Choosing a career is one of the biggest decisions that you will make in your professional life. Therefore it is a decision that requires prayers, reflection and careful consideration as it affects the trajectory of your life.
The following seven factors can act as a guide for selecting the career path most suitable for you. These factors are:
- Career vision
- Employment opportunities
- Future diversification
- Training requirements
- Natural abilities
Let’s take a closer look at each of these.
Your career choice should be tied to your career vision. It is important when choosing your career that your choice aligns with this.
I must admit that this is not an easy decision. Your vision may change depending on the season of your life. So do not be surprise if your interests change with time and experience.
Nowadays, rarely does someone keep the same career path for their entire life. The legendary, Lee Iacocca changed from engineering into sales after completing half of the engineering training programme at Ford.
Having a vision especially one that is documented gives you a clear map that you can use in planning. So take some time to think, to dream and to reflect and write down some of the careers that you believe interest you.
The key advantage of having a vision is that it can guide you to identifying any gaps that you need to fill. Such gaps may include the need for a mentor so that you can learn new skills.
A gap may identify that you need to attend a class to acquire additional training to make you more marketable.
Your vision will ultimately guide your choices.
Your dream lifestyle is significant to the type of career you should choose. Whether you are single, married or have children may determine the type of career that aligns to your family commitments.
As an example, working at a start up business may not be the ideal career fit if one is adverse to working long hours. This may not align with someone who needs to dedicate many hours to family commitments.
If you have a passion to travel and working abroad, a role on a cruise ship or teaching English as a second language could be career paths. Therefore, your lifestyle choice could determine what career path suits you best.
Before choosing a career, one should undertake some type of research into the field to ensure whether there are adequate job opportunities in that field.
While it is important to follow your dreams, do some research as it will be painful if you have completed a degree and then cannot get a job in your field of interest.
As an example, if you are interested in oil and gas exploration and you are living in a country with no oil, choosing a career in this field if you are unwilling to relocate will make you unable to get a job that matches your skills in that country.
On the other hand, if jobs in a particular career are limited in a country, know that after your period of study that your job search could be lengthy and competitive.
Thinking about future diversification forces you to ask yourself if your career choice will allow you to easily branch into different fields.
Is the next step role a career path that you will like to follow? What are these next step roles? Consider possible next level roles in your decision making.
As indicated above, your career choices most likely will tend to evolve overtime.
The training requirements of a career are a significant factor to consider when choosing a career path. Some careers demand a long period of study.
This also affects the costs associated with qualifying in this field. Becoming a doctor is an example of such a field that requires a lengthy period of study compared to engineering.
In addition, the financial requirements for tuition are much more in medicine than engineering which is definitely something to consider.
God has blessed each of us with natural abilities so that we are able to accomplish and do certain things. Some individuals may naturally have an extraordinary voice so a career as a singer is a natural fit.
On the other hand, someone who is good with mathematics may be better suited for a role as a mathematician or engineer.
Frank Parson Theory supported the view that natural abilities affect one’s choice of career. His theory was based on the premise that understanding one’s traits such as interests and personal abilities are a fundamental aspect of career choice.
Understanding one’s personality is a key aspect of career choice. A person for example who is extremely impatient may not be well suited to be teacher. On the other hand, someone with a fear of flying may not be inclined to be an airhostess or a pilot.
There are several free online personality tests that can assist in career choice and development. For example the test 16personalities which takes about ten minutes to complete. The results identify five traits being mind, energy, nature, tactics which are pivotal to career selection.
Career theorists such as John L Holland support the fact that personality types are a critical part of career choice. He believes that persons whose career choice is aligned with their personalities are more fulfilled, successful and satisfied.
Holland has a free career test which is called the Holland Code Career Test. This test provides a three letter response based on the fact that human beings tend to confirm to six personality types. These six personality types abbreviated RIASEC are:
Holland’s theory recommends career types for the individual personality type. For example someone who is realistic is suited for a role as a pilot. Another individual who is artistic may be more suited for a role as a dancer.
If you are deciding what career is best for you, the following article on this blog may be valuable. Feel free to click any of the links below to explore:-
The Importance of Career Planning
The Importance of Career Diversification
The Importance of Creating A Career Vision
5 Proven Principles Guaranteed To Elevate Your Career Planning
10 Questions To Creating A 5 Year Career Plan That Gets Results
Choosing a career is a significant life decision. Therefore it is essential that you consider all areas of your life when making your choice.
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