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A question many people encounter when they are starting out in the working world or considering a career change is how to choose the right career. Choosing the wrong career or a career that does not utilize your talents and skills can lead to dissatisfaction down the line and career disruptions. Whether you are trying to decide where to look for your first job or pondering a possible career change, below are some factors to consider when choosing a career.
Step 1: Determine your natural talents
We all have certain tasks that come easy to us, which are known as natural talents. When we use our natural talents in the workplace, we enjoy going to work and likely receive praise for our performance. Knowing your natural talents is key to choosing the right career. Of course people are capable of performing other tasks, but those tasks do not provide a sense of satisfaction and feel more like work. Determine what you enjoy doing and how those skills can be applied to a job.
Step 2: Ascertain your work style – flexible vs. structured work environment
Determining your work style is important because it can conflict with your career choice. Each of us has a preferred work style that allows us to perform at our best, even if we don’t realize it. A flexible work environment, for example, might allow you to deliver projects at your own pace, while a structured environment would require specific deadlines and strict guidelines. Decide which style works better for you by determining the type of environment you tend to thrive in.
Step 3: Choose a preferred location
Decide on your preferred work location and whether you would mind a job that requires some travel. Your location preference could vary from corporate headquarters to a home office. Ask yourself how often you like to work away from home and if you mind traveling for your job. If living out of a suitcase does not appeal to you and you need consistency in your workplace, avoid careers that require a lot of travel.
Step 4: Decide how much social interaction you need
Do you enjoy working with others, or do you prefer to work alone? If you are motivated by the needs of others and your ability to provide a solution, then choose a job that involves a lot of interaction and teamwork. Some people shy away from interacting with co-workers and clients, and prefer behind-the-scenes work where they don’t have to deal with complicated workplace dynamics. Being aware of your social needs is critical when it comes to choosing the right career.
Step 5: Consider work-life balance
Do you value a short commute and spending evenings at home relaxing? Do you live for the weekend and like to make the most out of your spare time? If you’re the type of person who looks forward to having ample spare time away from work, choose a career that will provide you with plenty of time away from the office. Look for jobs with regular hours that do not require you to work overtime or on weekends.
Step 6: Take stress into account
Some of us thrive on the pressure of big deadlines or being involved in an important project. In this role, people trust you and expect that you will deal well with the pressure. We all have different stress thresholds. If you thrive under pressure, you may do well in a high-stress career. But if stress makes you want to throw in the towel, look for jobs that offer a behind-the-scenes role and are more laid-back.
Step 7: Establish a desired salary
As you look ahead in your career, decide what your expectations are in terms of pay. If you are single now, perhaps you plan to have a family later. Or maybe you’re part of a successful two-income family and need to decide whether you’re comfortable living on less money or compromising on other career aspects, such as work-life balance, to earn a better income. If money is the reward you seek, there are many career options to consider.
Prepare for the career you have always wanted by earning a degree at Fremont College. Degree programs at Fremont College take just 15 months to complete, allowing you to start working in your field in a little over a year. Choose from the following in-demand degree programs at Fremont College: Multimedia Design, Business Leadership, Paralegal Studies, and Sports Therapy. Start preparing for your future career today – contact us to learn more about our degree programs or to request a free career guide by filling out the form on this page.
Additional Tips In Transitioning from a Job To A Career
One of the experiences that nearly all people face is the process of choosing a career. There are many factors involved in selecting a career that best suits you, ranging anywhere from your natural talents and interests to where you would like to work and desired salary. Often times, the best way to help you determine which careers are a good fit is to asses your personal preferences based on your personality, while other times, it is good to focus on general skills that anyone can develop.
While there are many systems used to try and categorize people into personality types, there are a few concepts that are broadly reviewed to help guide you toward selecting the best career.
Introversion and Extraversion
Many personality typing systems analyze introversion and extraversion which center around where an individual is reenergized. Introverts build their energy from alone time, while extraverts are energized by being around others. This personality trait can impact your career greatly. If you are introverted and enjoy alone time, then a career where you are constantly forced to interact with people may not be best for you. On the other hand, if you are extraverted and love being around people, then a career which requires you to be alone in an office all day may drain you.
Another common theme among personality tests is how you perceive the world, either through focusing on the details or centering on “big picture” ideas. If you are someone who prefers to see the big picture, a job where you are forced to crunch numbers all day might not suit you well. Comparatively, if you enjoy working with details, a career in something that requires contemplation of concepts may not be something you like for long periods of time.
Learned Communication Skills
Another element that plays into your enjoyment of a career is what communication skills you have obtained, as this can influence the ease with which you perform tasks at work. Developing communication skills can help you in any career that you choose, whether those be written, verbal, or non-verbal.
Work on written communication skills by writing letters in your free time, building your ability to express what you want to say through writing.
For verbal communication skills, you can progress by practicing speeches on your own, or studying techniques for expressing ideas.
When it comes to non-verbal communication, one of the best things you can do is learn about body language and how that impacts other peoples’ perception of you.