9 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Career

Your career is a huge part of your future, and this is why it is so important to choose the right career from the start. You need to be able to look down the line and think about the coming decades to choose a career that will not fizzle out in a decade or two, but instead serve you until you can retire. Below, we will look at the most important factors to consider when choosing a career that is not only right for you but also one that you can bank on until your retirement.

Interest and Passion

The career you choose is likely to remain with you for the rest of your working life, so you need to choose a career that involves something you enjoy doing. Some questions you need to ask yourself are what you like doing and what interests you most. So many people choose a career because it is trendy at the time, not considering that they are not passionate or interested in the particular field. Doing this can lead to a loss of satisfaction in your career and you are likely to get bored and have to start all over again in a few years or even a few decades down the line.

Identifying your interests and passions and choosing a career that aligns with them will lead to a much more successful and satisfying career.

Skills and Personal Qualities

Employers will look at your education requirements to see where you are a great fit for a particular role. However, many will look at the additional skills and personal qualities you possess. Skills such as time efficiency, business skills, and time management, as well as personal qualities such as empathy, selflessness, and others will determine the types of careers you can have. Start by identifying the skills and personal qualities you possess to see which industries they would fit.

If you are an analytical person and a critical thinker, careers in technology, business, marketing, or even analytics might be for you. If you are passionate, empathetic, and love dealing with people, then careers where you interact with people will be great for you.

Job Availability

It is wise to choose a career where there are a lot of jobs available right now. After all, you do not want to go to college and then find out that there are no jobs available once you graduate. However, it is also important to look down the line and see if the career you choose will be around by the time you decide to retire. This is a lot more challenging than it sounds in the context of the current technological advancements, which might replace many of the jobs we do today.

Although this fear is understandable, there is still space to find careers that have the longevity to withstand change and technological advancements. These are mainly careers where you have to deal with people such as healthcare and the hospitality business. Additionally, consider careers where you are the one developing the technology, as you are a lot less likely to be replaced by the technology you build to replace other people.

Level Of Education and The Demand For Continuous Learning

Your level of education, which encompasses your degrees, licenses, and certifications, will determine your career outlook. A degree and additional education will give you an edge over other employees. When choosing a career, you need to think about the education required to get into the positions you are interested in.

There are lots of jobs and career options where a degree is not strictly required, and there are many more where one is. Ask yourself, what types of commitments and sacrifices do I have to make to get the necessary qualifications to land the job I want? If you do not feel like you could make the sacrifices and commitments required, it is always a good choice to choose another career. This is better than getting halfway through a course or degree and finding out you are not cut out for it.

Next, you also need to think about the continuous learning required to advance your career. Some careers require a lot of continuous learning while some do not. For example, if you want to become a business leader, you will have to complete a Master’s in Business Administration or a similar degree. Compare that to a career in mechanics or civil engineering where additional degrees are not required for career advancements.

Availability of Degrees and Courses

There are two things to think about when considering the availability of the degrees you need for your career. The first is whether the degree you need is available at a college or university near you. The other is to consider whether the degrees and courses you need to advance your career are readily available and affordable.

When considering availability at local universities and colleges, you need to consider whether it would be worth it to relocate to pursue a specific degree or course. You also need to consider the benefits of attending a university located far away but surrounded by the job opportunities that would appeal to you.

It is important that the degrees and courses you need to advance your career be readily available. This problem is mostly solved by the numerous online universities we have now, but it might still be a challenge if you would like to get into an obscure career.

Ability To Branch Out In The Future

Most careers are fixed in place making it very hard to switch to a different type of career down the line. In many cases, when the industry or sector you work in changes, it requires that you undergo retraining so you can be a better fit for the new work dispensation. This can be particularly frustrating if you have been at the same job, doing the same thing for decades, and having to start all over again because your industry has changed.

This is why it is so important to choose a career whose basic skills you can build upon even when your industry changes. In tech and medical careers, this is always possible with a few months of training. For example, if you are already a nurse, you can enroll in accelerated learning programs to get into one of the many nurse practitioner specialties available. Doing so does not require complete retraining, but only additional training to help you to switch things up.

Having a career that is future-proof like this and having the ability to switch things up when circumstances change is a wise decision when choosing a career.

Attitude to Work and Work Environments

Think about the work environments that would suit you best. Some people love coming to the office and interacting with their co-workers while others are quite happy with being left alone at work. Some even prefer remote work because it allows them to be more productive. Choosing a career that allows you to flourish in the work environment that suits you best will help with job satisfaction and contentment.

However, it is important to also understand that work environments are always changing. For example, remote work was virtually unheard of two decades ago and now it is everywhere. The work environment you are in today might be very different a few years from now, so keep that in mind.

Salary Expectations and Structure

There are a lot of careers where salary is not the primary driver, but it is still important to think about salary expectations and structure when choosing a career. If you are getting into a career where the degree and education required is so expensive that it becomes an expensive investment, it is always a good idea to consider how much to expect when you graduate.

For careers where you derive satisfaction from doing your best work, helping others, or making a difference in the world, a salary might not be your motivation but having a liveable wage is always nice.

Where You Want To Live

This is a primary consideration because you may not want to live away from your family or live where there are no good schools for when you decide to have children. Some careers dictate that you have to work in specific, fixed locations while others allow you to work anywhere as long as you are available and come into the office. The former is especially true for business and healthcare careers while the latter is mostly true for careers in technology.

The ability to live in either urban or rural areas or the freedom to live anywhere you like should be a key consideration when choosing a career. If you love traveling or experiencing different areas, factor that in too with your career considerations.

Choosing the right career is a difficult and very important decision and you need to think carefully about it before you start down the path of a given career. Looking down the road and considering the longevity of the career, advancement opportunities, and how the career will change your life, and whether you are willing to make these changes will be paramount.

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