Many consider it a million-dollar question—how to choose a career? It’s not only future college students or those who have recently graduated who have to grapple with it; everyone can benefit from thinking it through. It’s on many people’s minds, no matter their age, education level, or even current employment status. Everyone who aims to (re)join the workforce should give it a lot of thought and approach it with care.
With all this in mind, there’s no universal solution or shortcut when it comes to finding a career path, but that is why there are specific guidelines that everyone can follow and make it much easier for themselves when choosing a future career. In the lines that follow, you will be able to see ways to get to the desired profession, depending on where you currently are in your life’s journey. After all, the process is different for high schoolers and people who finished university and already have a job. So, let’s see how you can choose a career:
- In high school
- After high school
- After 30
Choose a Career In High School
How to choose a career path in high school—this phrase is every student’s nightmare. This issue is very delicate because it’s the young people who have to deal with it and make an important decision—what they will do in the future.
It seems as if their whole life hangs on one decision, one moment; however, there’s more to it than that. It’s clear, of course, that one’s career path can change in the future. But at the same time, the decision on a future occupation is made early and can influence crucial choices in the future.
“How do I choose a career” is a complex question, and the answer depends on a lot of factors. Here are some ways to make the decision easier:
- Evaluate your talents
- Think about what kind of career attracts you
- How you see yourself in the future
- Choose classes according to your desired career
Evaluate Your Talents
Think about what your talents are and where your strengths lie. Find out if you are fonder of the social or perhaps the natural sciences. Think about what you’re good at and what you want to do, or perhaps, what the people you admire do—this should set you on the right track. This reflection is also one of the most exciting processes because it’s a great way to get to know yourself a bit better.
Think About What Kind of Career Attracts You
Before asking yourself the question “what career is right for me,” think about what occupations sound attractive. Consider whether you want a job where you will continuously learn something new, where challenges are present every day, and with them, great responsibilities. On the other hand, you may want a quiet and simple job that, while possibly not exciting, will bring stability and predictability.
How Do You See Yourself In The Future?
This is a deceptively simple question. It may sound easy, but it requires a certain degree of soul searching. Consider whether you are adventurous and would like to travel, or you are perhaps more the type of person who likes to spend their time in an office. People wondering how to choose a career path should keep in mind that each job has its own quirks and requirements.
Ask yourself the right questions and think about where you see your life in 10 or 15 years. Consider whether it’s in a big city, living in a skyscraper, or maybe in a quieter place in a house with a beautiful backyard. Then think about which job will sync best with your chosen future lifestyle.
Choose Classes According to Your Desired Career
When you answer these questions, you’ll be able to paint a picture of yourself in the future, and you’ll be able to visualize the path you must take to get there. If you’re still unsure how to choose a career in high school, then take a look at your curriculum. Think about the qualifications necessary and select classes that will allow you to head in that direction. That way, you will start picking up the skills you need for your future career and/or prepare yourself for the university education your chosen occupation requires.
Choose a Career After High School
You have finished high school, and one crucial period of life is behind you. Now it’s time to choose the right college. A few of your peers already know what they will be doing in the future, but maybe you’re still asking yourself, “what career is right for me?”
The pressure keeps growing, and you feel like you have to make a decision right away. But do not despair; know that there is always time, and also ways to make that decision in the best possible way. With that in mind, here are a few tips on how to choose a future occupation:
- Take a career test
- Ask for professional guidance
- Engage in internship
Take a Career Test
There are tests that can help you if you’re still unsure how to choose a career path. These tests can help you discover some of your talents, which you might not have even known you had. Of course, you should weigh the results you get carefully; they are not there to make the decision for you, but to point you in the right direction. The right test, administered by the right person, can weigh your priorities, current skills, potential, and career goals to create a good career plan. However, not even the best test career test is perfectly accurate, and there’s always some room for error depending on personal quirks and/or facts that get missed.
If you are feeling unsure about your decision, discuss this with a professional. Many tend to think that this is an unnecessary expense, but it can pay off if you make the right choice. Also, there are professionals who specialize in helping people choose a profession without compensation.
On the other hand, even if you decide to pay for an experienced professional opinion, it’s probably one of the more sound investments you can make in your future.
If you are not sure whether a certain occupation is right for you, you can always opt for an internship. The opportunity to, at least for a month or two, feel the charms of the profession that has always caught your eye can teach you a lot.
