Choosing a career is one of the most important decisions of one’s life. No matter at what point in life you are selecting a career, it’s always a serious decision to make. If you have just graduated high school, it’s a critical time in your life, as everything will depend on the career you choose. The college you decide to go to, the majors you will study, and the certifications or specializations you will need are all decided based on your career choice.
And if you are at a later point in life when you are already working but want to switch professions, you will need to carefully decide your new career path. When picking a career, you need to understand a few key factors about yourself, as well as the job markets for different career paths.
Here is a complete career guide to help you pick the right career.
Know Your Skills And Interests:
Self-assessment and finding out your skills and interests is the first step. The career you choose must embody and reflect your likes and preferences. If you opt for a career that requires skills you don’t possess, you will end up hurting your professional journey. No one can perform satisfactorily when they don’t like what they do or if they feel incompetent in doing a job. That’s why the key is to ask yourself what soft and hard skills you have and what type of work attracts you.
For example, if you have a passion for keeping your country safe and have computer science-related skills, a career in homeland security will be the best option for you. When you look into jobs for homeland security, you will see that with a bachelor’s in IT, public relations, occupational safety, and even psychology, you are eligible to land a job in homeland security. All you will need is to get a master’s with the right specialization education, and you will be ready to take over your new dream job.
Examine the Motivating Factors:
To come up with a decision regarding your career, you need to consider some basic motivating factors. You must know which features of a career make it appealing to you. For example, you might want to prioritize a higher-paying entry-level job when it comes to comparing different careers. Or maybe you are more focused on the working environment you will get to work in after getting a job in a specific career. Some people prioritize flexibility to a greater extent. They prefer a career that allows them to work from wherever they want and whenever they want.
Some basic things to consider are salary, autonomy, benefits, work-life balance, career growth, flexibility, etc. This way, you can simply eliminate the careers that lack all or most of the motivating factors and pick from those that fulfill your requirements.
The job market trends for the same job keep changing in local, national, and international job markets. So first, decide whether you will work in your locality or if you are willing to move across the country or even out of the country. Write down the careers you are most inclined to and then do your research about the situation of those careers in the market. This way, you will get to know which roles are declining or expanding.
There are usually three job sectors in any type of job market: private, public, and non-profit. You must make up your mind on which job sector you prefer to work in and then find the job opportunities for the career of your choice. However, remember that you can transition from one sector to another if your needs change; it’s a normal and doable thing.
Consider Your Lifestyle and Long-Term Goals:
When you are picking a career, always take into consideration your long-term goals. If you want to buy a house or start a family in the future, then obviously, a high-paying career will become a necessity for you. Hence, you must look for careers with high median salaries and positive growth rates. Ask yourself if you want a stable job with many benefits or if you want to start a business in the long run and only need any entry-level job for now, etc.
Similarly, one’s lifestyle is too important to ignore. You should never opt for a career that is opposite to your lifestyle. If you are a people person and love working in teams, then you will not like a work-from-home job. Some people are very social and prefer to meet new people through work and take part in office activities, volunteering activities, etc. for them, a career in social work is the best option.
The best way to decide is by talking to people and asking for their expert opinion and advice. When you have finally narrowed down the sector you want to work in, and the career you want to pick that aligns with your goals and priorities, it’s time to ask for help from people already working such jobs. This is the best way to get detailed insights about all the pros and cons and the ground reality of a job. Ask your friends and family members for advice and their personal experiences in specific jobs. Even if your friends have careers completely different from what you are interested in, it’s still worth it to communicate with them, as you might find some new interesting career options.
Another way is to talk to a career counselor. Career counselors are experts who will help you find a job that will be best suited for you. You can also take help from the internet. You can search for job positions and descriptions for any job you want, and you will get an in-depth understanding of the requirements and benefits of a job.
Picking a career is the biggest decision of one’s life, and it can be tricky and difficult. With so many study programs and career paths available, a person can get overwhelmed easily. If you are in the same position and don’t know how to choose the right career, you have come to the right place. These five tips will guide you to pick the right career.