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. For example, determining whether getting a business degree is worth it today can either guide you to a successful career or shatter your dreams. Still, proper research is important, regardless of your career path.
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.