If you type in “how long people spend working in their entire life” on the search engine, the answer will be 90.000 hours. Yes, the average person will spend 90.000 hours at work over a lifetime.
When you are not enjoying your work, that’s a long time to waste. But how to choose the right career for you? the career that suits you best? The one that will utilize your talents and skills which will lead to a satisfying and rewarding career, and one to be proud of?
Whether you are still in an early stage of building your career and trying to decide where to look for your first or second job or thinking about a possible career change, below are some factors to consider when choosing the right career for you :
1. Get to Know Yourself Better
Making the wrong career decision can lead to dissatisfaction down the line, disappointment, and possible career disruption.
Before making any career-related decision that will impact your life for a long time period, take the time to look at yourself first.
Assess yourself using the SWOT Analysis. Identify your strengths and weaknesses, and how to maximize your strengths to your advantage, and how to overcome your weaknesses.
See if there’s room for improvement when it comes to your weaknesses, and how long until you can overcome them, or even turn them into one of your strengths.
Identify what kind of opportunity you could have in the workforce regarding your strengths. They could be a great match for many types of careers out there, including the ones you’ve never heard of or considered before.
Lastly, consider what threats you might have to deal with, in terms of your skills and personality traits. Think about the kind of jobs and careers that you don’t want to do, or are not suitable for you. Stay away from these types of careers as most likely you will not be going to enjoy doing them anyway.
2. Find Your Passion and Natural Talents
I’ve been hearing them over and over again, that we need to find our passion and pursue them. Therefore, we will enjoy our work and won’t even feel like working at all.
Although I agree with the statement, I must say passion alone it’s not enough. You need to have some sort of natural talent in doing them, in order to turn them into a lucrative career.
For example, I love to sing, but I don’t have the natural talent of effortlessly reaching high notes, nor the gifts of a beautiful voice. Pursuing a career as a singer will be a complete disaster for me, so I just sing in my bathroom.
When we use our natural talents in the workplace, the tasks will come easy to us. As a result, we enjoy going to work and are more likely to receive praise for our performance.
It will provide a sense of satisfaction and make the tasks feel less like work. Knowing your natural talents is important when choosing what career is right for you. Therefore, you need to determine what you love and are good at doing and how those skills can be applied to a job.
3. Discover Your Work Style Preferences
Each and every one of us has a preferable work style that allows us to perform at our best. Some people preferred a flexible work environment that allows them to deliver their work at their own pace.
Others preferred a structured work environment, with strict guidelines and specific deadlines, knowing that less structure and guidelines will make them slack off, for example.
Some people enjoy traveling for work, either to other cities and countries, or just meetings outside the office with many different people every day.
Others preferred working uninterrupted for hours, in front of their computers. Having once or twice a month assignments out of the office is already enough for them.
Decide which style works better for you by determining the type of work environment you tend to enjoy and will thrive in.
4. List Down Your Options
Build a list of several career paths and preferred jobs/occupations that you are excited about. Spend some adequate time studying each and every one of the options.
Try to envision what a day at work may look like in each career path you’ve written. If possible, try to talk to someone (friends and acquittances) who already worked in that industry and collect some insights and information to enrich your knowledge in making further decisions.
Narrow down your list into two or three career paths. Find out what kind of demand each of your options has. What are the growth opportunities in each of them? Do your research and again, reach out to someone in the industry to learn more.
5. Equipped Yourself With The Right Education and Skills
By now you already have enough information, whether about yourself; your SWOT, your talents, and your passions, list down possible options, as well as some insider insights from people who have already worked in the industry.
Therefore, you know very well what it takes to thrive and grow in the industry you are interested in, and the types of knowledge and skills you need to have.
Prepare yourself better. Improve on your skills and learn new ones that you haven’t taken or mastered before, to increase your chance of gaining success in your chosen career path.
Enroll yourself in a specific course required by your dream job. Get that certification that will set you apart from your competitor.
Do not hesitate to go back to college and pursue higher education. Don’t let the possibility of being slightly older than your classmates discourage you.
More and more people are going back to college as adult learners. If you think that is the right move for you, do it!!. Do your research, search for the best options for you, and enroll!!!
6. Consider Work-Life Balance and Stress Level
Unfortunately, these aspects sometimes being overlooked, especially by young people at the early stage of their careers. Many are still eager to do anything to establish their career, work hard, and as the consequence, neglect their health and well-being.
Therefore, it is imperative to contemplate the work-life balance and stress level aspects of the career paths you consider choosing, to avoid dissatisfaction, career disruptions, or even burnout.
Because when you are overworked, tired, and unhappy, you won’t be performing well, or not even productive at all. You might even feel miserable at work.
When you are stressed out and your job feels like a huge burden for you, no amount of fat salaries or big bonuses could compensate for your misery.
7. Take Action
You’ve got all the things you need to know about how to choose the right career path for you. You’ve considered every possibility and weighed all the pros and cons of your choices. Now it is time to take action.
Think about some achievable goals and set a date for each of them (they can be achieved in the next 6 months, years, or even the years after).
List down the steps you need to take to achieve your goals; do you need to take extra training? Join the company through a Management Trainee Program. Do you have to take apprenticeships or internships and later work your way up? Or is it possible to skip the entry-level position with the educational background and work experiences you have under your belt?
Identify these factors, then write down and polish your resume, and send them to places that interest you. Join social media for professionals and job sites to widen your search range.
Make a spreadsheet about your journey and track down your progress. Write down the company’s contact information, the interview dates, the interviewer’s names and position in the company, the highlights of the interviews, what are your overall impression of the company; the company’s culture, the job descriptions, and parts of your answers you need to improve, et cetera.
Use the information you’ve collected and put it in the spreadsheet for your future reference to improve yourself. Send a thank-you note to the company for giving you the opportunity to present yourself.
Once you got an offer or two, you will be able to see why it worked out with them and not with the others. Later on, when needed, you can study your notes and repeat the steps that have brought you success before.
Over to You,
Choosing a career is one of the experiences that nearly all people face in their life. There are many important factors involved in selecting a career that best suits you.
Identifying yourself, finding your passion, natural talents, and personal preferences, and focusing on skills you want to have and develop are crucial steps to do. It will enable you to write down a list of the possible career paths you could choose and take action
Start sending out your resume, and let them know that you and all your awesomeness exists. Analyze many different aspects of your job selection process and use them for further reference.
Choosing a career that is right for you is a big decision. Don’t forget to consider the work-life balance and stress level of your potential chosen career paths to feel demotivated and avoid burnout.
That’s it for now, thank you so much for reading. I sincerely hope you have a long and satisfying career that you enjoy doing, is rewarding, and you can proud of!!!
If you have any comments or insights, please let me know, I would like to hear from you. Pin them for later and share them on your social media if you find them useful
Till next time