Career-related questions are annoying to answer when you haven’t nailed down a career that you love or if you have no idea which career path is right for you. I am sure most of you are having a tricky time choosing a right career. We’ve all been there.
Let me tell you that choosing a career is one of the most important decision of your life. Your career will have an impact on everything in your life—including your lifestyle, habits, relationships and health. You want to find a career that matches your interest, skills and needs. If you are finding it difficult to choose a career, here are some questions you should ask yourself before opting for any career.
It is a universal fact that people who are satisfied with their jobs are happier people overall. Things that grab and hold your attention the most will be the best career to opt. Evaluate your interests and think about what hobbies you most enjoy—whether it’s reading books, cooking, organizing gatherings with friends, etc. What kind of event do you like to attend? Are you happiest doing activities on your own or interacting with others?
You should go deeper and ask yourself what it is you like about each activity and how they can translate into a career. If you love spending time taking care of your nieces and nephews, for example, because you love watching them learn new things, you may suit a career in early childhood education. Often the answers we are looking for are right in front of us, we just haven’t taken the time to dig deeper into what our interests mean to our professional lives.
There are numerous assessments to help you figure out your interests and how they can translate into your dream career, such as the Strong Interest Inventory Career Test. Hiring a career coach is also a great way to figure out how your interests align with different career options.
Let me warn you, when choosing a career, you should focus on something that satisfies you. So ask yourself, “Have I chosen this career to please someone else?” The answer to this question should be a big NO. Great advice comes from family and friends, but in this situation pleasing someone else would be a wrong decision. You are the one that must work in that job for 40+ hours per week, so by choosing a career that doesn’t make you happy, you risk regretting it your whole life.
You should be able to apply both your natural and learned skills at work to have a happy working life. Your skills not only show employers that you are good in that particular line of work, they give you the confidence to properly do your job. Of course, skills differ between individuals and some are stronger in other areas than others. Take a look at yours and how you apply them to your job.
The best way to do this is to divide skills in two section, your soft skills and hard skills. Soft skills can be your time-management ability, teamwork or anything which requires being managed. Hard skills can be your computer knowledge, having an upper hand in any software program. Good communication skill also falls under this category. Note down your skills and then take a look at job descriptions to match your skills with the career you are interested in pursuing.
Sometimes having a graduate degree is not enough, as employers ask for experienced candidates to maintain the pace of their work-flow. Take a look at what else is needed in order to get the career you want. Some industries may require apprenticeships or internships to gain valuable work experience in your desired field. There are also organizations like Aasaanjobs that provide internship programs for fresher candidates. I am glad to make best out of this opportunity, as it really helped to pursue my career as a content writer.
The best way to figure out what you need to do to get your dream job is by gathering information and speaking with people. Research companies of interest to get a better understanding of your options (Glassdoor is a great resource for job-seekers in Canada, while O*Net covers the US), conduct informational interviews with professionals working in the field and check out job postings to find out what is required to get a job in your desired industry.
Some people are earning millions but are constantly thriving to increase their income, while others earn less but are satisfied with the work they do and the amount of money it brings in. Money shouldn’t be the deciding factor of your career choice, but you can’t ignore the importance of having a sustainable living. We all have bills to pay and mouths to feed after all!
When you are looking for a career, search for something that will not only satisfy your financial needs, but that will keep you dedicated and motivated. Striving to earn a certain salary will mean nothing if you don’t enjoy the work you are doing.
If having a job you enjoy that also pays your rent sounds unattainable, you may want to consider hiring a career coach or counselor to help you suss out your options and help you pave the path to your dream career.
After studying for years and gaining your degree, you would expect to get a job in your desired field at the end of it all. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. While some job sectors continue to grow (tech/computer science), others are slowly dwindling (journalism/publication). While this doesn’t mean you should completely avoid following a certain career path, it’s important to be realistic about your options after graduation.
Research the job market for the career you are considering. This search can be locally and globally, it depends on where you would like to work. I am sure the availability of jobs will help you to take the decision about your career. Then take it a step further and conduct informational interviews with professionals in the field to get a better understanding of what the day-to-day entails. If you need further guidance in finding a career that suits you, a career coach can be a great resource.
These were some questions that you should ask yourself before choosing a career. I hope it will help you to choose your career of your interest.
Aditya is passionate about writing blogs, lyrics, social media posts and articles. Currently working as a content writer at Aasaanjobs and focused to write and learn more about worldwide recruitment scenario.