How To Choose The Right Career

- | 57 Aha! comments | Posted in category: Work & Career

Man happy after choosing a career as photographer

Choosing a career isn’t easy for some people, especially with so many career options available nowadays.

You may want to do so many things but eventually find that it’s not possible to zero-in and choose the right career for yourself.

Or, sometimes even when you just don’t want to do anything – you’re forced to choose a career because you need to earn a living.

What a dilemma career can cause for some; but what about you?

Did you really make a choice of your present career or did it just happen after many trials and tribulations?

Well, talking about myself, I belong to the latter category as blogging and writing isn’t what I had really planned for in life.

However, I feel good about what I’m doing now, and grateful that I’ve finally found a career that I love.

But not everybody gets as lucky I’ve been, and it’s wise to plan your career in time. So, let’s know more about what a career is and how to choose the right career options for yourself.

“I’ve learned that making a ‘living’ is not the same thing as ‘making a life’.” ~ Maya Angelou

What is a Career

A career is a profession or occupation that you’re trained for. It is also the option that you choose to follow in order to earn a living and live the life you want.

Career has inherent prospects for progress, both in terms of money and recognition.

Usually you start at the bottom of a job hierarchy pyramid and work your way through – to rise to the top in your career or professional life.

Generally, when you say you want to make a career, you mean that you want to excel in that particular field and secure your future by rising to high positions. And of course, earn enough money too!

I agree with how Wikipedia defines career – “Career describes an individuals’ journey through learning, work and other aspects of life.”

Not so long ago, the primary motive to choose a career was only to find paid employment.

However, career is now defined as a continuous life long process of learning and development to gain more experience, and live a life of satisfaction with whatever you do.

A career includes all the aspects of your work and life that help you find and live your purpose of life.

“Analyzing what you haven’t got as well as what you have is a necessary ingredient of a career.” ~ Orison Swett Marden

The Right Career Options for You

Your career is based on your life’s learning through knowledge and experience.

I chose the career option of being a freelance writer and a blogger, and I want to keep learning and becoming better in what I do.

Career is more than just a job. In fact, it’s all about you and your choices, dreams, desires, ambitions, abilities, interests, and the efforts you make to fulfill them.

You need to choose a career option that enables you to realize your full potential in doing something that you love.

You must feel that it is made for you and you’re made for it – a right career option is the true love of your life.

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” ~ Confucius

Career meter shows career options

Things to Consider While Making Career Choices

I opted for a career and became a teacher earlier in my life. In fact, I just chose from the options I had that time and didn’t make any deliberate effort.

I didn’t know if I really wanted to be a teacher. As a result, I had to change my career later in life and become a freelance writer and a blogger, after I made efforts to understand myself.

More so, I had a personal condition that I wanted to spend quality family time with my kids, who needed me more in their growing years. And family always comes first for me.

Though it turned to be a good move for me, but those who wish to work in a corporate world, seek better jobs and reach high positions – need to do much more.

They need to be careful to make the right career choices right from the beginning, and work smart to reach their goals.

Here’s what you need to do for choosing a career that you’ll love and keep for life:

1. Know and Assess Yourself

Your career is all about yourself. Making the right career choice depends on the kind of personality you have.

Your personality is the sum total of your attitudes, beliefs, likes, dislikes, and the characteristic patterns of your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

You need to choose a career that is in accordance to your personality.

For example, if you like to help people and believe in the cause of serving others, you may like to enter the service industry, opt for medical related jobs, or become a blogger!

You can even take a career or personality test to help you determine who you are and what kind of lifestyle you like.

Exploring and knowing yourself helps you cut down on the career options, which leaves you with a handful of choices.

2. Be Practical

May be you harbor certain dreams and desires, and develop certain ambitions in life. However, you need to do a reality check.

You need to gauge your abilities and capabilities, and discover the skills and talents that you have.

Of course, you can develop and learn skills at any stage in your life, but you need to choose a career based on your present set of skills.

You may take an aptitude test to ascertain if you’ve scientific, aesthetic, commercial, or any other inherent abilities or bent of mind.

Practically evaluate the career you choose, and see if it falls in line with your values and if you think the career will bring you happiness in life.

If you foresee certain financial limitations, constraints based on geographical locations, family liabilities, educational qualifications, or physical disabilities; then it would be wise to refrain from choosing that career.

Don’t choose a career just because you see others have chosen it or if somebody tells you to do so. Find out your strong points and best qualities, and make a career choice based on that.

3. Find the Career Options

It’s your life, your career – so it’s you who needs to do the hard work and decide the right career for yourself.

Once you know who and what you are, it becomes easy to find which career suits you better.

You can read career books, browse career related websites, and get to know about what people do in the job and profession of each career that interests you.

Don’t forget to look up the employment news papers, job websites, and survey your surrounding area to find out which career choices deliver what you want.

