FLAME University


Stories from the FLAME community
Vof Articl
18 /Sep 2023
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Author: Anshika Arora,
Assistant General Manager, Higher Education Counselling Services, FLAME University.

The ‘You’ in ‘Your’ Career Counseling: How Your Purpose Story Can Streamline Your Career Counseling Journey

Typically, we understand career counseling to be this magical intangible phenomenon that we have a faint idea of but can only use to decode the destination for our further study, right? However, in reality, career counseling is much more than that.

So, hello, and welcome to what we call the new world of career counseling.

Here, the core of how one’s ideal career is to be mapped stems from the very basic understanding of "who (am I?)" and "what (shall I do?)".

Let me explain.

A career today is much more than a degree or a job. It’s a non-linear, complex path that often requires pivoting due to multiple factors and lived experiences.

So, if we have clarity of our core values: "who we are (what do we like, what is our purpose, what is non-negotiable for me, etc.)", and "what shall we do (to achieve that, to get a little closer to my dream goal every day, etc.)", taking the leap of faith becomes much easier and more informed.

 Where does this journey begin?

The steps to finding the right degree or job for your career are personalized and structured, but one thing that can surely help is the approach, specifically the broad-to-narrow approach. Meaning, that we jump to the parachute approach by taking a step back from the traditional approach of career or job hunting. In the former, our focus is on our skills and competencies that can help us achieve our ideal goal (be it a degree or job) through a methodological, comprehensive approach. To do this, we move from a broad to a narrow approach to our career and break it down step by step. This process helps us eliminate any options that are unaligned with our purpose and our long-term career.

We begin by defining our purpose—why do we think we are here? Is it to contribute to the field of fashion? Is it to resolve capitalism? Is it to look at technology through a different lens? This step broadly defines why you even want to work in the first place (and no, earning money does not qualify!).

Next, we dig deeper to see where this purpose is finding meaning in the real world. In essence, what are the kinds of jobs out there that are contributing to the same purpose as yours? These sets of work are popularly known as fields or areas of work. A field of work may be an area of work that contributes to the larger goal you may have in mind. Examples of a field could be education, consulting, medicine, stand-up comedy, etc.

And finally, we dissect the specifics within the field. Meaning, within the identified field, which job is the closest to my purpose? Which job will be meaningful, fun, and fulfilling? Often, this takes years to find, but some of us get lucky faster than that. So, using this approach benefits everyone regardless. Taking from the previous example, within the field of education, let’s say, which of my skills will help me achieve maximum success? If I am good at leading and getting work done, then I can consider academic management. If I like being the hands and legs of the team and enjoy people-to-people interaction, then I can consider academic administration. Or, if I enjoy research, teaching, and being around students, then teaching may be an option. So, this step leaves us with 3–4 jobs we can consider or at least 3 areas for further study.

By the end of this exercise, we will know our purpose, potential fields we can work in, and some key areas of work. The good thing is that this approach helps us with two main factors:

  1. To go back to the bigger picture.

  2. Stay intentional and focused on our next steps.

While we are on this path, there are other exercises, activities, and methods to map one’s profile and decide on the next steps after study. Remember, a step closer to success is a success.

As you embark on this journey of self-discovery and career exploration, remember that FLAME University offers dedicated support through our Higher Education Counseling Services (HECS) team. Don't hesitate to reach out to HECS for personalized guidance on your academic and career path, ensuring you make informed decisions and move closer to your goals.

All the best!

(Author: Anshika Arora, Assistant General Manager, Higher Education Counselling Services, FLAME University.)