Career Maturity: Do you have it?
Most of us are told to choose our career paths based on the following four factors:
- How much it pays?
- Career growth
- Market demand for the professional
- Would society respect us?
These are not the wrong factors.
We all want to earn well. We don’t want to get stagnated in our careers. We are more likely to get a high paying job if our chosen career path is in high demand. And we love to see people respect us.
But here’s the problem.
We are talking about the mileage, drive, comfort and resale value of a car, even before knowing whether we can drive it or not.
We get so bogged down by these factors that we completely ignore important things like
- Do we have the skill level and ability to follow the career path?
- Do we have sufficient interest in the career path to follow it for 40-45 years of our lives?
- Do we have the right personality traits to belong in that career path?
If the answers to these questions are a loud and clear no, then those four factors don’t matter.
Because if you can’t drive a car, it doesn’t matter whether it’s mileage, drive and comfort are good or not.
For all that to matter, you must first learn to drive.
Similarly, for those four factors to matter, you will first need to know whether the career path is a good fit for you given your skills, personality traits and interests.
And this is where career maturity comes into play.
What is Career Maturity?
Having career maturity means taking career and educational decisions after having a good understanding of yourself (in terms of abilities, attitude and interests), information of different careers and how various careers paths are thriving around you.
In short, it means that you have the ability to make informed career and educational decisions.
Career maturity is essential to make promising career and educational decisions.
When you have career maturity, you depend less on what people around you think and recommend.
You can make independent decisions and focus on designing your 40-45 years of professional life.
How can you develop career maturity?
It’s not something you are born with or happens when your overall maturity develops.
Yes, as you become more mature as a person, your career maturity improves as well.
But becoming career mature requires you to understand a few essential things.
Obtaining career maturity requires you to have information and understandings about two things:
- Various career options
The first one is easy. Google would give you all the information you need about any and all career paths.
You can find the average salary at every level of a career path, demand, work environment, etc.
But learning about yourself can be challenging.
While growing up, how our parents, teachers and friends talk about us determines our perception of ourselves.
It could be who we are in reality. Or it could be absolutely wrong.
But it’s never completely accurate.
The only person who is more likely to know what you are capable of is you.
Realising our own potential, talents, and abilities is not easy.
Parents, teachers and friends see us through their preconceived notions and biases.
On the other hand, career counsellors and psychometric tests evaluate our abilities, talents, aptitudes, personality traits and interests without any biases, prejudices or preconceived notions.
That’s why you will have a much accurate understanding of what you can and can’t do.
Armed with this knowledge and the knowledge of various career paths, you will make better career and educational decisions.
And the more you observe and analyse yourself, how you work, what you do better and where you can improve, the more your career maturity will develop.
Career maturity is the foundation of your professional life.
In essence, it determines how your career and professional life will map out.
It gives you the necessary aptitude to make the right career choices.
And that’s why growing your career maturity should be your number one priority when you are young.
On a scale of 1-10, one being least career mature and 10 being most career mature, how would you rate your own career maturity?