How to Choose a Career (5 Effective Steps to Take)

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With thousands of career opportunities out there, how to choose a career can be quite daunting especially when it is your first time making the decision.

If you are confused on the career to choose, the tasks may be extremely tough. But with the right steps on how to choose a career that has helped a lot of people that was once in the same situation you are in now choose a perfect career, you too will be able to choose the perfect career for yourself.

Want to know the proven steps on how to choose a career? Take a deep breath, we got you covered. This guide on the effective steps to take on how to choose a career will take you to the right career path.

What is a Career?

A lot of people mistake a career to be a job. The latter, a job is a task or piece of work, especially one that is paid, while a career is an occupation undertaken for a significant period of a person’s life and with opportunities for progress.

How to Choose a Career

How to choose a career - steps

If you are undecided on the career path to take, or if you have been changing from one career to another continuously, the below effective steps on how to choose  career is all you need in choosing a well-round perfect career for yourself.

1. Assess Yourself

Before you make any critical decision in life, you must do a self-reflection. Same thing applies to choosing a career, the first step to take on how to choose a career is by assessing yourself.

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It is important you know yourself well enough before making up your mind on the career path to take. There are lots of career opportunities out there, but if you don’t do a thorough self-assessment, you may end up choosing the wrong career.

As a professional, self-assessment helps you learn more about your professional life, your personality, qualities, soft and hard skills, the type of work environment you would love to be in, and lots more.

If you want to assess yourself, below are helpful questions you can use to lasses yourself. Don’t think too deep when noting your answers to the questions. The things that come to your mind immediately you sight the questions are probably the best answers to note down.

Self assessment questions:

  • What are your key values?
  • What subject do you perform well at, and why?
  • What interpersonal skills do you possess?
  • What technical skills do you possess?
  • What’s your personality like?
  • What are you interests?

2. Build a List of Careers

After you undergo the above self assessment, the next step to take on how to choose a career is by building a list of careers to explore.

You should be able to come up with career opportunitiesto write down, preferably 10 – 20 careers. Do not hesitate to note every job that come to your mind as a result of the self assessment. This is not the time to be laser-focused on a dream career. Besides, it is best not to be head-strong on a particular career, your main motive should be to choose a career that you have the strengths, skills, qualities, and interest to work proficiently.

Remember – There is more than one path to your dream career, and there are more than one dream career.

3. Research and Shortlist the Careers

Now that you have a list of career to choose  from, probably 10 – 20 career path, the next step to take on how to choose a career is to research each careers in order to shortlist only the top important ones.

To keep an open mind, you should have about 2 -5 careers on your shortlist because there is absolutely more than one dream career waiting for you out there.

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If any of the career doesn’t seem to match your salary expectation, qualification and education (if you don’t intend furthering to the level required), then you should strike it out of the list.

Below are factors to consider when short listing the careers;

  • Day-to-day activities at work: This is an important factor to consider when short listing careers on how to choose a career. You want to know if you can cope with the daily activities that you will involve in when given an opportunity or even job in the career. You can ask your friends, family, or any network that has a connection in the career you are researching.
  • Salary: Do you have a minimum salary expectation you will like to be receiving even as a started? I wouldn’t bother asking if you have a maximum salary expectation. Who doesn’t want a ridiculous fat pay? To get an idea of the salary to expect for any job, visit PayScale, type the work you want and search.
  • Job requirements: Before choosing a career path to take, it is best you pay close attention to the job requirement section in the job description. These include qualification, education, interpersonal skills, technical skills, and experience. If you don’t possess the mandatory requirements for the job, there is no need choosing the career if you don’t want to spend years job hunting.
  • Added Bonuses: Benefits like travel, health allowances, growth opportunities, are good factors to consider when choosing a career. You can ask any of your network that ahs connection in the field, or check the companies you will want to apply for websites and press releases to learn more about what they have as their bonuses.

4. Make your Career Choice

After you have done your research and shortlisted 2 – 5 top careers, the next step to take on how to choose a career is to make your career choice from the information you gathered during your research.

From your research, you should know the one that best fits you, and provide you with the top opportunities you clamour for.

Choosing a choice career doesn’t have to be a like a last prayers where you won’t be able to go back to it. You still have about 1 -4 careers left that you shortlisted (if you follow my advise on short listing 2 -5 careers) you can change to. Many people change their career a few times, so you changing your career wouldn’t make you odd.

5. Improve your Skills and Apply for Jobs

Get into training to improve your skills. If the career you selected require more qualities than you already have, and you are sure that it is the best career choice to make, improve your skills. It can be going for training programs, online courses, taking a degree course in school, or even doing volunteering.

After you are all set, the final step to take on how to choose a career which is the ultimate task to accomplish, is securing a job in the career. There are effective job hunting tips you can learn to make the entire process of searching a job in the career easier and faster.

Conclusion

Knowing how to choose a career is crucial information you need before going out there to look for jobs. Choosing the right career will save you a lot of time searching for jobs without getting a result since you are not meant for the career path, or help you to avoid changing from one career to the other.

That’s it on our guide on effective steps to take on how to choose a career.

Now I’d like to hear what you have to say:

Hope you found this guide helpful?

Which steps from today’s guide do you want to try first?

Are you going to try all?

Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below right now.

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About Author

Sistus Obi is a content writer at Recruitment Trust. Sistus is also a tech savvy, and a computer scientist

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