How to Choose a Career

How To Choose A Career

The job market is filled with many options, and it is easy to get flustered and make the wrong decision. Choosing the right career for yourself is not just about finding a job that pays you well. The job should reflect you, and it should act as a stepping stone for what you intend to become in the future. Hence, it is extremely important to know how to choose a career as it shapes your work life and private life. The following steps can help you make a better and wise choice when it comes to choosing a career:-

Perform a self-assessment:-

Knowing yourself can be the basis for all your life decisions. It is no different from choosing a career. Reflecting on questions like what kind of work environment you want to be in, what type of work you enjoy doing, what you intend on learning, and what type of people you want to associate with. More can guide you in the right direction—writing down the first answer that comes to your mind and assessing yourself honestly is a great first step in choosing your career. You can always rely on your friends and family to give their input about you, but only you can provide honest answers about yourself.

Self-assessment questions to consider:-

  1. What are your key values? 
  2. What soft skills do you possess?
  3. What technical skills do you possess?
  4.  What’s your personality like?
  5. What are you interested in?
  6. What natural aptitudes do you have?

Identify your must-haves:-

Next, you need to figure out what you need in a job: minimum salary, location, incentives, non-monetary benefits, etc. Most people are looking for something specific that is non-negotiable for them. These can range from:-

  1. Will you be okay with traveling a lot?
  2. Do you need to earn a certain amount of salary?
  3. Are you looking for any flexibility?
  4. Are there some tasks you might not be willing to perform?
  5. Does a specific work environment suit you well?

Make a list of jobs to explore

Now that you know more about yourself and what you will need in a job, you should start looking for jobs that fit the requirements. If you don’t know much about a job, write it down and research it later. This might even help you in finding some interesting career paths. Also, understand that job titles don’t represent the actual job appropriately. Always read the description to get a better understanding of their expectations. The following considerations can guide you in preparing your list of jobs:-

  1. Use your network– Friends, relatives, and colleagues might be aware of a job opening that will interest you.
  2. Industries that interest you– Do you like to have creative freedom? Something like the fashion or entertainment industry might suit you more. 
  3. Identify things you enjoy doing Is there something that doesn’t necessarily tire you? Do you like to make a presentation or present it, or researching about different things makes time pass quickly?
  4. List your values and goals- The famous interview question; “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” Think about where you want to reach or what you want to achieve in the next few years. What is your target, and will that job help you achieve that?
  5. Evaluate your strengths and talents A job where you get to pair your skills with things you like doing can be a perfect match. 

Research and narrow down your list

Now is the time to extensively research each job and narrow down the list to only serious career possibilities. The aim is to find the jobs that interest you the most and best fit your requirements. The following steps can guide you in your research:-

  1. “Day in the life– What does day-to-day life look like in a particular job will give you a better idea about what that career holds for you. You can browse online and read about people’s experiences or ask someone in your contacts to give you an overview of common tasks and responsibilities.
  2. Salary– Find out the average compensation for a particular job. Also, look out for the openings that will be offering more than your minimum requirement. You can use salary trends to get an idea about compensation trends for specific jobs.
  3. Job requirementKnowing what training, certifications, and credentials are required for the job is a must before choosing a career. Certain conditions might not suit your interests or skills, which can help you narrow down the list.
  4. Growth opportunities- What does your job hold in the future? Is there any substantial growth in your job? How can you advance your career from that job position? All these questions need to be taken into consideration before making the call.
  5. Job Outlook Data like job growth and hiring trends can give you an idea about where your selected job stands in the labor market. Research on that, and read up on news stories about the job or industry you are interested in. Jobs that have steady growth and hiring should be preferred.

Get training and update your resume:-

After you have identified the jobs you want to apply for, it is time for you to train yourself to meet the credentials. While some employers provide on-the-job training, others are looking for candidates who can start. Carefully review the “Requirements” and “Education and Experience” sections of the job in advance. After reviewing everything, update your resume to reflect your relevant skills and strengths.

Find and apply for jobs:-

Various websites are intermediaries where employers can post for jobs, and willing candidates can get in touch with them. Look at multiple websites and apply them in a specified way.

Continue learning and growing

It can take time to adjust to your new career. Always pay attention, especially in the beginning to pick up skills that might be helpful later. Getting a job is not the end; instead, it is just the beginning, so keep learning and growing as you understand more about yourself and the job.

The following tips can be useful when starting a new career:

  1. Make the most out of your first year- Initially, it can be a little overwhelming. Changes are always hard as you are exposed to a lot of new information. New people, new atmosphere but embracing all of that will open doors for your growth.
  2. Keep track of your goals– Always keep track of your goals and if you are moving towards them or not? If you are not satisfied or the career doesn’t align with your plans, don’t hesitate to switch or look for roles that align with your interests better.
  3. Pursue your interests- This might sound like classic old advice from some motivational speaker, but it is what it is. Spend time learning and exploring interests that you enjoy. When you want what you do, you have a better chance of making progress.

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