It’s incredible to think that there was a time when people didn’t choose careers but fell into them. A job was about two things; supporting yourself and providing shelter for your loved ones. However, times have changed, and a career is much more than a means to an end; it’s a future.
Many people struggle when choosing a career, and statistics suggest that only one-third of UK workers are happy with their current jobs (2I Recruit). Finding the right employment is central to a person’s happiness, and there are numerous considerations before leaping into a career.
What you study, how far you go in education, and your skills will all define the avenues open to you, so planning is essential to ending up in a career you love.
In this post, we’ll reveal what to consider when choosing a career so that you can plan your future.
Let’s dive in.
Your Interests & Passion
The starting point for many people when choosing a career is their interests. Do you have any hobbies or activities that you’re passionate about? What are the things you love doing?
For example, if you love animals, working with them could be a great option, and numerous careers would allow you to do this. Alternatively, if you’re passionate about fashion, a career in design or styling could be perfect for you.
Of course, your interests don’t always have to match your future career directly. However, they can give you ideas of what direction to go. For example, studying law might not seem like an obvious choice if you’re interested in history. However, both law and history are about research, critical thinking, and analysing evidence, so they have a lot in common.
Your Skills & Qualifications
Your skills and qualifications will play a significant role in choosing your future career. After all, certain positions require specific skills and experience that you might not have yet.
For example, you’ll need to complete an intensive medical degree to be a doctor. Alternatively, to be an engineer, you’ll need to study mathematics and science to a high level.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that your future is set in stone from the moment you start studying. There are always ways to change direction or gain new qualifications later on. However, it’s essential to be realistic about the options open to you and the amount of work that might be required.
If you didn’t perform well at school and hate academics, learning a trade could be the perfect option, as it opens up doors but is a more practical field of study. Companies such as the Skills Training Group offer courses in the most lucrative trades, including plumbing and electrics.
Your personality type can reveal a lot about the kind of career that would suit you best. For example, working in a fast-paced environment with lots of people might not be ideal if you’re an introvert. Alternatively, if you love socialising and meeting new people, a job that involves customer service could be perfect for you.
The Myers-Briggs personality test gives people an idea of how they interact with others and reveals the kinds of careers that might be suitable. It’s a great test to take if you’re unsure and can remove any ambiguity about your future.
Preferences & Lifestyle
It’s also worth considering your preferences when choosing a career. For example, do you prefer working alone or as a team? Do you like working outdoors or indoors? Do you want a job with a lot of travel or one you can do from home?
Your lifestyle choices will also play a role in your decision. People with young children might need a job that offers flexible working hours or provides child care. Alternatively, if you’re planning on starting a family soon, you might want to consider a career that provides good maternity/paternity leave and childcare options.
Working hours are another vital factor in your decision, as specific careers require more dedication than others. For example, farmers, gardeners and waste disposal professionals have longer working weeks, while professionals in office-based roles average around 35 hours per week.
The Job Market & Future Prospects
It’s amazing how times have changed in the past four decades, and many popular jobs no longer exist anymore. Technology will continue to render some careers obsolete (Flex Jobs).
Considering the job market and prospects when choosing a career is essential, as you want to ensure that opportunities will be available once you’ve qualified.
For example, there was a time when people everywhere began to learn about computers, which was a huge career opportunity. However, while these jobs still exist, computers are becoming more advanced, and some roles won’t be around in the future.
Some industries are growing rapidly, such as wireless technology, artificial intelligence and renewable energy, so it’s worth considering which area offers the most security.
Last, it’s essential to consider your earning potential when choosing a career. After all, you want to make sure that you can support yourself (and your family) comfortably.
Of course, money isn’t everything, and you shouldn’t choose a job simply because it pays well. However, it is something that you should take into account as it will have a big impact on your quality of life.
There are plenty of ways to research the earning potential of different careers. For example, sites like Glassdoor offer salary information for various roles worldwide. Alternatively, you could speak to people who already work in the industry to get an idea of what they earn.
So, there you have it; the things to consider when choosing your future career. There are plenty of opportunities available, so don’t be afraid to evaluate your skills and look at the kind of work that will make you happy.
Remember, no matter how old you are, it’s never too late to change careers and retrain for a job that will offer you the emotional and financial rewards you deserve.