You must know and like the job description and way of life that the career offers, and the levels that you can rise to. Assess if the work style matches your lifestyle concept.

It will help you further if you meet and talk to job professionals or people who’ve already adopted the career you want to choose.

They’ll be able to guide you better, and you’ll get answers to many of your queries from them.

4. Listen to Your Heart

Most people realize that it’s not money but happiness that makes you love your career in the long run.

When it’s the matter of love and happiness, nothing else knows better than your heart. After using your brain and its logic or reasoning power, pay attention to your intuitions and feelings of your heart.

How can you ignore your heart while choosing a career, which is like selecting your love of life?

Choose a career that you can live. You can make that out when you find that your heart and mind are always absorbed with your career, and you’ve no problems with it.

The right career options for you are the ones that you can enjoy. Ask yourself if you like the job or work related to your career?

Is it something that you longed to do in your life? If you feel you’re making a career out of your hobby, then nothing like it.

If you find that you’re good at what you do, you’re comfortable with it, enjoy  doing it, and there’s scope in all aspects – then you’ve found the right career.

“If you don’t wake up in the morning excited to pick up where you left your work yesterday, you haven’t found your calling yet.” ~ Mike Wallace

Now you know that choosing a career isn’t hard but you need to know the way to go about doing that.

If you’ve further doubts, you can always consult your college guide, a career counselor, or a life coach.

But don’t get disheartened if you couldn’t make the right career choice because there might be something better waiting for you ahead.

Sometimes opportunities in life knock at your door when least expected, so be aware – and that’s when you can switch to the career of your choice, like I did.

It’ll help you if you set your goals, write a career action plan, and train yourself for the career that you want.

Remember that choosing a career is subjective and it differs from person to person – you’ve to take an informed decision and choose the career that is best for you.

That will be the right career you’re looking for. Listen to your heart because it’ll never guide you the wrong way. So, what are you waiting for! Go ahead and make the right career choice. 🙂

“The best careers advice to give to the young is ‘Find out what you like doing best and get someone to pay you for doing it.” ~ Katherine Whitehorn

Over to you –

Do you follow a career of your choice, and were choosing a career easy for you? What factors are needed to make the choice of right career options? Share your views below.

 

Photo credit: FreeDigitalPhotos



Show Comments

57 Comments - Read and share thoughts

  1. Harry

    October 25, 2013 at 5:23 am

    Great post. Choosing a career is often easier once you decide what life goals you want to pursue. With a clear vision of where you want to be in next 5 or 10 years, you will more likely to make better judgement on which career to choose.

  2. Jessica Sweet

    August 29, 2013 at 12:25 am

    Hi Harleena,

    Thanks so much for including the idea about consulting a life coach or career coach.

    I am a coach that helps people figure out what career they will love. In my experience, the people that come to me have chosen a career for the money, or because their father or mother was in that field, or they just put one foot in front of the other and somehow landed where they are today.

    Your article gives people hope that you don’t have to pay for the mistake of choosing the “wrong” career for your whole working life. There is help out there to guide you to what you’d love to do. In todays world, there’s much more acceptance of being in charge of the design of your own career – and there’s help too.

    Thank you again!

    Jess

  3. Adesanmi Adedotun

    July 31, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    Choosing a career is a must and one must be very careful about it so as not to choose the wrong one. Many choose wrong career today as a result of emulation, inability to stand on their own personal decision,not firm, feeling of inferiority complex but all the same choosing a life career need a proper scrutiny. For instance, if Michael Jackson had chosen to be a boxer that must have be an ill-luck career for him and the same thing happened to Bass Ali, so in this aspect of life caution must be properly taken indeed.

  4. Amandah

    July 23, 2013 at 6:07 am

    Hi Harleena,

    I think parents, teachers, grandparents, etc. can be obstacles when you’re thinking about choosing a career. They mean well, but they don’t know what is best for you. For example, your family may have a thriving business, but it may not be for you. You have two choices: 1) go into the family business and be miserable and make everyone around you miserable or 2) do what you want.

    My background is accounting, but it wasn’t my choice. I listened to my dad who meant well. He told me to get a “secure” degree because I would make money. Guess what? That strategy didn’t work for me. Why? Because accounting wasn’t what I wanted to do. I wanted to get a degree in marketing and/or advertising. One time, I approached my academic advisor about switching my major. She wasn’t any help. Her response was, “You’re so close to finishing. You’ll have to take extra classes.” It’s kind of ironic, if you think about it. An academic advisor talking a student out of taking more classes which would have meant more money for the college. If I can go back in time, I would have switched my major to marketing and minored in accounting. Lesson learned.

    I think the factors needed to make the choice of a right career are as follows:

    1. What interests do you have?
    2. What did you want to do when you were a kid?
    3. Who do you admire? What do they do?
    4. What do you love to do?
    5. What were your favorite subjects in high school?

