You must have heard the phrase that if your passion is your profession, then life is already in heaven! That is true in all sense. Having a career that suits a person is nothing less than heaven on earth. Not only does it help an individual sustain life, but it also serves other essential elements of life such as fun and fulfilment.
Considering this backdrop, the forthcoming article aims to deliberate upon the top 8 factors that one must consider before choosing a career path.
It all begins with self-analysis, as this is the most important factor that determines a person's choice. Having clarity on this subject is of great importance, and for that matter, if you must go miles, then you must! Nevertheless, compromising or even ignoring your natural calls is a colossal blunder. According to a document by the University of Wisconsin-Madison (2018), self-awareness regarding one's talents and skills plays an integral role in career choices, as also the famous saying goes, "know thyself and success shall be thine". Therefore, knowing yourself is an effort that nobody else can make for you! One must explore their unique paths for themselves for that matter.
Next in line comes the opportunity assessment. Of course, all efforts are likely to go in vain without having a good opportunity in hand. However, at this point, it is important to clarify what an opportunity looks like. A good opportunity may not be vivid until looked through a keen eye! What is meant by that is an opportunity is subjective, in a sense that for one, it may be necessary, while for others, it might be irrelevant as everyone has different perspectives and career objectives (University of Kent, 2018). However, the important point is that knowing which balls to play and which to let go of is crucial. Hence, for that matter, one may require professional consultation, as not every opportunity may translate into substantial success!
Now that an individual has thoroughly assessed their strengths and weakness, and have a reasonable idea about the opportunities at hand, it is now time to evaluate resources. Here, resources mean the dynamics around one's life, e.g. family responsibilities, personal health, age and background, readiness, time and energy etc. For instance, going for a career in athletes might not be a good idea if one is above 40 or 50, or writing an autobiography while you are just a teenager might not be a good idea as well. While if you flip the scenarios mentioned above, you might find appropriate matches. Hence, making reasonable and appropriate use of the resources at hand is very important.
Personal goals and career goals are two different aspects of one's life, and they both do not have to overlap, although if personal goals and career goals could somehow overlap, one can save many efforts. For instance, if someone is obese and wants to lose weight, building a career as a gym coach could help an individual achieve personal goals and career goal. According to Greco (2016), identifying career goals and personal goals is very important. In this regards, schools, colleges, teachers and even tutors can prove to be very helpful for individuals to set right their career trajectories, only if they are sought diligently! Otherwise, individuals are likely to remain regressed throughout their career.
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Once the above-mentioned aspects have been well understood, now it is time to match options that go well together. For instance, given an individual who has professional degrees and qualifications may go for jobs and for individuals who are naturally blessed with talents may go for solo careers. According to Indeed (2021), thorough research is required to find suitable career options, and once alternatives have been assessed, the list should be narrowed down to 2 or 3 options. Factors that may be considered while finding suitable options may include the practical nature of the job, financial rewards, job requirements, growth opportunities, and the overall job outlook. Hence, after thorough analysis, the matchmaking process may yield the final career options.
Subsequently, once the career trajectories have been found and there is a relative assurance of success in that field, now the candidate must select the employer. According to a survey conducted by Paliszewski (2016), almost 85% of the employee consider financial rewards while selecting an employer, while 65% of the respondents were of the view that location plays a critical role while selecting an employer. While other factors that may play an important role in selecting an employer might include fringe benefits, working hours flexibility, employer's conduct and working environment. Hence, there is plenty of efforts that need to be made while selecting an employer.
Once you have identified your choice of career, employer and job role, now you must seek training and professional qualification. This is so much important that, according to World Economic Forum (2020), the post-pandemic world will require the workforce to upskill their resumes every six months or face the risk of unemployment. In this regard, individuals will have to be very diligent about their career goals and where they should invest their energy in upskilling or acquiring qualifications. Otherwise, employment trajectories will not be smooth.
Last but not least, many aspirants fail to consider the importance of skill transferability and integrability. This is by far the most crucial aspect that one must consider when choosing a career! For instance, if a doctor loses his/ her job, would he/ she be able to become a lawyer? The answer is NO! however, if an MBA loses his/ her job, he can become a salesman or even a marketeer. According to King's College London (2020), there are some basic skills and some specific skills. Basic skills like critical reasoning, language, writing, and management skills may be transferable to any field, while specific skills such as those possessed by a specialist surgeon or an engineer may not be transferable to other occupations. Hence, this factor should also be considered when choosing a career; otherwise, in times of economic downturns, such that the Covid-19 pandemic, one may fail to keep the career boat afloat.
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