This way, you will be one step closer to solving the “how to choose a career” puzzle. You can also find out more about the strengths and weaknesses of your desired profession, but also get to know yourself better and find out what you are capable of. At the very least, after the internship, you will have gained one more valuable life experience.
Volunteering opportunities can be incredibly satisfying as you can discover new passions and hobbies.
One example would be working in a pet home, which would allow you to turn your love for animals into a future occupation. For all those who are not sure how to choose a career after high school, volunteering can open up some new perspectives on work, employment, and life in general.
Choosing a Career After 30
Choosing a career after your 30th birthday is not easy. Dissatisfaction with work, career, and/or finances can all affect your mindset and odds of starting fresh. Either way, it must’ve occurred to most people at least once that their lives would be easier or better if they were working in a different profession.
If you have had that feeling for a while, it’s probably a sign that it’s time to make a move. Often, the thing holding you back is the fear of what lies ahead. Thinking about how to choose a career at 30 can be very scary.
The reality is that this fear is entirely unjustified. While it’s not easy to change your career on a whim, it’s far from impossible. Many people try to profile themselves for the career they want to have through years of schooling and life experiences.
But on the other hand, it’s also perfectly normal that, when the spark goes out, a person simply looks for something new that will make them feel passionate about their work again.
Feeling pressured and troubled while thinking “how to find the right career for me” is entirely natural, and you’re not alone in this. It’s not easy, but with a little effort, finding a new life vocation is possible. In fact, hardship can make success all the sweeter. Here are some tips for people looking to change their careers later in life:
- Keep an open mind
- Focus on your strengths
- Research jobs
- Be sure of your decision
Keep an Open Mind
When deciding how to pick a career, it’s essential to consider all the options and choose what you like best. With that in mind, it would be best if these were occupations that matched your interests. Of course, many think (and rightly so) that what they love doesn’t necessarily provide them with a livelihood.
In other words, in many cases, finances also have to be taken into account. That is why it’s essential to achieve a balance between passion, on the one hand, and financial gain on the other. That way, your future career, but also the outline of your life, can achieve its final shape.
Focus On Your Strengths
There are different ways to choose a career path, and focusing on your strengths would be one of them. When you reach a certain age, it’s natural that your responsibilities change accordingly.
With that in mind, it makes sense that most people in their 30s have more responsibilities than before, which means that people at that age may find it a little harder to learn new technologies or prepare for different occupations.
This is not impossible but can be a little challenging. For that reason, it’s essential to have different types of career choices that match your strengths.
As you are over 30, it’s likely that you have already established a wide network. According to the Mark Granovetter study, 58% of people are more likely to find new job opportunities through acquaintances, than through their closest friends.
If you ask your closest friend for career advice, there is a chance they will give you a friend’s answer rather than a professionally sound one. But if your close friends have other successful professional connections, asking one of them for advice can help you answer the question “how to choose a career path.”
Furthermore, having in mind that these acquaintances have their own networks they could put you in touch with, you can increase your chances of getting more information and job opportunities.
To give yourself more options, inquire about jobs that are unfamiliar to you. You never know – you might even discover jobs you didn’t even know existed before.
Another weapon in your arsenal is the internet, where you can find a lot of information about various jobs. Knowing the pros and cons of a specific job can significantly help you when it comes to thinking about how to decide on a career.
Be Sure of Your Decision
One may wonder how the writer of these lines came up with this “unexpected” conclusion, but it’s true: when it comes to your career, it pays to be extra slow and thoughtful.
Changing your career in your 30s is a big step and, as such, shouldn’t be taken lightly. Take as much time as you need, think carefully, and carefully consider your every decision. Only in this way can you prevent making a mistake when choosing a job that you will later regret.
People Also Ask
How Do You Figure Out What Career Is Right For You?
Searching for a job can sometimes be tedious and even stressful. Making such a decision isn’t always easy. But, in order to eventually get into a position of choosing a job and weighing between salary, job distance, or opportunities for advancement, you need to be confident in your decision. You have to be sure you have chosen the right option. This reason is why most people have difficulties picturing themselves on a certain career path in the future.
There is no universal answer on how to know what career to choose. Your future career is the result of many factors, among which the most important is relying on what you love the most. The hardest part of this search is the process of how to get the desired answers.
