Choosing a career path is arguably one of the hardest decisions people face in their lifetime. There are so many options and an overwhelming amount of things to consider. To make things easier on new graduates and current students, we have highlighted 4 key areas you should consider before choosing a career direction. Here’s a sneak peek, choose a career that you know you’ll love above all else!
When looking at potential career paths, it becomes important to identify your skills and knowledge and match both up with potential career paths. This is the point where its time to sit down and think about what your post-secondary education had given you: have you gained specific skills, extensive knowledge, work or volunteer experience? Then, once you have a list of all your new skills and knowledge, you can connect them to possible careers. For example, those in biology majors can likely connect their lab skills to lab research positions in the healthcare sector, for example.
Remember, some skills you now have may be transferable to a wide variety of jobs and you shouldn’t discount them! For example, skills in digital design and marketing will open you up to a wide variety of employers; the majority of businesses, organizations and public institutions are now using digital marketing for promotion purposes.
Another consideration is choosing the right work environment, for you! Things to consider here are: do you enjoy quiet work, do you like collaborative work, are you more keen on independent work, and where are you comfortable working? These guiding questions and your answers can help determine which work environment will best suit you.
If you are someone who needs complete quiet to focus and prefers independent work, you may want to consider jobs that allow you to work from home. This way, you can create your own work environment in a sense, and you won’t be interrupted by other coworkers talking loudly or asking you too many questions. Or, perhaps you’re someone who loves having company while working and enjoys discussing ideas with nearby coworkers. In this case, you’ll want to be sure you seek out a work environment that is collaborative and doesn’t leave too much room for silence.
Finally, work environments aren’ all indoors. Some professions such as geoscientists and other environmental careers will require at least some fieldwork. If working outdoors doesn’t suit you, you’ll need to look for work environments that are always indoors, such as office settings.
Some careers are more demanding than others, and if you are looking for a good work-life balance you may want to avoid these. Before choosing a career path, try asking yourself the following: do I want to have lots of extra time for hobbies, do I want to have kids, and do I enjoy work enough to be focused on it all the time? The answers to these questions will help determine your priorities and could influence your career decision.
If you’re someone who values and uses their free time tremendously, you will want to look for careers that have set hours and don’t involve you “taking your work home.” So, being able to create a schedule for work and your hobbies will put you at ease, whereas having an irregular schedule or a call-in schedule could be more stressful. Additionally, it’s important to consider your future priorities, such as children if you’re thinking of having them. In this case, you’ll want to consider maternity leave and your salary. Raising children is no easy feat, and may require some time off as well a good salary to support your children while they grow up.
This final point is the most important one. Above all, you should choose a career that makes you happy! No one wants to be stuck in a career they strongly dislike for years and years. Instead, try to match the career path with your interests and ensure it meets your other needs, as mentioned above. Additionally, try to move your thought process away from the highest paying job as being the best job, sometimes the best job can be the one that makes you the happiest.
However, if you do end up stuck in a career that makes you unhappy, you should remember there are ways out of this. Try to speak to management about your concerns, and see if there are ways to alter your working conditions to better suit you. If this fails, there may be other work opportunities out there that better suit you and are worth looking into!
Career path decisions are tough, there’s no understating it. But, if you take the time to research, explore options that suit you and don’t overthink it too much, you should be okay! At the end of the day, its about choosing a career that will make you happy and meet the majority of your needs. To get started examining job postings, you can do some searching on Indeed or Monster. This could help give you an idea about the jobs out there for you!