We are all pursuing happiness and one of the ways we find happiness is through the career path that we choose. Choosing a career path can be but exciting and nerve-racking depending on a lot of factors. It doesn’t matter whether you decide to get a Bachelor’s degree, postgraduate or not, we all want to end up having a career at the end of the day.
Some people choose to go into business while some choose to go work in the corporate world and others freelance or the creative industry. Whatever the case, we always want to make sure we find certain satisfaction as well as financial reward.
In other to achieve all these, there are certain factors to consider while choosing a career.
What are those top factors to consider when choosing a career?
Passion: It is not surprising that this is the first point on the list. Career experts will always advise people to find a career doing something they love. The best career really is the one you enjoy waking up every morning to get to. If you cannot imagine yourself smiling at work if you choose a career path, then you are probably choosing the wrong career. Apart from that, every work comes with its own challenges and so, challenges will come with the workplace – it could be in form of the work environment, colleagues, or even your employer. But the love you have for the job is what will keep you from giving up. Passion will keep pushing you to keep holding on until everything becomes better. Also, when you have passion for something, you will be naturally better at it and even if you aren’t that good at it, you are likely to put in your best to something you are passionate about.
Skills: We all have different strengths and weaknesses, and it is only natural that we should take advantage of our strengths. When choosing a career, consider your skills and your skills are not just a function of what you naturally have talent for. They also consist of whatever you picked up intentionally or not in life. A lot of people make the mistake of limiting skills to their natural talent whereas your skills are a culmination of natural talent, educational background, professional training or certifications, informal training, job experiences amongst others. Everything you have learnt to do and can do is your skill. It is only normal to want to consider them when considering the choice of your career path because you will be excellent at a career you are skilled at.
Job Availability: Another factor to consider is the availability of the jobs in that career path. Job is different from career; in the sense that something you do to earn a paycheck whereas career is a culmination of employment opportunities that you have been made available to you. So you could choose a career as a sales manager but pick a particular job in sales manager made available. The implication of this is that while there are different career options, there is also the possibility that there won’t be enough jobs available in that career path. So, it is important that you put that into consideration before making your choice because really, there is no point choosing a job that will not be available or pay the bills.
Job Security: Closely related to the above is the security of the job. Certain jobs have more security than others – both generally and individually, based on the company’s policy. Presently, in the marketplace, the rate at which technology is improving, there have been enough predictions that certain jobs and even careers will go extinct in a few years to come. With machines and robots being worked on to do so many jobs, many people will lose their jobs because it will lack relevance. The good news is that this information is readily out there on the internet. All you have to do is go online to find out if the career path you are interested in will stand the test of time. You don’t want to start your journey on a certain career path just to find out in future that your job is no longer needed. Also, in some cases, while the career path might not go extinct, frequent innovation of oneself will be necessary, so equipping yourself with the right information will help you make an informed decision.
Your Experience: When you take a role or start a job, you want to make sure that you do great in the job because at the end of the day, what will ensure your development and stay in that career path is your excellence. Experience is what will ensure that excellence and you can only get that through actively working. Experience is different from skill, in the sense that while your experience is a part of what makes up your skills, your skills could simply be your educational and all other formal training you have gone through. In certain cases, you get to experience practical work while learning in school but really, there is nothing like actual work to give you the much-needed experience. The implication of this is that you can decide to stick strictly to the job roles you have experience for or you can apply for internships, apprenticeship and even voluntary work, so as to acquire the necessary experience for the career path you are considering.
Your Personality: There are different personality types and each of these personality types have their individual strengths and weaknesses that affect every aspect of our life, as well as the kind of job we do. For instance, there are certain jobs that will be easily executed by extroverts but will be very difficult for an introvert and vice versa. Introverts will be great in jobs that require major brain work and analyses as well as desk jobs; they are comfortable working in the background. Extroverts, on the other hand, are great with people or limelight and will most likely get bored sitting on a desk all day. So, you can consider your personality when considering a career to choose. It is also important to note that you can decide to push yourself and do the job that would naturally not go with your personality type. There are many instances of introverts who are in a career that will require them to be in limelight because they trained themselves and you can also do the same. Personality should indeed be considered but it is not limiting except we want it to. On the other hand, there are certain behavioural patterns that would really matter. For instance, if you don’t like children, you definitely shouldn’t be a school teacher.
Your Work Culture: We all have different attitudes to work that could also be as a result of our personality. One of the things you should definitely consider is how you work to achieve excellence. Some people are self-motivated, some work better under pressure, some are procrastinator, some are better exchanging ideas with others, some are better working alone and in fact, some are good leaders while some are better as followers. The idea is, to be honest about the category you fall into, so you can make an informed choice when choosing a career.
Your Priorities: Our priorities differ. Even though many life coaches advise us on having a work-life balance in order to have a productive life, our priorities differ. Some people find their fulfilment in their career and they define their overall success by how much success they make in their careers. Some others will pick the home front before their career and others still want to do it all. Depending on how you view and define success, this should have an impact on the career you choose. If you want to have enough time for the home front, you should pick a career that will make that possible, so you don’t become miserable in the long run. At the end of the day, it will be a wrong career choice if you are not happy.
Your Dream: Why are your short term career goals? What are your long term career goals? These two questions are very important to help you make a decision on the career to choose. This is because some job roles are temporary and uncertain and some are long term. You would not want to get a career path that will not help you achieve your career goals in the number of years you have set. That is why it is important to answer this question and let it inform your choice.
Your Happiness: The last but not the least factor you should definitely consider is your happiness. Many of us, even in our pursuit of happiness, usually forget to consider our happiness when making decisions. At the end of the day, whatever decision you make concerning your career should make you happy. Life is too short to live it miserably, choose happiness.
Choosing a career is very important as this will determine the course you will study in the university. If you consider all these points, it will help you make a decision that you will be thankful for.