Written by: BRIGG PATTEN
Some people know for sure what career they want to pursue from the time they are children. For most individuals, however, choosing a career can be a challenging question, and it can require some serious soul searching and research to arrive at the right answer. Here are the questions you need to ask yourself when considering which career path to pursue.
Where Do Your Talents Lie?
This question requires a serious, objective look at what you realistically can and cannot do, as well as what tasks you are comfortable performing. For example, if you are extremely shy, a public-facing career is not likely to be a good fit for you. However, just because you have talent in something doesn’t mean you wish to do it for a living. The opposite is also true – you may not be well-suited to a job that you truly would like to do. Take a good long look at the skills and talents you have and then do some research into careers that utilize those skills.
What Are Your Options?
There are many, many different types of jobs out there. Some of them are very well known, such as physicians and secretaries. However, there are just as many obscure jobs you may not know even existed, such as snake venom milkers or fortune cookie writers. It’s important to put in the time and effort before or during college to look into career options. For example, you may prefer to be a surgical technician as opposed to a surgeon. Surgical technicians play an important role during surgery but do not require as much time or education to be qualified.
What Salary Do You Want?
In general, expected salary should be one of the less important questions you ask when considering what career field you want to enter. However, it depends on the lifestyle you want to live, and the salary you will need to make in order to support that lifestyle. Most people would rather make more money than less. However, it’s also possible that you would prefer to be in a job that doesn’t pay as much but leaves you feeling as though you’re truly making a difference in the world. Whether or not you will have student loans is another factor to consider. If you do, you will want to plan on entering a field where you can get a job soon to begin paying those loans back.
What Careers Are In Demand?
It is important to consider which careers are growing and which ones are not. For example, certain careers are shrinking and likely to be obsolete soon. Others, however, such as the IT and healthcare fields, are growing exponentially with no end in sight. Whether you might want to be part of network monitoring solutions or a computer system architect, IT roles tend to not only be in high demand but also pay well. Another factor to consider is how much competition you can expect. Competition for marketing manager jobs and writing jobs, for example, is expected to be strong.
What Interests You?
This is perhaps the most important question you can ask when considering which career path you want to pursue. However, this question is not as simplistic as “follow your passion,” and it’s important for job seekers to dig deep into their desires in order to find the answers they seek. Remember that it may be a better choice to leave your passion as your hobby and pursue a different career. If you are truly able to land a job you love, you will live a more fulfilled and happy life.
Remember that no career choice is permanent. No matter where you are in your career, you can put in the effort to switch to another field. But it’s best if you think long and hard on this subject before you commit to a college degree so you can avoid additional schooling and restarting your career at a lower level later.