims to inspire self-understanding of one’s talents, and how those can be translated into a meaningful and economically sustainable career.

Knowledge is power when it comes to career choice

Launchpad offers a formalized program where students can start to think about their career trajectory. Often, merely starting the conversation about our career objectives can greatly improve outcomes.

If we’re familiar with how our personal talents can be best matched with a growing industry, then it’s more likely we will be engaged in the workplace. Knowledge is power when it comes to making a career choice, and the more you know, the better the chances that you’ll avoid being one of the tens of millions of people who are disengaged at work.

This article was originally published at GenFKD.org 

Photo by Louisa Mac

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