    Brainstorm and think about what you want to do. Remember, you could have several careers throughout your life. Don’t worry if your first choice doesn’t work out. You’ll find the right career for you.

  5. I. C. Daniel

    July 22, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    I was planning till highschool to be a truck driver, I almost got my truck driving license, driving grades B, C already got them, however I have to get E grade which allows me to drive trucks with trailers attached.

    This E grade is going to cost me $300, this price include hours of driving the truck with trailer and fees to instructor and I’m almost done. Some certificates are required to carry goods, inflammable substances, oversized vehicles, etc but that’s easy to get, no hustle.

    After finished highschool I got the idea of making money online and felt dangerous atracted about it :D, since then I’m digging deep into understanding the process. How to start – How to Build Everything – Affiliate Marketing – Converting Products into Sales and Spending money Earned on good stuff.

    If my online endeavours aren’t going to bring results than I’ll be a truck driver, however I’m pretty confident that I’ll succeed online, I’m already earning money so everything is pretty good.

    Best regards from I. C. Daniel

  6. Michael Belk

    July 22, 2013 at 3:54 am

    Harleena, I fall under the latter. I had one job that I chose and I went to school for. I loved that job and the people.

    I have not found the same happy environment since. I fell into blogging like many people, but the more I do it the more I like it.

    It is hard to find your favorite job.

  7. Liz

    July 21, 2013 at 10:37 pm

    Hi Harleena,

    I’ve been round and round with the career thing with my kids because it’s been really hard for them. They’re conflicted with choosing a career that brings a great salary or doing something they have a passion for that’s hugely competitive. For example, my son wants a career drumming because he loves it, but he can’t make any money at it because it’s so hugely competitive.

    I think there’s got to be a balance there and it’s tough.

    Good post as a step through guide. Thanks!

    Liz

  8. Cynthia

    July 20, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    This is something that I am facing right now. I don’t want to return to my previous career. When I ended it to have my child, I was so burned out on it.

    Over the past few years, I am obtain a Master degree in something that I feel passion about but don’t know if I want to continue with the education that it requires. Not because it is not something that I don’t want to do but because the practical side of life says, you need a new house, child’s education and spending time with my aging mother would be a better way to go and that could be easily fit into my current career salary.

  9. Hiten

    July 20, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    Hi Harleena,

    This was a brilliant post, indeed!

    It got me thinking of my own career and how my attitudes to what I want to achieve over the years has changed. When I was younger, I was interested in working my way up the corporate ladder. As I’ve got older however, and particularly since I got into coaching and blogging, my ambition levels are decreased quite a bit. I want to be in a position where I’m making a decent living dong what I love and making enough to support my family so they don’t go without anything.

    Thank you.

  10. Mayura

    July 20, 2013 at 10:44 am

    Hi Harleena,

    Wow… I didn’t know you were a teacher before 🙂 What kind of subjects you were teaching? Well, indeed you are a teacher for everyone here.

    Actually, I wasn’t thought of IT industry when I got my first computer but it’s a milestone that changed my way of life. I fell in love with it and I still do. So here I am 🙂

    You know, after studies and all that, students look for jobs and it often wonder when I see my friends get jobs that has no relate to IT industry. No idea if they assess themselves or not. But they were happy of the amount of money they can earn. May be being practical as you pointed out. But now they are calling it “BORING”. I asked why don’t you find something you love. They got excuses and I feel like they are waiting their dreams to come true without working on it.

    However after my school, I had pressure to find a job too 🙂 Not actually my parents, but as others asking about what I’m doing after school. You know, sometimes people worry about what others think or talk about ’em.

    At the same time I was blogging and decided to offer services by myself as a freelancer 🙂 But as my parents don’t know about it, I wanted a JOB to satisfy them too. Really glad I’ve got an opportunity in software development which I can do at home. I believe listening to our hearts will bring all the luck we need in our lives Harleena 🙂

    You have a lovely weekend Harleena 🙂

    Cheers…

  11. Adrienne

    July 20, 2013 at 7:11 am

    I wish this type of advice had been around when I was trying to decide what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. The funny thing is that my Dad asked me if I wanted to start my own business. The problem was that what I was doing at that time there was no way I wanted to make a career out of it.

    I was always taught to go to school but that never panned out for me so I just accidentally fell into the secretarial role mainly because I’m annoyingly organized. The rest just came naturally and that’s where I got stuck.

    I wasn’t advised to find something I loved doing. Just think how differently my life would be now had that been the case. Oh well, I’m doing what I love now so it’s never to late to start right!

    I wish every young person would read this post and follow their heart instead of the advice of their parents who were only following the advice of theirs.

    Thank you once again Harleena for a very informative post.

    Enjoy your weekend.

    ~Adrienne




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



How To Choose The Right Career

by Harleena Singh time to read: 7 min