Know Yourself and Address Your Fears for Career Development

Not everyone sits down and thinks deliberately about career development. You may not even have done a lot of soul-searching about what field you want to enter. It may have been decided for you by your parents or by the fact that you seemed to be good at something. At the back of your mind, you may want to do something entirely different.

However, there is an old Indian saying which goes, “When you wake up, it’s morning,” meaning that it’s never too late to realize or understand what needs to be done. Even if you’re already 60, you can still embark on a new career or develop the one you already have.

Know Thyself

The truth is that people change as they grow older. What you wanted to be when you were 10 may not be what you want when you’re 20. And what you want when you’re 20 may not be what you want when you’re 30. And so on.

So you have to constantly introspect and ask yourself if you’re happy with what you’re doing. And if the answer is “no,” then it’s time to figure out what will make you happy and start doing that.


There are many tests or questionnaires you can take to figure out where your interests lie. Often, these tests will only tell you what you already know. But there may be times when you might be surprised by the results. (Really? You’d like to be a leader/entrepreneur? How come you never knew?)

You can either go to the counselor or buy a book (such as Which Color Is Your Parachute) which will guide you through a test of this sort.

Address Your Fears

There may be times when you already know what you want to do but you haven’t managed to put it into action. This could be due to some inner feelings of doubt (I’m not good enough, I haven’t studied enough, I’m the wrong age/gender/race/nationality etc.) It could also be due to a lack of motivation (I’m bored, it’s too hard, I’m stressed etc.)

But the fact is that, in general, lack of motivation is always tied to inner, unconscious feelings of inadequacy. You have to resolve these feelings first before you can move further towards your goals.