‘What career should you choose?’ is a simple question to ask, but is it?
Just after the class XII board exams, you find yourself at a crossroad - a tough, yet an extremely vital one. It’s choosing the career path and deciding what you’ll be doing for a considerable time, if not the rest of life, to earn your livelihood.
‘What career should you choose?’ is a simple question to ask, but indeed one of the most difficult ones to answer? Because, while there is family or peer pressure to decide what to do after your board exams, it’s you, whose interest in a field of study and profession should also take precedence. To arrive at a decision of what suits you best, try asking yourself the following 9 questions:
1. What am I looking for in this career?
A career is a journey that one needs to take for most of his /her life. Hence, it’s necessary to know what exactly you are seeking from this career. For example, if you are looking to earn fast money, you need not pick a career, that takes a long time to settle and establish yourself. A wrong choice here can frustrate you, making you lose interest.
2. Does this career match my interests?
Interests vary from person to person and they have a lot to do with your career. Say, if you are interested in mathematical calculations, it is best to choose a career path and required educational courses that are aligned with it. To see if a career matches your interests, you can think about what activities you enjoy most if you like working with people or alone, whether you like to stay outdoors or indoors, what your hobbies are. The answers will help you pick the career that suits you best.
3. What are my skills?
It’s best to choose a career path, based on your skill sets. Categorically, skill sets are of two types- hard skills and soft skills. Hard skills are the skills acquired through studies or courses, like computer programming or knowledge in economics. Soft skills refer to that are life traits or natural talent and the people you have with yourself, like- creative mind, analytical power or team and time management. Choosing a career that matches these skills will increase your chance to succeed.
4. What education and training choices do I need to make?
A career choice should also be made depending on the education or training courses needed for it. Here you need to figure out if those courses and training are aligned with your education and if they are leading to your career together. Seeing it from the other side, if you aim for a specific career, you need to plan your academic path and training accordingly. For instance, if you plan to become a software analyst, studying chemical engineering won’t be of any use.
5. Is my personality suitable for this?
A career choice should essentially depend on one’s personality. Else it would be difficult for the person to like what he is doing, leading to consequent boredom or frustration. Extroverts and introverts are completely opposite personality types and therefore careers suitable for these two types are different from each other as well. Career choices that require a lot of public dealing and communication skills are fit for extroverts, while those depending on one’s personal skills are introverts’ game.
6. What is the job prospect for this career?
Another factor that is of immense priority while choosing a career is its job prospects or earning opportunities associated. One has to carefully consider the extent of jobs generated or earning scopes created in the specific sector, how the future prospect looks like and whether the sector itself is booming or declining. Moreover, another important issue here is the takeaway from a career in terms of soft skills learned from it. This is necessary because, the more soft skills earned higher is the ability to fit into more than one industry, thereby creating a diverse portfolio. A person with diverse skill sets would face lesser difficulty in switching jobs if needed.
7. Will this career suit my financial needs?
Monetary need is of paramount importance while choosing a career. Hence a career choice needs to be made, depending on the financial needs of yourself or family. If you have a bigger financial burden, choose a career that would soon generate employment or earning scope.
8. Am I ready to change location according to the career needs?
Some careers involve a lot of location changes or travel in terms of tours, job postings or project requirements. So it’s wise to pick these careers, only if you are comfortable with work-travels or even location changes if required. There’s no point getting stuck into something like this if travelling is difficult or discomforting in your situation.
9. What kind of control do I want in my career?
If you like being commanded, work on instructions or in a team, having a career that translates to jobs is suited for you. But if you prefer an autonomy of decisions, working on your own, entrepreneurship or freelance careers should be a better choice.
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