How to Tackle the “Orientation Crisis”

Morgan McKinley May 20, 2014 3 mins read

Although the rise of professional networking sites has led to people’s occupational options becoming much freer, workers are still confronted with the common challenges of unemployment and job dissatisfaction. As some people summarise it, “occupational crises” can be brought on by various people, timeframes, and environments.

In most cases, however, there are four times when crises are most likely to occur: An orientation crisis when choosing an occupation, a promotion crisis after a period of time at the job, a direction crisis at around age 40, and a retirement safety crisis after age 50.

How should we tackle the initial “orientation crisis”? The most important thing is make objective appraisals of oneself. You can use the following angles to evaluate whether or not a new job will be conducive to your career development:

1. Interest and personality factors

When choosing a career, the most important factor what is suitable for you, not what looks best in the eyes of others. You should understand where your job interests lie, evaluate your  personality, consider the requirements of the new position, and what you want to achieve. When the job suits you, adapting to the occupation is easy, as is feeling a sense of achievement. Jobs which you don’t enjoy and have chosen purely because of their lofty title or high salary are destined to be short lived.

2. Evaluation of abilities

During the interview, everyone subconsciously highlights their strengths and downplays their weaknesses. You need to be extremely clear, however, on whether or not you are actually able of the tasks required by the post. Don’t worry about minor things that can be remedied by technical training, most companies will provide this. If they don’t, they’ll assign a senior colleague to help you gain your feet. For this type of shortcoming, as long as you’re eager to learn you’ll make the necessary improvements within a short period of time. Other problems, however, are more challenging. Take an introverted candidate assigned to a post requiring a lot of communication with outside parties, for example; this type of personality discrepancy is not something that can be resolved just by increasing technical knowledge.

3. Industry focus

Analyse the market trends of the industry you’re already in. In most cases, you don’t want to leave your chosen industry without serious prior considerations. As the time you spend working in one industry increases, so does your understanding of the rules of that particular game and your network of personal connections. Aside from individual factors, an understanding of the rules of the game combined with personal connections will, to a large extent, determine your future development. In today’s job market, the advantages of expertise and depth trumps those possessing only industry knowledge.

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