Career Development

How to Choose a Career and Factors to Consider

Choosing a career requires careful thought, consideration and research. Choosing a career path is often needed when you’re ready to start a new stage in life, whether that is graduating from school or changing your career path. This article will help you to to choose a career and show you factors to consider when finding your career path.

How to choose a career

Follow these steps to find your ideal career:

1. Define your goals

It is a good idea to write down a list of exactly what you want in a career. You might have short-term goals that differ from your long-term goals, and it is essential to consider the direction you would like to take.

Working with animals might be a priority for you or a job that involves caring for people. Perhaps you have a strong desire to travel and are looking for a job that allows you to see the world.

Work out what factors matter the most to you when planning your career so that you can be sure that your career will satisfy your long-term goals.

2. Analyze your skills

Each of us has different skills and abilities. Likewise, each profession needs a specific skill set.

A manager must have leadership skills. Nurses must be compassionate, and engineers need to be able to solve problems.

Compare the skills that a potential career needs and the ones that you have. It’s helpful to try to choose a career where you already have some of the skills required to do the job well. Starting with these abilities can make developing your career easier and faster.

However, it’s not always necessary to start with skills and abilities of a career path. You can always improve your abilities as your education and career progresses. 

3. Understand what you value the most

Committing to a career can take up a lot of time. The one you choose must align with your core values. If you have children and a family, you may want a career that has a predictable schedule. If you value your leisure time, a job that involves working long hours may not be the best choice for you.

4. Explore your style of working

Our personalities reflect on how we do our work. Exactly how you perform your job should be a consideration when looking at potential careers. Certain individual working styles are better suited to specific jobs and, therefore, your success in the profession.

Consider the jobs that you have held previously and create two lists. One list should highlight the jobs that you liked the best or felt that you were good at, and the other is a list of the remainders.

Find the common pattern with the jobs that you liked. Perhaps jobs that gave you the freedom to work on your own worked out best for you or jobs that had a flexible working schedule.

For maximum career satisfaction, choose a job that factors in your working style.

5. Work out your finances 

Selecting a career that requires another five years of studying may not suit you. If this is essential to the role, then you may be better off rethinking your career aspirations.

Time and money are important factors in any life choice. If you are seeking a career change later in life, consider whether you are able to dedicate time and money into studying. Carefully consider the costs of increasing your education level compared to the benefits that this would bring.

6. Explore the possible career choices and make a list

At this stage, you are likely to have a few career choices you are considering. Write down a list of these professions.

Consider all the factors that make a career a good choice. Consider researching your possibilities further by talking to someone who works in the careers that interest you. Many professionals would have a short telephone call with you to discuss the value of their professions.

You could volunteer in a field you are interested in, which is common when working with animals or in the caring profession. You might be able to apply for an internship, which could offer you the chance of full-time employment if the company is impressed with you. A working trial could help you make a final decision from your shortlist because you would experience firsthand what the career would be like.

7. Decide which choice of profession works best for you

Following your research, discussions and hands-on experience, you should be sure which career most suits you and which one you have the skills and qualifications to succeed in.