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How To Choose a Career - Step By Step Guide

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Published by SetMyCareer Editorial Team on 10 August, 2023

In this article, we will give you a complete guide on how to choose a career that aligns with your interests, skills, passion and goals.

choose career

The process of choosing the right career may sound daunting. But, the right strategies and following your passion can help you succeed. Check how you can choose a career when you’re undecided.

Whether you’re a recent graduate, somewhere in between jobs, or a seasoned professional — many of us often find ourselves at the crossroads of indecisiveness on knowing whether we picked the right career path.

Choosing a career is one of the most important decisions in your life that can shape your life and future. It requires careful consideration, self-reflection, and exploration of various options.

Apart from suggestions from friends and family, here are some of the key factors that can help you pick a career path, if you feel indecisive:

  • Being uninformed or under-informed
  • Uncertain about the outcomes
  • Lack of support or a mentor

In fact, according to a study , more than 70% of surveyed employees revealed that they aren’t completely satisfied with their career path. With so many options and paths to choose from, it can be overwhelming to make a decision that will shape your future.

But, worry not! We’re here to help you with a complete step-by-step guide to finding your true calling and following your passion to turn it into a successful career.

Remember, while this guide can help you make a well-informed decision, it is imperative that you align your career path with the right skills, inner passion, and goals for the future.

In today’s digital day and age, it shouldn't be hard to find information on your desired career, right? Well, yes, kind of. While the internet and social media can help you with information on your dream career, you first need to ask yourself these four questions:

  1. What do I love?
  2. What am I good at?
  3. What can I be paid for?
  4. What does the world need?
  5. Evaluating the Job Market
  6. Making a Decision
  7. Applying for Jobs

These questions are a part of Ikigai — a Japanese concept of ‘a reason for being’. Expanding on this very thought, let’s jump right to the steps.

  1. STEP 1 Understanding Yourself

    To choose a career that brings fulfilment and satisfaction, it is crucial to understand yourself. This involves answering the four Ikigai questions and through that; identifying your interests, assessing your skills and strengths, and reflecting on your values and passions.

    • Interests
    • Skills & Strengths
    • Personality
    • Ability

    By gaining clarity about who you are and what you enjoy, you can align your career choices accordingly.

    Identifying Your Interests

    Start by exploring your interests and hobbies. What activities bring you joy and a sense of fulfilment? Consider your favorite subjects in school, extracurricular activities, and personal projects.

    Make a list of these interests and reflect on how they can translate into potential career paths.

    Eg: If you are interested in songs, Music etc then you can add careers like singer, music instrument player or music director to your career list.

    Tapping Into Your Skills & Strengths

    Take inventory of your skills and strengths. What are you naturally good at? Consider both hard skills (technical abilities) and soft skills (communication, problem-solving, leadership).

    Reflect on past experiences and accomplishments to identify patterns and areas where you excel.

    "Reflecting on Your Values and Passions" is an important step in choosing a career that aligns with your personal beliefs and brings you fulfillment. Here's a further explanation of this section.

    When reflecting on your values and passions, you delve deeper into what truly matters to you. It involves understanding the principles and causes that resonate with your core being.

    By considering these aspects, you can identify career paths that allow you to make a positive impact and find a sense of purpose in your work.

    Get To Know Your Personality and Ability

    Understanding what kind of a person you are becomes a cakewalk when you seek Career counselling and aid Psychometric Career Test to further validate your choice of career. You can also read books on types of personality and traits an individual possesses to have a better understanding of your own traits and whether they align with your passion

    Ability is usually defined as “possessing talent, skill, or proficiency in a particular area”, and the same applies to your hunt to find the right job. You may be excellent at Maths when you were young, but that doesn't necessarily mean you can become a Financial Analyst without complementary skills.

  2. STEP 2 Exploring Career Options

    Now that you have a better understanding of yourself, it's time to explore different career options. The second step of exploring a career involves researching industries and professions, seeking advice from professionals, and utilizing career assessment tools to broaden your knowledge and perspective.

    Researching Industries and Professions

    Begin by researching various industries and professions that align with your interests and skills. Use online career resources, books, and industry publications to gather information about different career paths as well as the domain you’d like to work for.

    Examine the roles, necessary qualifications, and prospective advancements associated with your chosen field.

