Choosing a career is one of the most important decisions in one’s life. You are most likely to spend most of your productive adult life working and it is crucial that you carefully introspect and think over your choices.
Job Salaries are important but it’s not about money all the time. Of course, you have to consider your possible earnings and opportunities in the field but before you even get there, think about how well you’ll fit into the field and your passion for it.
The best career is one that is both financially rewarding and inspiring. That’s not to mean that your career of choice will be all rainbows and unicorns, every career has its own challenges and downsides, and you should be prepared for them.
Before making a career decision, here a number of important factors you should consider:
Talent and skills
Being self-aware is important in making a career decision. Know your strengths and weaknesses, and more importantly, honestly assess your skills and how proficient you are at them. Know where your talents lie and find a career that nurtures them.
That said, certain skills can be developed through effort and training and that you lack them now, doesn’t mean you can never learn them and go into the careers that you want.
For instance, you may have a desire to go into sales and marketing but you are shy and lack the skills to create relationships with other people. This may look like a hindrance to your ambition but people skills are something that you can learn and become better at over time. However, your natural squeamishness may get in the way in you becoming a nurse or a doctor.
There personal weaknesses that you can work on and those that are too ingrained in your psyche that it would be better to accept and find ways of working around them. Choose a career that your skills and talents will easily make you excel in.
What drives you? Passion will make your job worth it even on the tough days. Passion is the difference between a fulfilling career and one that is not.
For example, if you like helping people out then a career in medicine or teaching would be more suitable. If you are mathematically inclined, then finance and banking would be better.
That’s not to say that you should be singular in your passions and only settle for the careers listed above. Far from it, if you have several passions the better.
But whatever career you settle for, make sure you have passion for it.
Having identified the general fields where you are most likely to fit and enjoy working in, you now need to analyze the job market. Look at the various occupations in the field and what is needed to join and excel there: academic qualifications, professional certifications and experience.
Know what it takes to get into the career. This is also the time to look at the salaries and wages in the career.