Making A Good Career Choice
Some say that making a good career choice is one of the most decision you will make in life, right next to deciding who you want to marry. After all, it’s estimated that throughout a lifetime a total of 90,300 hours will be spent working for the average full-time employee.
It’s vital to determine what sort of work will best suit your personality and preferences. Aligning your career choices with who you are as a person and your strengths can provide more fulfillment and satisfaction.
With four steps, you can filter through the thousands of career options available to you and find the right one. It may take a lot of time to think over and come to the right decision, but it can be a very rewarding process.
Anyone who is thinking of changing their career can follow these four steps.
1. Spend Time Learning About Yourself
Some people may think that they should already know themselves instinctively. But in reality, many of us have to spend lots of time getting to know ourselves. That means listening to our initial thoughts and feelings in response to the different things we do.
Many of us were raised to believe we need to listen to someone else to make the right career decisions. While it can be helpful to listen to some good advice, it was also tempting to stop learning about who we are and just follow direction.
This may result in work burn-out and fatigue caused by following a career pathway that is simply not aligned with who you are, your needs, interests, and values.
It’s important to allow yourself to make this decision, as you are the only one who can determine how you will be spending those ninety thousand hours of work you will have accumulated over your lifetime.
If you’re just getting started, being sure to use career tests, personality tests, and consulting career counselors can be very helpful with getting off on the right foot.
Take a personality test to see what best suits your career choice
2. Create A List of Potential Occupations
Many self-assessment tools can give you a list of professions that may be suitable for your personality type. Utilizing several tools will give you several lists to work with. Eliminate the one that doesn’t interest you, and narrows in on the ones that do.
You may decide to try some things you never considered as well, as you may be surprised by what you enjoy. Some options you might not have ever considered, but may be right for you. In total, the final list should have between 10-20 career options on it.
Take a look at the many career choices that are available
3. Explore Your Options
Having narrowed down your list, it is time to go deeper into each option. Take the time to examine and explore each of your career possibilities. Reading career profiles, job descriptions, watching videos and reading about qualifications and salary can help you get to know the potential career option.
Having this information will help you determine whether the career can bring you what you hope for in life. Learn about the average lifestyle of the professionals in that field, and what their duties are on a daily basis.
Take into account not only how much you will make, but also how demanding the job is for you. If you’re a night owl, but most of the jobs in the field demand early morning hours, then think about whether that lifestyle change is something you’re willing to do.
A career may have a large income, but will the demand be too much on your emotional or mental health? Each person is different and will need to figure out if they are suited for the profession and how the job will impact your life long term.
4. Reduce List to Top Career Candidates
This is the final step of the process of narrowing down your results. Now that you have discarded the choices that will simply not work for you, you will have a couple of choices that are highly appropriate for you.
This short list will contain 2-5 choices that are your favorites. You might find that these options are career paths where you already have accumulated skills, or that they are jobs that you have always dreamed of. Don’t be afraid to take that leap to do something you love. This is an important decision that can have lasting effects.
The next phase in your journey will be to step further into investigating your top field choices. Find several professionals who are doing the work you are thinking about doing, and conduct an interview with them. Ask them about their life, what they do on a daily basis, and how it impacts them. Try to see what type of qualities they and if your personality would be suited for the work as well.
Finally, you will come to a conclusion. After all of the research, you should be starting to feel that you’ve figured it out. Decide the next step and how you will get there. It can be a long road to completing the necessary education and training, so make a plan to get you there.
Remember to congratulate yourself for completing this essential step in your life. Whether you are switching jobs or starting your first career path, having taken the time to think over and decide on the best option will serve you for many years to come.