    It's vital to project into the future and assess the longevity of your desired career. While many careers remain enduring and relevant over the decades, a few may not extend across a decade. If you're concerned that your passion may not sustain itself in the long run, don't worry. You have the option to continually enhance your skills or acquire related ones through upskilling.

    Seeking Advice from Professionals

    Connect with professionals who are already working in the fields you're considering. Reach out to them through networking events, social media platforms, or professional organizations. You can even personally ask them How To Choose A Career based on your experience

    Request informational interviews to gain insights into their day-to-day work, challenges, and the overall career trajectory within their industry.

    • Interview with a Graphic Designer - Watch
    • Content Writer Office Vlog - Watch
    • A Day in the Life of a Product Manager - Watch

    Make The Most Out Of Career Assessment Tools

    Consider using Psychometric career testing tools to gain further clarity about your career preferences. These tools often include personality assessments, interest inventories, and skills assessments.

    They can provide valuable Career Guidance and insights into potential career matches based on your strengths, values, and interests.

  3. STEP 3 Setting Goals and Priorities

    With a broader understanding of career options, it's important to set goals and priorities that align with your long-term vision.

    Define your long-term goals, evaluate potential career paths, and find a balance between passion and practicality — and voila! You’re now all set to gain practical experience.

  4. STEP 4 Gaining Practical Experience

    To make an informed career choice, it's essential to gain practical experience in your areas of interest. Do your research about relevant internships, volunteering opportunities, and networking. One of the most effective ways to get hands-on experience in your dream career is to shadow Working Professionals in the field of your interest. Here are a few tips on making the most out of the practical experience through shadowing:

    To make an informed career choice, it's essential to gain practical experience in your areas of interest. This step involves internships, volunteering, networking, and shadowing professionals in your field of interest.

    • Find a professional contact through networking events or communities
    • Connect with them and ask questions regarding their experience on the job
    • Prepare ahead of time and do your research on the kind of insights you seek
  5. STEP 5 Evaluating the Job Market

    Evaluating the job market is an essential step in choosing a career. It involves assessing the demand and growth potential of different industries, considering salary and compensation, and researching job market trends.

    Assessing the Demand and Growth Potential

    When evaluating the job market, it's important to consider the demand for professionals in the field you're interested in. Look into the current and projected employment rates for specific industries or occupations using websites like Glassdoor and Fishbowl.

    Considering Salary and Compensation

    Salary and compensation are significant considerations when choosing a career. Research the average salary range for the positions you're interested in within your geographical location. Take into account factors such as experience level, educational qualifications, and industry-specific certifications that can impact earning potential. But, don’t forget to remember the power of passion you hold!

  6. STEP 6 Making a Decision

    Making a decision about your career involves weighing the pros and cons, seeking Career guidance and counselling from mentors or career counsellors, and trusting your instincts.

    Make a decision on the selected career by listing out the pros and cons. Here are a few factors you can keep in account while weighing your options:

    Pros Cons
    Job Security High levels of stress
    Opportunity for growth Long working hours
    Financial stability Limited work-life balance
    Personal fulfillment High competition
    Skill development Uncertainty in the job market
  7. STEP 7 Resume/CV Preparation

    Create or update your resume/ CV to highlight your skills, qualifications, work experience, and education. Tailor your resume/ CV to match the requirements of the specific job you are applying for.

    Don’t sound too superficial while drafting your cover letter. Consider putting yourself in the future employer's shoes and gauging your cover letter on how they would react or feel. Keep the below tips in mind while drafting your cover letter:

    • Have a strong opening statement about what you bring to the table.
    • Exude confidence and enthusiasm, while being creative.
    • Talk about your skills and experience.
    • Show you've done some research.
  8. STEP 8 Apply For Jobs

    Start applying for the job you have laid your eyes on. Feel free to review the company on professional special media websites such as LinkedIn or Foundit before applying.

    Application Submission

    Submit your application through the specified channels, which may include online forms, email, or company portals. Pay attention to any additional documents or information required, such as cover letters, writing samples, or references.

End Notes

We hope you got a clear understanding of how to choose a career with the help of Scientific Career Guidance and Counselling. Choosing a career is a significant decision that requires careful thought and consideration.

It is essential to understand your interests, strengths, and values to align them with potential career paths. Assessing your skills, researching different industries, and exploring various opportunities can provide valuable insights to make an informed choice.

Looking for job satisfaction on the long run?

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