Career choices are crucial decisions that you may have to make in life. A career choice not only determines how you spend your time but also affects other critical life decisions such as where you live and how you live.
For many high school and college students, there is a lot of pressure on deciding the most suitable career path. This does not necessarily have to be your case because, just like Rome, careers are never chosen or built overnight. However, some few guidelines can nudge you in the right direction especially if you are in doubt of which career path suit you best.
Critical criteria to consider in choosing your career
Career choices are very personal, yet they may require the input of other people who are close to us to help in arriving at the right decision. If you are feeling overwhelmed by the prospects of choosing your career, the following considerations can guide you:
1. Passion and dreams.
You must think of a career that will fulfill your dreams and passion. If someone woke you up at 2 am and asked you to pick one thing that you are passionate about, then what would you select? Marinade your thoughts around the things that bring pleasure and add value to your life. This will help you to choose a career based on what you enjoy doing. If you are unsure of the things that you are passionate about, you can consult with your family and close friends because they might know a little bit about you.
2. Skills and talents.
Since careers are mostly based on what we can do, you must take an inventory of your skills and talents. Write down a list of what you are good at and the things that you cannot even attempt. Eliminate the things that you are weak at unless you enjoy doing them and are willing to practice until you perfect them. Once you have that list of strengths, skills, and talents, narrow it down to the things you are good at, and you enjoy doing. This will enable you to choose a career path that you enjoy.
3. Career men and women.
It is necessary to speak to people who are actually in the careers that you want to practice. If you have a list of three job paths that you feel passionately about, you can speak to career men and career women who are already in those fields. Their perspectives can give you pertinent information regarding the fun, challenges and opportunities that are embedded in such a career.
4. Career sites and guidance classes.
Conducting research on career sites and attending career guidance sessions at school can help to open your mind to different ideas from the experts. You can also use these resources to assess your capabilities through various tests offered.
Both your personal life and volunteer experiences can change the direction of your career. You may have dreamt of being a vet all your life, only for you to volunteer in a pet shop and find out that the job is too involving. Ultimately, it is important to heighten your sense of awareness to every experience and use this as a guide to the right career.
6. Future plans.
Your future plans also influence the career path you want to take. Do you want a family? Where do you want to live? The sort of legacy you desire to achieve and your definition of success in life are also pertinent issues to think about. All these questions are enmeshed within your plans, and your choice of career should also be integrated into your overall life plans.
Different jobs have diverse compensation systems. You need to conduct research on the amount of earnings that professionals get in the careers you have chosen. This should be aligned with your future goals and plans.
8. Career growth opportunities and prospects.
You also need to analyze the career growth opportunities available within individual career paths. Are there any chances of diversifying into other opportunities in the future and what are the highest cadres in this career path? These questions will help you avoid career paths that can make you stagnate as a person.
9. Education opportunities.
It is also necessary to examine the education requirements that will help you fit in the career that you desire. This might entail looking at the best college prospects where you can gain skills and knowledge to practice the career of your choice.
10. Personality Traits.
Your personality and character traits are also very vital when it comes to career choice. If you are an outgoing person, then a career in sales would suit you as opposed to an introvert. Write down your personality traits and use this list to eliminate some jobs that might not suit you
Choosing a career may not be the easiest of decisions but with time and a lot of thought, you can find your niche and excel. You need to avoid succumbing to pressures especially those exacted by parents and teachers. Career choices ought to be personal and remember they, too, can be changed with time.