Choosing a career out of the myriad of career choices out there can seem like a daunting task to most job seekers. Make sure you choose the right one!
Choosing a career that is right for you is the only surefire way to achieve professional happiness in life. But, there are so many career choices available - to individuals, either just entering the job pool or people interested in changing their career - that most people find it almost impossible to pick the right career.
This often results in people making poor career choices that not only leads to professional misery but also keeps them from achieving professional goals. To prevent that from happening you need to choose a career that is right for you, in the sense that it makes you happy to go to work and also helps you get closer to achieving your professional goals with each passing day.
Choosing the Right Career Is Important Because…
Research has proven that being happy at work can spike your productivity by 12 percent while being unhappy at work can decrease your productivity by 10 percent. You don’t need me to tell you that the workplace is an incredibly competitive place and that your ability to go the extra mile can distinguish you from your coworkers and help you rise professionally. Even if you’re the more artistic type who will end up in a more creative job (like being a painter or a musician) enjoying what you do can help you push yourself forward and ensure success.
But How Can You Know What You Will Love in the Future
I won’t deny that the future is pretty unpredictable and that you can never know what it may hold for you. And it’s not only the future that’s unpredictable; we humans are very unpredictable, so there’s a good chance that what you’re enthusiastic about at the moment will not continue to make you happy in the future.
As we develop, our understanding of the world changes and with it we change as well. But, what essentially remains the same is who we are, the core of our personality. Think about kids who are shy; they rarely grow up to be extroverts and vice versa, and that’s because the essence of who we are doesn’t really change no matter what life throws at us.
Out of the myriad of career options out there you need to aim for those careers that are in sync with your skills and interests because although these may change on the surface, you’re never going to change that much that it will affect your career choices.
The 4 Factors
One of the best ways to choose a career that makes you happy is to base your career choice on these 4 factors.
Taking these four factors into consideration will help you choose a career that is not only right for you at the moment, but it will also ensure that it remains right for you no matter how much the future changes.
To better understand what these factors are and how they can affect your career choice continue reading.
Out of all the things that you want to take into consideration when choosing a career, your strengths and weakness are perhaps the most important factors. Being honest with yourself about what you can and can’t do can help prevent you from choosing a career is completely wrong for you so make sure that you are honest with yourself.
Take into consideration how outside of the box you tend to think. As cliché as this may sound it’s important to understand if you could ever be in a position that would require you to constantly come up with new ideas. If you are an innovator, then a marketing position, for example, could help you fulfil your career aspirations, but if you aren’t you may find yourself struggling at work which can hinder your path to success.
You should also think about how good of a communicator you’re and if you’re a people person at all. Knowing how good your people skills are can help you decide if you should be in a position where customer or client interaction is vital. If you’re the bubbly person that loves being around people then perhaps you should opt for a career in public relations or even human relations. If you aren’t a people person at all, though, you may want to choose a career that will require minimal human interaction such as a corporate lawyer. For a more comprehensive list of careers for introverts read this.
Take a piece of paper and realistically rate how good you’re at problem solving, if you have any managerial skills (planning and time-management as well) and if you are the sort of person who’s attentive to detail. Also, make sure that you take into consideration any physical abilities you may have, how is your eyesight for example? (if you want to be a pilot it’s important to know), or if you’re interested in manual labour it’s important to know if your body is strong.
Of course, you can’t just choose a career on the basis of your skills alone. You risk finding yourself in a career that you’re good for, but you have no interest in. This can be dangerous, and it won’t be long before you’re bored out of your mind and want to quit. Not that there’s anything wrong with quitting, but the stress and anxiety that go with it are things you want to avoid.
So make sure that you jot down anything that you’re interested in that could help you choose a career. For example, are you a computer geek who loves learning new things? Then maybe a programming career is what you should be going for.
If you’re the artistic type, who’s also an introvert and always thinks out of the box then maybe you should consider becoming a graphic designer. If, on the other hand, you’re more interested in the culinary world, have excellent managerial skills and are a creative thinker, then you should choose a career as a chef.
It’s also important to take things like where you’d like to work into consideration. For example, would you feel like you’re suffocating inside an office? Then maybe you want to think of a more outdoorsy career, especially if you have a strong body that could be put to work. Or, if you’re a bubbly person who loves being around other people but hates the corporate environment then you could consider choosing a career in teaching.
It’s important for your interests to be taken into consideration in relation to your strengths and weakness. You can’t think of your interests but not think of how these relate to your skills. Remember that you’re going through this process to find a career that you’d be happy in so always consider these two factors in relation to one another.
This factor refers to your work style and what matters to you in a professional environment. For example, if your professional integrity matters a lot to you and you wouldn’t be caught dead doing something unethical then it’s important that you find a career that promotes this professional attitude. You’d never be happy as a lawyer for example as being a lawyer requires you to transgress traditional ethical boundaries. Of course, no one is guilty until proven so and defending your clients is always ethical, but you should know that working in a law firm will require you to defend clients who you’ll know are guilty.
It's also important to take factors such as your tolerance for stress, professional goals, your adaptability and how emotional you are into account. If you get anxious easily, then working in a stressful environment could burn you out pretty fast. Your professional goals and how important it is for you to be in an environment that will allow you to grow professionally can make a huge difference in your career choice. Adaptability is important because if you don’t adapt quickly to new situations, then you don’t want to find yourself in a fast-paced environment that will require you to be a chameleon. It’s also important to know how emotional you get because if you get too emotional or angry easily, it can result in many arguments should you find yourself in a professional environment that encourages this sort of attitude.
This last factor has more to do with finding the right career for you on a more concrete level. For example, how important is it for you to be in a company that supports its employees? Many companies consider their employees easily replaceable and would never support an employee who’s in need. It’s also important for you to decide if you want to be in a career where you’ll be secure, or if you don’t like to think that far ahead and wouldn’t take job security into consideration.
These things are important as they can help you choose a career, but they can also help find the right company for you.
Searching for a job can be nerve-racking, but if you know what you’re looking for, it can be much easier.
Choosing a career is basically about being able to understand who you are and what you require out of a job. On the other hand, if your dream job is in a field were educational background is a requirement, why not take a College Level Examination Program to build credits towards a degree. To see if you meet the specifications to pass an exam, take a CLEP practice test. With the correct training and knowledge, you'll be one step closer to your ideal career.