Asking yourself which career is best suitable for you is probably one of the most challenging questions you could ask yourself. There are many careers to choose from, but which one is the right on for you? The process of selecting a career starts from or should rather start in high school, where you begin to discover your passion, what you like and what you do not.
1. What are you good at, and what do you love?
Yeah, I know. You’ve heard the “follow your passion” line since the day you were born. While some people have a clear passion, many of us find ourselves lost in the “passion puzzle,” paralyzed with fear that we’re not doing it right if we don’t have one burning career goal to pursue obsessively. And even if you do have a passion, chances are high it’s something vague and out of reach, like becoming the next Stephen King.
The problem isn’t the idea of pursuing things you’re good at and that you love; it’s that your aspirations are too broad and difficult to act on. Think of your passions as a starting point. If you want to be the next Stephen King, break that passion down into writing and editing. Then do a “skills inventory” to determine just what else you bring to the table.
2. Are you promotion- or prevention-focused?
While we all need a little bit of promotion- and prevention-oriented thinking, it’s important to determine which way you lean before diving down a career path. A prevention-focused person, for example, would do far better as a developer in a major corporation than launching her own startup. A promotion-oriented person will likely feel suffocated in a traditional 9-to-5, thriving instead in a more creative environment with bigger risks and bigger rewards.
3. What is the best environment for your personality type?
For similar reasons, it’s often helpful to do even deeper personality tests like the Myers-Briggs. This will help you further pinpoint just what you need in your work environment to thrive. Particularly important is determining whether you’re more of an introvert or an extrovert, as the two personality types differ widely in their needs.
An introvert, for example, may be more attracted to a quieter research role, while an extrovert will thrive in a busy, loud sales office. Public speaking, amount of teamwork required and frequent contact with clients are also factors to consider.
4. What kind of lifestyle do you want?
Most jobs start off with at least a few years of hard labor at lower pay than you’d like. What’s more important is looking ahead at people well into a career track to determine whether the lifestyle they lead is desirable to you. Some factors you might want to consider include the amount of control they have over their own time, their salary and the amount of travel involved, among other factors.
5. Where do you want to live?
While not essential for every career type, determining where you want to live can be an important part of the career search process. This is especially true for jobs that are focused in certain regions. If you want to work in the magazine industry, then you’ll probably need to move to New York City. Wheat farmer? The Midwest. Anthropologist? Just about anywhere.
Beyond geographical region, think again about the lifestyle on offer in the places you’ll be headed. Do you seek a metropolitan lifestyle with restaurants and cultural attractions on every corner? Or do you need the beauty and quiet of a rural setting?
By Lindelwa Godie