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By information.com — Published October 11, 2017
How to Pick a Career
As soon as we enter high school, there is a lot of pressure put on us to pick a career path and focus on that path alone. But it’s not always as simple as it sounds. Even though choosing the right career is an important part of life, there are many experiences and choices we have to make first before we finally decide which job best suits us.
Why the right career choice is important
Our career is something we invest the best years of our lives into. Society functions in such a way that a majority of our waking hours is dedicated to the jobs we have. So, in order to lead a happy and fulfilling life, picking the right career is a must.
Whether you want to accept it or not, our professional lives impact our personal lives too. If you want to live a well-balanced life, it is imperative that your job is in sync with your personality, your values, your goals, and aptitudes. If not, then you will find yourself stuck in a job that you hate, working 9 to 5 with little to no interest in what you do.
According to famous economist Neil Howe, only 5 percent of people choose the right job on their first try. These people are labeled as “fast starters” and they are usually not very creative, adventurous or innovative. That is why they are okay with sticking with a common and conventional career path. The rest of the 95 percent are the people who switch multiple jobs and change career paths more than once in their lives until they figure out the career they derive the most meaning out of.
So, it is not uncommon to be in a dilemma regarding your career choice. Almost everyone goes through it. But it would certainly help to have a few guidelines when it comes to picking a career.
Points to remember before you pick a career
Here are the most important points to think about, and keep in mind to make sure that you do not jump into a career that you will regret later.
1.Take time to know your weaknesses and strengths
The first and perhaps the most important step is to get to know yourself better. Pay attention to yourself and learn where your strengths and weaknesses lie. Maybe you are really skilled in communicating with other people or maybe you are skilled in organizing and managing things. Learn where your skills lie and think about how you can turn it into a career.
For example, if you have good interpersonal skills, you can consider going into marketing and sales, PR or business. Or if you are good in organizing and management, you could become an event manager or work as a manager for MNCs.
2. Take time to think about your interests
It is also an important step to consider your interests when you are deciding which career is most suitable for you, and it’s not difficult to understand why. If you have a job that you are truly interested in and passionate about, it won’t feel like a job at all!
It is often said that while choosing a career, the wisest way to go about it is to think about what you would be interested in doing if you didn’t have to work. If you already had enough money and didn’t have to work another day in your life, what would you do? Your response to this question can provide you with an insight of what job you should have. Although your answers may not always be literally what you should be doing, they definitely make you understand better where you stand.
For example, if your answer to the question is to become a famous musician, you could consider more accessible options like music production or audio engineering. Or if you want to become an actor, then you could start off by entering the broadcast media industry.
3. Figure out what kind of lifestyle you want to lead
Regardless of what people say or whether you want to believe it or not, your lifestyle is affected by the kind of job you have. Look around and see what kind of life you want to lead, and choose a job accordingly. For example, the kind of job you will have when you want to lead a simple, country life and the kind of job you will have if you want to live a life of luxury filled with material goods will obviously be different.
The smartest way to go about this is to pick a lifestyle, envision it and work toward attaining that lifestyle instead of running after a job title or designation. You will be more motivated when you follow this technique. After all, we all work to be able to provide for the lifestyle we want. So, it’s better to get straight to the point and focus on being able to live the life of your dreams and choose a career based on that.
4. Keep financial stability in mind
One of the most important factors that influence our career choices is financial stability. Will the job you choose to pursue be enough to provide for you and your family in the long run? It does not seem to make sense to work hard and invest a majority of your life into a career that underpays and is neither personally fulfilling.
But remember that the most important thing here is that “financial stability” is subjective. Never compare your financial status to other people’s standards of what is acceptable. If you make enough money to support the life you want to lead, that is more than enough. All that matters is that you have a stable income that can support you and your family’s lifestyle.
5. Do not blindly follow hyped up jobs
Often, we tend to believe that the grass is greener on the other side when it comes to careers. Another person’s job seems to be better, more rewarding. As a result, there are many jobs that are hyped up and everyone seems to be flocking toward them.
One such example is a lawyer. They always seem to be extremely well-paid, smart, and respected. They seem like they live the life most people dream of, heading straight to a high-paying, sought-after job right after law school. But this is not always the case. Lawyers struggle as much as people in other professions. In fact, according to a survey conducted by the American Bar Association every year, most lawyers say they would not suggest their job to others.
Hence, instead of blindly believing the hype around certain careers, it’s better and smarter to take into consideration the stability of a career. It’s best to choose a career whose demands for it will not fluctuate drastically in the job market.
6. Do not over-commit to one job
Lastly, keep in mind that you do not have to stick to just one career. You can try out different jobs in different industries till you feel like you have found the career that is the most suitable for you. Switching jobs implies that you are always looking to grow and figuring out where your true passions lie.
The key here is to not be over-committed or over-invested in one career. So even a change of career, whether by choice or not, is something that you can handle without thinking that it’s the end of the world.