Dear CoachFaith: I am a fresh graduate of Industrial Chemistry, I am currently awaiting NYSC callup, but am using this waiting time to test the waters of job market. I Just want to ask that what criteria should one be mindful of in choosing a career or a workplace.-Funmilayo, Ibadan
Dear Funmilayo: Frankly speaking, choosing a career is a very different thing from choosing a job or choosing which company to work for. While a job, in essence, is a way to trade time for money, and a company is the place where you do it, a career is a much bigger and more important concept. Your career is what you hope to be doing throughout your working life. While a career usually consists of multiple jobs, it has a unifying theme.
Back to your question, there are many factors to consider when choosing a career, whether it is your first job or you are in the middle of changing careers. While this can be a difficult decision, it is certainly not an impossible choice to make when you have the right tools and resources. Fortunately there are many helpful ways of determining if a new career is the right one for you. Factors such as interests, attitudes, skills, training and availability of work are all important to consider when searching for a new career. Read on to learn more about these factor.
The first step to choosing a career is figuring out what your skills are. There are a number of online tests you can take, such as those by LiveCareer.com, and taking stock of yourself and your skills can give you some guidance. If you do not like children, for instance, teaching and child care are not good careers for you. If you faint at the sight of blood, you won’t become a surgeon. If you are extremely good at mathematics, a career in the sciences or in finance could be an excellent choice.
Once you have figured out what your skills are, take some stock of what you love doing. Your goal should be to find a career in an area that you love that also puts your skills to good use. For example, if you enjoy looking at buildings and are good at mathematics, your dream career could be in structural engineering. When you do this, keep in mind the saying that “If you follow your passion, the money will follow.” While it is true that some jobs pay significantly more than others, most careers can lead to a salary of around $75,000 per year in their middle and upper echelons, a level of income that maximizes happiness, according to a Princeton University study. In other words, it is possible to do what you love and have enough money to be happy.
Once you have determined your dream career, do some research. If your dream job is to be a crab fisherman and you live in Iowa, you know you need to relocate. Doing research also provides a sense of what degrees, certifications or experience you need to enter a particular industry. It also should help you begin to map out your career path, according to the various options and specialties within a field.
First- and Secondhand Experiences
The two best types of research you can do when considering a career are talking to as many people in your chosen field as possible and getting as much experience as you can. Talking to people is usually a simple matter of booking informational interviews, asking a few good questions and listening carefully. One of the best ways to get experience is to volunteer for a related nonprofit organization or to find an internship; you even can do temporary work through an agency for a company in your desired industry. After you have gotten some experience and spoken to a few people, step back and reflect on what you have learned. If everything is as you expected, you should be ready to commence your new career.
Related Reading:10 Important Questions To Consider When Choosing A Career Path
Dear Funmilayo, I will close with this Steve Jobs quote it says “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”
Best of Luck as you launch to the working world! God’s got your back!