There are too many people who pick a major in college or career path based on a momentary interest or someone else’s expectations. In reality, selecting a career path demands a lot of introspection and needs to take many points into consideration. Here are 3 crucial questions you should ask yourself before you pick a career. We’ll also explain why these questions are so important in your quest for the right career path.
What Am I Good At?
You aren’t going to do well in a job that you can’t do well, no matter how much you’re passionate about it. If you’re struggling with math, you’re not going to be a good actuarial, while those who aren’t good with crafts aren’t going to make the best carpenters. So first ask what you’re good at.
You can identify what you’re good at based on what you feel you do well but ask people who are close to you what you excel at so that you can get a second opinion. If you don’t know what you’re good at, assessment tests, counseling sessions and going on workplace tours are a way to investigate further.
Can I Earn a Living at This?
Simply following your passion doesn’t always work. What you enjoy as a hobby may fast become a chore when you have to perform up to a customer’s expectations again and again. And in some cases, passions can be hard to monetize. So, look for something you like enough to keep doing, but don’t assume that your passion will result in a good paycheck.
Where Do I Want to Work?
Many of us have known someone who went into a career we could tell at the start they weren’t cut out for. It might be someone who didn’t like kids but earned an education degree because that was the best way to capitalize on their English degree. A surprising number of people go into nursing because they’re told they’re good at taking care of people and then leave the profession when exposed to the reality of the job. No one discussed alternative careers in medicine like medical imaging, medical coding and billing, pharmacy or lab work that could have capitalized on their interests and abilities but would have better suited their ideal work environment.
Another issue is lifestyle. If you want to work as a vet, you’re either going to be taking care of pets in the suburbs or livestock in the country. In some professions, late nights, working over weekends and travel are the norm and expected of everyone. The solution is to look up job descriptions on a site like jobdescriptions.net to understand what the job entails.
If you don’t want to be a doctor on call, perhaps working on a more structured schedule as a physical therapist or pharmacist is more along your lines. If you don’t want the high pressure and long hours of the law firm lawyer-track, you could earn almost as much as a mediator or paralegal.
Your ideal job is at the intersection of your abilities, your interests and your ideal lifestyle. Finding the best career path for you requires a nice dose of soul searching, research and, probably, investigating various career options.