By Monique Flores
Choosing a career can be a fun and exciting process, but it can also be a stressful one. It is one of the biggest decisions we make in our lives and one that may affect other aspects of one’s lifestyle. It is important to choose a career that you will love, but it is as important to be careful in the steps you take in choosing one. Here are some key aspects to think about when choosing the right career for you:
1.) Do What You Love
When choosing the right career for yourself, think about the things in your daily life that you enjoy doing and what your talents are. If you are passionate about something, see if there are any careers out there that may be related to your passion. It may help to create a list of these things that you enjoy. It can be as
simple as your everyday hobbies, but also take the time to hone in on what things you excel at. Perhaps you enjoy spending time on the computer and are really good at fixing computer issues. It may be fitting to consider a career in IT.
Take time to reflect on what characteristics define you as a person. Again, you could make a list of these qualities. For example, are you a people-person and perhaps would work well in a team? Consider if the characteristics that define you would make you suitable for the career that you are interested in. Focus on what your strengths are and how you can apply these strengths to a certain job. Think about specific careers and the characteristics a perfect candidate would possess for the job. But always remember, you may be the perfect person for the job, but is that job the perfect one for you? You also want to think about what benefits you would receive in that chosen career – is it rewarding? Does it excite you? Does it allow you to grow as a person?
3.) What Kind of Lifestyle Do You Want?
Your career can greatly impact the lifestyle that you live. When choosing the right career, think about the work schedule that you would like to have. Do you prefer the typical 9-5 job on weekdays? Or would you prefer to work different shifts? Think about how your schedule would impact the other aspects of your life, such as your family or social life. Make sure that your schedule will still allow you to make time for the things that you enjoy doing. You may also want to think about how much your chosen career would pay, as this can influence the lifestyle you live. Make sure your pay can accommodate the lifestyle you would like to have. However, be realistic of your desires, and separate your wants vs. your needs.
4.) Be Patient
Patience is an important value to have when choosing the right career. Be patient in the timing of where you want to be in your career and remember that the career you want may not always be the one you get right off the bat. Finding the right career is a process itself, and it may involve attaining certain skills first, or maybe getting educated in that area first. You may have to work in similar fields or in other positions first to get the career you are aiming for. Think of the right career as a learning process and have fun with it, especially because you will learn new skills, develop your professional self, and gain experience along the way.
5.) Do Your Research
When you have an idea of what the right career for you may be, it is important to spend some time to research that career, so you can be well prepared in what steps you need to take. Find out what pre-requisites or skills are required for the position you are interested in. If you need to have related education, research what programs and schools allow you to gain that background. There are so many resources out there that can assist you in finding more information regarding your chosen career. The internet is an easy source, but you can also speak with school representatives or get in touch with someone who works in your field of interest. There are career counsellors/coaches at schools that can help you in finding a job and even writing your resume. You can also visit the public library where they offer career coaching sessions.
The above aspects are more so guidelines than steps in helping you choose the right career for yourself. Use it as an aid to ease the process of determining which career to choose, but remember to also have fun in doing so.
Monique is a nurse and reservist with the Canadian Forces. She is a big believer in gaining knowledge and life experience to better one’s self. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, for any assistance in creating a resume/cover letter or advice in applying for a job.
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