How to Pick a Career

Whether a person wants to change a career or is looking for his or her first job, it’s important for one to understand his or her different personality elements and what he or she wants from work and life. Picking a career is not easy because there are a lot of options from which to choose. There are also a number of factors to consider, such as interest, financial situation and demands of the jobs market, before making a decision.

With a little work, careful planning and serious self-assessment, one can choose a fruitful and satisfying career. Learn how to pick a career successfully with the following tips:

Perform a Self-Assessment Before thinking of a specific career, one should think first about what motivates him or her as a person. What are the relevant skills, preferences, interests and values? When a person knows himself or herself well, it’s easy to build up a picture of an ideal job. If one loves art or drawing, for example, he or she can consider becoming a graphic designer. If one is particularly good at certain skills, such as cooking or troubleshooting a computer error, this can provide the person with a good future career. Getting a college degree may or may not be important, but skilled labor is usually in demand.

Determine Work Style A person’s work style greatly affects his or her career choice. Each person has a preferred work style that enables him or her to perform at his or her best, even if he or she doesn’t realize it. A work environment that is flexible, for instance, may allow a person to complete tasks at his or her own pace, while a structured work environment would require a person to beat deadlines and adhere to strict guidelines. Find out which style works better by determining the kind of environment one desires to thrive in.

Set a Career Goal Once a jobseeker makes a decision, he or she needs to determine goals. Setting goals provides a clear idea of where one really wants to go or what one really wants to be doing. Identify short-term and long-term goals. Short-term goals can be achieved in just a few months or years, such as applying to college or taking an internship. Long-term goals usually take several years to reach, such as completing a degree.

Make a Career Plan If one has already figured out his or her career goals, this person should consider making a career plan. Planning should start long before it’s time to begin a career, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. A career plan lays out all the steps a person will take to achieve his or her goals. It’s like a road map that guides a person to a destination. Try to list down all short- and long-term goals and the steps to take to achieve each one. Make sure to include any possible hindrances that could get in the way of reaching goals as well as the ways to overcome them.

Consider Stress-Tolerance Level Some people thrive on the pressure of tight deadlines or being involved in a very important project. In this role, an employer or client expects that a person can handle the pressure well. People all have different stress limitations, so if a person can work under pressure, he or she may perform well in a high-stress career. However, if stress easily makes a person want to give up, he or she may want to get a job that offers a more relaxed role.