We all make a career choice at a specific time in our lives. This is dependent on your interests and strengths. Realistically, there are thousands of careers to pursue across the world.
The reasons for a career choice vary with an individual. Some are after money while others are after passion and satisfaction.
Qualification for some careers requires investment in education and experience. This comes at a comes both in time and money. Hence, the need to identify a career early in life to enable strategic investment in these areas.
Choosing the right career helps minimize the challenges and regrets that come with having to spend the majority of life working on a job that you don’t like.
This article will focus on the key factors you need to consider before making a career choice. The factors play a key role in ensuring there is job satisfaction and adequate remuneration.
1. Passion and Interests.
Everybody has something they are passionate about in this world. It could be sports such as basketball, Writing, cooking, filming, social work, teaching, and politics.
Passion and interest are important factors that you going through during the rough patches of your career such as losing your job, working with a bad boss, or even low pay.
People always make time for things they are passionate about. Passion is what makes some people prefer a low-paying job rather than doing a high-paying job that doesn’t interest them.
Passion is important, not only in entrepreneurial ventures but also in the corporate world. Working for an organization that deals with something you love, will make the stress of the job seem bearable.
Career choice starts in your early school days. As you advance, you should have clarity and idea on your specialization areas. Make sure you choose a course you are passionate about, to make it easier as you transition to employment after graduating.
A key example is for a student who has an interest in fashion to choose a career in fashion designing.
2. Job Availability
Another important consideration when choosing a career would be job availability. This is possible through analyzing the job market data and trends.
This information is a key enabler in making career choices and options. There are some jobs whose relevance is seasonal. With the growth in technological uptake, you should ensure the career path supports a job that will have relevance in the future.
Some factors to consider about job availability are the market size of a specific career, the growth rate of that profession, and the flexibility of the career.
Some careers are flexible in that, you can find employment across different industries. For example, an accountant can work in any job industry, from schools to hospitals to corporate organizations, while a chef can only work in the hospitality industry.
Salary is the reward you get from a career choice. Different jobs pay differently making it a critical element to consider before making a choice.
The main reason for having a career is to help you earn an income to support yourself and your family.
Salaries mainly depend on the specific career, the company or organization you work for, and your position in the company.
If you have taken up student loans to help you finance your education, you must consider a career that offers you a reasonable salary that will help you pay off those loans.
Another factor to consider when considering a job salary is the number of training costs and time spent to acquire career skills. These investments should have corresponding returns. Hence, you must consider the return on investment.
A well-paying job gives you a higher return on investment since you will take a short time to recover the money you used when paying school fees.
We all have different personas. This is a key factor you should factor to ensure the career choice is best suited for the career choice.
As an example, extroverted individuals like interacting with others, being in social settings, and working in groups. However, introverts like being on their own most times and prefer working alone rather than in groups.
Matching persona with a career choice helps deliver better results and improvement in productivity. In return, this translates to higher income and faster career growth.
If your personal involves limited interactions, you might do well in freelance jobs. However, if you are an extrovert, jobs such as sales and marketing could be the best fit.
There are many personality tests on the internet that can help you identify your personality types, while still recommending some of the best careers for your personality type.
Every person has a specific lifestyle that they prefer. Some like living a slow-paced life, while others love the fast-paced city lifestyle.
The good thing is that there are jobs that fit these lifestyle preferences.
If you love fast-paced city life, consider choosing a career that can find you employment in the city. If you love the slow-paced life of small towns and rural areas, you might consider choosing a career that best fits in such environments or choose one that allows working remotely.
Another aspect of lifestyle preference is the ideal life that you would like to live. Some people want to live in opulence while some aspire to a simple life.
If you want a flashy lifestyle, you need to be okay with working long hours to earn that high income.
6. Education and Training
We live in a world where education is key to accessing more opportunities. Having an education is one of the best life investments you could have.
The higher the level of education, the higher the amount of income. As an example, degree graduates earn more on average compared to those without one.
Some careers require you to have a minimum of a graduate degree or diploma, while others might consider those with a high school certificate.
If you do not meet the minimum requirements, you can sign up for short courses in a specific field. Nowadays, taking up extra courses is very easy. If you are still working a 9 to 5 job, you can sign up for evening classes or online classes if you live far from the school.
Getting additional certifications helps you stand out from the crowd, making it easier to get a job or a promotion.
7. Skills and Talents
Talents are those things that you are naturally good at. They could be things that you have always been good at ever since you were little or things that came naturally to you when you grew up.
Skills are things that you have learnt over time that help you in your daily life routine. There are 2 main groups of skills:
- Soft skills– You do not learn these skills in schools e.g. good time management skills and good communication skills
- Hard skills– These are learnt from going to school or taking up a short course e.g. programming skills and coding skills
The specific skillset and talents that you have could help you in your career. If painting comes naturally to you, you might be well suited for an art-related career. Your good communication skills can help increase productivity in your department at work.
Consider your skills and talents, and choose a career that best suits you depending on the particular skillset and talents you possess.
8. Values and Expectations
Personal and professional values are different for each individual. These are the deal-breaker beliefs and practices that you look for before joining a specific career.
A company’s core values are what differentiate them from its competitors. Finding a company whose core values align with your personal and professional values is important.
If your values are not in sync with those of the company, you will find it very hard working there. Values could be employer-employee relations, the amount of leave time allocated per year, and the minimum work hours per week.
If your values and expectations are aligned with the core values of the company, you will find your career more enjoyable.
9. Long Term Goals
A career should come with long-term goals. Some of these goals include growth both in position and financial income.
In terms of financial goals, choose a career that helps you achieve your specific financial goals in salary and bonuses.
For the position growth, a good career ensures there is continuous vertical growth as you gain more experience and advance in skills.
10. Happiness/ Job Satisfaction.
We all strive to achieve happiness in whatever we do. Life might not be all roses and unicorns, but it also shouldn’t be one filled with misery.
Considering you will spend a third of your adult life working, you need to consider your happiness before making a career choice.
Currently, only 20% of the working population has job satisfaction. It means that more than 80% of the global working population does not enjoy what they do.