What one person considers a great career may not be so great for another. Choosing a great career requires much thought, time, diligence and a calculating approach. When it comes to determining the career you want to follow, it is important for you to take many things into consideration. You have to analyse your interests and determine if you have the skills needed to pursue those interests, among other things.
Failure to do this can cause you major setbacks in life. The process is meant to start even before you go to the university. This is because the course you study in school is supposed to boost your chances in succeeding in that career. Unfortunately, experts say many people just study
courses available to them or the ones their parents chose for them.
Many of these people go on to either abandon their certificates or change careers at some point in the future – when they get to realise some of the things they should have taken into consideration in the first place.
Before choosing a career, the questions you should ask include:
What are your interests?
Career advisers say people who enjoy what they do are more likely to succeed than those who are unhappy with their jobs. For you to enjoy your job, it has to be one you are interested in. This is why it is important to consider your interests in choosing a career. If you are interested in writing, for instance, you may be better off working in a media organisation, than as a sales representative for a company. This is because that will give you the opportunity to pursue that interest. As a sales representative, you are likely to get disenchanted with what you do, which will lead you to put in less effort and increase your chances of failing. So, ask yourself the question, “What I’m I interested in?” And be true to yourself.
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
What are you good at? What are your strengths and weaknesses? Everybody has a talent; something they are considered ‘naturally’ good at. It could be football or swimming, it could be cooking or human relations. Such people are likely to excel by developing skills they already have. This is why experts advise that people should consider the career that allows them to utilise skills they already have, developing them in the process.
What is your level of education/training?
Whatever the career you settle for, you will need some form of formal education to succeed. This is why you have to determine your level of education and if it is good enough for the career you are considering or that you have chosen. If you realise that you need to go for further training or education, experts say you should also consider how much it would cost you and how long you have to get the training. Can you afford the training? Do you have the time to go for it? Sometimes, the additional training you need is one that you can acquire on the job. It is therefore important that you consider that as well, bearing in mind that even if you are highly educated, you need to
continue to seek further training to ensure you don’t fail and when you succeed, to build on that success. Bear in mind that while some careers require much training, some others don’t. The idea is to ensure you have an interest in learning before opting for a career that requires serious training.
What is your goal?
One question you should answer before choosing a career is, “What impact do I want to make?”
It is not unusual to see a top government official or business executive at a loss for words when asked the question, “How do you want to be remembered?” This is not because they do not want to be remembered, it is sometimes because they really haven’t thought about it.
It is a sign that they are uncertain about the difference they want to make in life or that they chose the wrong career.
Experts say when you know what you want to do or become, it is easier for you to choose a career and succeed in that career.
So, ask yourself what your goal is; to set up an organisation like the Red Cross, find a cure to some ‘incurable’ diseases, or achieve a technological breakthrough? Once you answer this question, you won’t be so confused when it’s time to choose a career.
The nature of the career you choose can affect your lifestyle and determine such things as where you will live and how often you have to hit the road. For instance, if you want to be a farmer, you may have to reside in the rural area. If your goal is to live in the city, you may find it difficult to run the farm as you should.
While experts advise people against choosing a career or accepting a job just because they like the location, they say it should be considered.
If you want to be a pilot, you have to ensure that, among other things, you are not afraid of heights.
Similarly, you should note that some careers require you to travel a lot while some don’t.
If you want to be an air hostess, then it is expected that you love to travel (by air).
What are the career prospects?
Experts say people are better off pursuing careers that have clear growth paths and job security. This, according to them, is because losing a job when you are just starting out can be devastating. They note that there have been several people who have changed careers as a result of this as they concluded they were not cut out for it.
What are the financial benefits?
Experts stress that the pay package should not be the first thing to consider when choosing a career. However, they say it is okay to consider your financial comfort. It is, therefore, okay to make enquiries about salaries, promotions, benefits and health care coverage, etc.