Choosing the right career is a monumental decision because it dictates the course of your life.
Today, the term your career describes a person’s journey through learning, work and other aspects of life. Sounds serious, doesn’t it! Don’t let that put you off. With a little hard work, a bit of planning and some self exploration, you can ensure you’re well on your way to a satisfying fulfilling career.
We have put together the top 5 questions you should ask yourself to get a better understanding of what matters most to you.
1. What are your interests?
There’s an old saying, if you love your job, you will never work a day in your life! Have a think about the activities that make you happy. What are your interests? What hobbies to you enjoy? What are you passionate about? There are ways you can transform your interests into your career path.
- A passion for playing a musical instrument might lead to a career in audio engineering
- A penchant for style and current trends could see a career in the fashion field suited to you
- An avid advocate and supporter of animals could see you excel in animal welfare
2. What subjects did you enjoy at school?
Your favourite subjects at school can potentially steer you toward your career in a field you would enjoy. Narrowing your future career into one or two separate industries gives you some boundaries when researching particular careers. Subjects easily translate into relevant industries.
- A passion for history could see a museum or gallery curator position a good fit for you
- A mind for mathematics might best lend itself to accounting
- A love of words and language could best suit a job in journalism
3. What are your skills?
Make a list of your career skills to see first-hand what you are good at, then match these up with careers or jobs that share some of those same skills.
- A good communicator could make a great counsellor or social worker
- Somebody that is talented with their hands could become a top carpenter or builder
- A person skilled in the kitchen might become a celebrated chef or dietitian
4. What about financial factors?
- Consider your future financial goals
Have a think about what you want out of life and how you will obtain the level of financial security you desire. This will stem from what you feel is most important to you. Not everyone has the same financial goals, therefore every individual needs a different dollar figure to be financially fulfilled.
If you want to fly in your private jet from one international holiday house to the next, you are going to need to realise that a position as a night-fill store person will make it very difficult to achieve the kind of salary necessary to pay for such luxuries. This means that you will be better served aiming for your career’s capacity to generate a higher salary.
- Consider the financial costs
Some career paths require qualifications that can ultimately become very expensive. Make sure you research the appropriate certification, different course or training providers and various modes of study available as well as any employer or government funding you may be eligible for. It is very important you do this before paying (or even worse – borrowing) money for education. Make sure your prospective career is worth the expense and that you have researched any grants for financial assistance well in advance of enrolling.
5. What is your work/life style?
If you work well independently and are a motivated, self-starter then you will be more suited to a position where you can dictate your own agenda. However, people that work better as part of a team and flourish with a rigid structure will achieve better results in a workplace culture that reflects those attributes.
You will spend approximately one third of your life with the people that you work with! So choose your career with a lot of consideration. Your job should be a good match to your work and social values. This is a balance you will have to manage according to your own ethics.
A career that has the capacity to generate a salary high enough to purchase all the luxury items your mind is capable of dreaming – could also be one that is highly demanding on your time. This could mean you may have to give up precious moments with your family or leisure activities. Remember; big dreams often require big sacrifice!
After your self-examination, it’s important to remember the following:
If you are unsure of what you’re good at, what your skills are and what strengths you have, don’t be afraid to ask people. Sometimes it’s hard to see what we excel in so ask your family, friends, teachers, colleagues – anyone that you spend time with will be able to give you valuable insight.
Many people spend several years working in an industry before they realise it isn’t the right one for them. So don’t be too hard on yourself about making the perfect decision when choosing your career, the first time around. Taking the time to arm yourself with knowledge about what matters most to you, will put you in the best-informed position. So do not apologise for taking time out to really reflect on yourself before making such a significant decision.