Choosing A Career Path.
Choosing the right career path is one of those situations that is very confusing and nerve-wracking. Apart from your own ideas of what you would want to do in the next 40 years, there are people in your life who feel they know better and seek to advise you on which way to go. Although other people’s opinions could be relevant, you need to know that choosing a career path is a decision they have to make on their own. Before deciding what exactly you need to do, it is important to answer some questions. This step is crucial in determining the kind of decision you will make that will, in turn, affect the rest of your career.
The best career path is one that is not only able to help you pay your bills but actually brings you satisfaction and joy doing it. Should you choose a wrong career path, you will be prone to a very sad life full of regret, low motivation, and sadness. If later into your career you feel that you have made the wrong decision, it is never too late. Here are some questions you need to ask yourself before you make a final decision.
- Who am I choosing this career for?
It is very common for parents and teachers/lecturers to influence people into careers. Even when these other parties may have the best interests for you, it is important for you to remember to pick the information that works and is most relevant to them but not let other people’s opinions influence their own.
Your career defines most of your life. It is a journey only you will have to take and you, therefore, have to know what is best for you and what you actually want to do regardless of what everyone else may think.
- Is this career in line with my interests?
When choosing a career, it is important to find something that is in line with your interests as you are bound to be more passionate about it. One of the reasons why some people’s careers are more successful than others is because those people are passionate about them.
With a career that you are interested in and passionate about, there is no doubt you will seek to pursue it above expectations and will most likely persevere during the hard times.
- Am I able to perform the tasks within this career?
Being passionate about something and actually being able to do it are two different things. For example, you may be passionate about music but do not have a great singing voice to be successful in the arts’ career. Knowing your abilities is what determines whether you will actually do great in this career. Pick something you can do.
- Is this career in line with my values?
Most people’s lives and decisions are guided by the values they have in life. Do you know what your values really are and do you think they will match the career path you are taking?
Being able to answer this question and making the right decision in relation to your career helps you feel more comfortable and proud of the career you have chosen. Should you pick a career that is not in line with your values, chances are high you will always feel uncomfortable and doubtful as your values and what you stand for contradict what you are actually doing.
- Does my personality fit this career path?
Certain careers are fit for introverts while others tend to suit the extroverts. What is your personality and does your personality fit the career path you are thinking of taking?
Personality is very important as it goes a long way in determining whether you will perform well in your career or will not. For example; if you want to pursue a career in customer relations, are you the kind that likes people or an introvert that prefers being on their own? Should you be introvert, you will most likely not know how to handle customers.
To handle this better, you could take a personality test or a career quiz that could help you figure out some career options best suited for your personality.
- Does my education/training suit my career path?
Many times people are often advised to choose a degree or course that matches what they actually want to pursue for the rest of their lives.
Choosing a career that is in line with your education not only gives you the introductory knowledge you need to perform in that career, but will increase your chances of growing in that career. When many recruiters are selecting possible candidates they often look at one’s education to see whether it is in line with the job. Having the necessary credentials sets you apart from everyone else in the career you are pursuing.
Furthermore, under this question, you should also ask yourself whether you are capable and willing to get more training and education to further increase your credentials as far as the career path you want to pursue is concerned.
- What kind of autonomy and control do I want in my career?
There are types of people that work better under supervision and do not mind being directed by someone else and other types of people that absolutely hate being controlled.
Knowing what type of person you are and whether or not you are capable of handling your independence productively will help you pursue the career best for it for you. For example, if you are the kind of person that does not like being under the control of other people, it is best to pursue your own business while if you are the kind of person that may not have the best management skills or the discipline to work in less-autonomous environment, it would be best to choose a career where you have guidance from other people.
- Are there jobs in the career path I want to take?
Knowing the availability of the jobs within your career and the competition for them further guides you on what you need to do to get those available jobs as well as stay apart of your competition.
Choosing a career path that has more job opportunities is very advantageous for you as you have more opportunities to practice and grow in that career. However even when there may be very few jobs in the career path you hope to pursue, do not give up on the path if that is what you want. Find ways on what you can do better and perhaps create even more job opportunities for other people.
- Am I willing to go to/live where the jobs in my career are?
In some careers, growing and getting a job means having to change locations or frequently travel. Are you willing to do whatever it takes for your career which may sometimes include moving miles away?
Are you the kind of person that likes to travel or perhaps is comfortable not traveling? Knowing this about yourself will also guide you further in picking the best career choice for you.
- Is the type of career you are choosing to follow growing or dwindling?
Whatever career you choose, you need one that will last for a long time and is steadily growing. Even when the career may not be as active at the moment but is growing and has much more future, it is much better than a career that is dwindling and may slowly become extinct.
Also, choose a career that is not stagnant as it will make your career stagnant as well but one that has the prospect for growth and will enable you to grow as well.
- Do I have other career options similar to the career path I am thinking of pursuing?
Should the career you have chosen to follow become extinct all of a sudden or should you realize it may have been a mistake, what would be your next option?
It is important to always have a plan B in case the worst happens. The best way to do this is to pick a career from which you can gain a variety of soft skills that you can easily transfer to other careers.This gives you more options to pick from or go to should their first option fail.
- Does this career fulfill my financial needs?
For many, this is the most important factor in choosing a career path because it seems to be the most realistic. Whatever career you choose, you should ensure that it will actually be able to help you meet your needs for a long time and enable you to pay your daily bills.
A career that may not be able to do this will often leave you frustrated and regret the decisions they have made. However, at the same time, your financial needs should not be the only thing that drives the career choice they choose.
After answering these questions objectively, you are sure to gather all the necessary information you need to make a final decision. After choosing that career path we urge you to go ahead and fight to succeed in it and be the best you can be. We wish you the best of luck.