8 Factors to Consider when Choosing a Career

It is but imperative to choose a fetching long-term career over a seemingly perfect job, and this needs to be a carefully thought out process for every job-seeker necessarily. A job is how one trades time and skills for money in a company. A career is larger and a more stable concept than a job; a career usually consists of multiple jobs at every step of the way which functions as a unifying theme. It is up to the job-seeker to carefully stop, consider, and evaluate if taking a position will help address long term career ambition.

Confucius rightly quotes

“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you don’t stop” and there cannot be a more relevant context to elucidate this. So, let us proceed along these lines; however fast or slow what is most important is to check if it is the right direction. Every step taken forward needs to be that which is line with one’s own long-term goals. 

The following guide will help explore various such job factors to be considered before embarking on this journey.  

1.    First things first, do you know your interests?

Are you aware of what genuinely interests you? Have you ever made a list of them and thought of what you can do on those lines? Can it translate into a full-fledged career? No matter the stage of your life, whether employed or not it is never too late to start. Get down into details next. What interests you in a work environment? Have you enjoyed anything in your past job? Do you think that these factors influence your liking/ performance?

In case you’re unsure of what might interest you or have doubts never hesitate to approach career development centers or career counselors to assess your stance.

2.    Do a SWOT analysis.

Most job interviews do this- you will be asked to discuss your best most valuable skills and your weaknesses as well. You could have handles questions on handling threats and what opportunities you regard helpful for growth.  Looking into the aspects above will help you draw insight into making decisions on what you can do next. Consider points that you are good at and consider how they can help play a role or shape your career. Look at things that you do well and consider how they could be used in a job and ultimately a career.

3.    Develop a positive and dynamic outlook.

A lot of banks on the attitude we nurture at work; someone who is self-motivated and has a positive attitude about hard work could be well suited for a leadership position or a delivery-oriented role. Never shy away from careers that may challenge you because, in the long run, those can prove to be a lot more fulfilling. Building up excitement about work keeps up your spirit high and can reflect on your productivity and performance also. At the same time, if you choose a job that does not reflect on what you believe in, you will not be happy.

At the same time, if you choose a job that does not reflect on what you believe in, you will not be happy.

4.    Never shy away from education and training.

Seeking knowledge and getting better at what you do is a mandatory attribute that needs to be developed among those who are employed. While there is quite a bit that can be mastered while on the job, there can be other training requirements need to be initiated in a structured manner. Going back, determining the level of education is vital in choosing the right career path and guarantee growth in the same.

5.    Learn from experience.

It cannot be disputed that research at work is crucial, but it really cannot replace real hands-on learning when it comes to establishing a specific career. Obtaining exposure via internships/ apprenticeships and following a personality established in your field of work can help motivate and pursue career-related interests actively.

All these efforts will help provide an avenue to explore and experiment in an area of interest while being able to obtain a feel of the industry while you are at it. You can assess possibilities from here and decide if the same can be the right fit for you.

6.    Learn the difference between interest and passion.

What sets you apart in the world of employment is the strength and depth of the passion which you nurture in an area of interest. While interest can help sustain a job, the extent of success one can achieve in a career is driven by passion.

Keep in mind that passion doesn’t always guarantee financial success, but it, however, sets the direction and path that needs to be followed to get to the final goal.

7.    Define what success means to you.

Success means different things to different people, for some a rewarding job, for others it might mean an opportunity to help people, etc. Before job seekers decide on a career, a list of the aspects that he or she would need in a job needs to be in place.  These answers could lead to self-introspection, while for some, it could mean numbers, and for others, it can be a different mindset altogether.

Try and explore alternate career options; also, it is always good to be prepared with a plan B. Keep your eyes and ears open for developments and trends in the market, for this also could also influence your decision.

8.   Never discount the power of knowledge and education.

If you have begun early, I.e., right out of academics, it can rather be an easy task to equip yourself with the right qualifications, additional skills and proceed. Say, the realization of not having sought the career dawns in a little later, remember that it is never too late. The thirst to study, pursue courses online or offline needs to be nurtured, and this combined with the right experience will soon set you back on track with your choice of career.

The role of the market-

Determining a dream career does not mean the beginning already; research in the market on those lines is the next logical step. Stepping into research also provides a sense of degrees, certifications, or experience needed to enter an industry. It also lays out a road map to a structured career path as per options and specialties within the field.  It also should help you begin to map out your career path, according to the various options and specialties within a domain.

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