In this regard, it’s crucial to take into account that each person differs individually, among other things, and a simple solution to this question doesn’t exist. However, there are specific guidelines, or tips, that people can follow to help them figure out what they want:
- Explore your talents
- Exploit your strengths
- Create a list of potential jobs
- Research jobs
What Are the Factors to Consider When Choosing a Career?
Various factors can affect you while deciding on a future career. As all people differ individually, the reasons for and against a job change accordingly. For example, many people consider the relationship between free time and work to a critical factor.
On the one hand, for some, the economic factor will be the most important in deciding on an occupation, while on the other hand, other people will strive for what they love and what makes them happy.
Another important feature when deciding on a career could be family. Those who have families know how much responsibility comes with them. In that sense, it’s completely normal if someone wants a job that wouldn’t require too much sacrifice and separation from their loved ones. Alternatively, others may wish to join the family business or pursue specific well-paid careers that would allow them to help out their families financially.
What Careers Make a Lot Of Money?
One of the common drives is picking a career that brings in the most money. Of course, this applies to people who want to change their profession because they’re dissatisfied with current income. When viewed globally, you may notice that most of the highest paid jobs in the world are from the medical field.
In this regard, it’s important to note that those who want to land some of the highest paid jobs have to work much harder on every aspect of their lives.
However, if you are not willing to graduate from college and go through specializations, here is a short list of careers you can pursue as part of on-job training or throughout different courses:
- Web Developer
- Data Scientist
- Air Traffic Controller
- Nuclear Reactor Operator
While these jobs don’t require a college diploma, they do usually require specialized knowledge and/or experience in a similar field. Getting a well-paid job without much effort is the purview of the very few, very lucky people.
How Do You Choose a Career?
As mentioned, some of the most critical factors in the decision to change profession could be money, family, and free time. Personal inclinations also come into the equation, making it all the more complex and personalized. Analyzing your strengths and weaknesses, and making sure to balance all the aforementioned factors is just the start of the process.
When thinking about how to choose a career, you should consider the future of the desired profession. The world changes quickly, and people’s needs also change accordingly. With this in mind, many occupations are on the verge of disappearing.
Some jobs will be in high demand in years to come, so it could be wise to look at the potential growth of the desired job at the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
What Is The Best Career Test?
There are many ways to approach the process of choosing a job or a career. Tests are a popular option and can vary depending on the test-takers goals and preferences. Interest tests check a person’s interests against different careers, aptitude tests check how well a person can perform different types of work, and personality tests compare personality types and check how a person prefers to work.
If anyone’s wondering how to choose a career test that will suit them perfectly, here are a few pointers. First of all, turning to a professional is a good start. They should be able to assess you themselves and point you in the right direction. Since professionals actually perform these tests, they try to strike a balance between your desires, goals, and capabilities.
However, for those who are unwilling, or unable, to seek the services of professionals, the internet is one solution. There are tests across the web that can help you choose a future profession. The right career test will help you create the perfect harmony between your skills, desired salary, and preferred job.
What To Look For In Choosing a Career?
As already mentioned, people are looking for new jobs and challenges for various reasons. Consequently, everyone will look at new positions from different angles. Some will put family first, some money, and some may want to travel with their work.
All these reasons are valid as long as it’s what makes you happy. However, those thinking about how to pick a career should keep in mind that every job should ideally provide:
- A sense of fulfillment
- Enough money to live on
- Enough time left to spend with family or friends
- Prospects for advancement
Of course, these are just the most basic and broadest factors. After all, everyone needs to tailor their careers and lives according to personal preferences. Life-work balance is different for everyone, and for some, the ability to work in an industry they love trumps all other factors.
What Are The Career Options?
If you are unsure of your decision, use a thorough and methodical approach to the job search. Make a list of potential careers in the fields you’re drawn to. For example, you can make a list of 10 occupations in the field of medicine, commerce, science, engineering, or whatever other field sparks your interest.
The internet is full of articles that describe most of the jobs. When choosing a career, reading articles about specific professions can give you a better insight into those you might not have known much about. This way, you will be able to raise or lower certain careers on the priority ladder. Maybe someone’s experience will help you understand that a certain profession isn’t for you and help you eliminate it. In any case, the more resources you use, the more they will help you reach the right decision.
When answering the question of how to choose a career, take into account the future of the profession. Also, when determining career options, consider the future of a particular career, but also what the conditions are to reach it. Information about entry-level education of a particular job can be found on the Bureau Of Labor Statistics page. This will ensure that you created a list of realistic targets you can achieve in time.