16 Factors to Consider Before Choosing A Career

Some key factors to consider before choosing a career are your interests, skills, education, personal values and the average industry salary.

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Do you dream of working in the aviation industry as a pilot or an air hostess? Is it the armed forces that fascinate you or other security services?

Maybe all you want is to become a globe-trotting politician or entrepreneur.

Of late, there is a growing crop of entrepreneurs in the digital economy who love to be called digital nomads.

Popular professions in this sphere include blogging, YouTube video making and freelancing. Is that what you want to do for the next several years of your life?

Tread carefully

Whatever the kind of career path you wish to pursue, know that there are certain factors you need to consider so you will not regret your decision later.

The question is, what are the important factors to keep in mind when considering a career?

Should it be just the pay involved? Must you settle for a career based on pressure from your parents or peers?

Honestly, I don’t think so.

In this post, I’ve assembled for you some key factors anyone needs to consider before choosing a career.

Let’s get them without any further delay.

Disclaimer

I need to put it on record that I am not a professional career coach but one who writes out of my decades-long experience as a self-employed teacher and entrepreneur.

At a certain stage in my life, I decided that my personal values and long-term goals would better be served if I switched over from a 9 to 5 job to full-time self-employment.

I’ve since not looked back despite the fact that the road has been rough and rocky. The reason is I feel happier and love my freedom as a self-employed individual with full control over my time and my earnings.

Therefore, every point I make here is based on my real-life practical experience.

With that out of the way, let’s move on.

1. Your Interests and Passions Matter

Start by identifying your interests and passions. What do you genuinely enjoy doing?

A career aligned with your interests is more likely to be fulfilling. You will also serve your clients and country better in a profession you truly love.

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2. Consider Your Skills and Strengths

Assess your skills and strengths. Consider what you excel at and what you could improve. A career that leverages your strengths can lead to success.

On the other hand, when you choose a career but lack the required skills, attitude and stamina, you may end up becoming stuck in drudgery, incompetence and misery.

3. Evaluate Your Weak Areas

You may have to forget about becoming a statistician, for example, if you have always performed poorly in Mathematics.

I personally fancied athletes and wish I could run and become famous like one of those great names you know.

But here is the truth. It was like my Creator made me solely for the last position in every race. Forget about the genders involved.

So I never chose that career and I’m happy I didn’t.

4. What Are Your Education and Training Like

Determine the level of education or training required for your dream career. Some professions may require specific degrees or certifications.

Have you reached that level already? Do you believe you’ve got what it takes to get there?

Your answers must guide whatever career choice you end up with.

5. Assess the Market Demand

Prominent among the major factors to consider when choosing a career is the existing market for such a job and its future prospects.

Research the job market to understand the demand for your chosen career.

Are there job opportunities available, and is the field growing or declining? Make sure to find convincing answers to these questions.

6. Salary and Fringe Benefits

Consider the potential salary and compensation in your chosen career.

Yes, I agree that money isn’t everything. Still, it’s important to have a reasonable expectation of income.

After all, we both know that the primary objective of any career search is to at least achieve a reasonable level of financial stability.

7. A Healthy Work-Life Balance

Note that some professions may demand long hours or frequent travel, while others offer more flexibility.

Think about the work hours and lifestyle associated with the career you want to choose.

Is it something you’re comfortable with given your values and life goals?

8. Job Security

Find out what the level of job security in your desired field is like. Are there frequent acquisitions and mergers in that company? Does management lay off workers at short notice?

In the world of work, some careers tend to be more stable than others. You may have to settle on a career that will make long-term financial planning as easy as possible.

9. Company Culture

If you have a specific company or industry in mind, research the culture and values of potential employers.

How well do the company’s business practices and ethics align with your cherished values?

A good fit with the organizational culture can contribute to job satisfaction.

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10. Consider the Location

The city, state or region where you may be posted is among the critical factors to consider when choosing a career.

It is important that you consider where you as an individual would prefer to live and work.

Some careers may be more region-specific, so your choice could influence where you reside.

11. Long-Term Goals Matter

Reflect on your long-term goals and how the chosen career aligns with them. Will it provide opportunities for growth and advancement?

For example, if your aim is to eventually branch into the technology industry, you may have to choose a career that will present you with opportunities to learn and gather as much experience in that field as possible.

12. Availability of Networking Opportunities

Building a professional network is crucial in today’s work environment. So this is among the essential factors to consider before choosing a career.

Find out if your job will allow you to connect with individuals in your desired field so that you can gain insights and discover potential opportunities for growth and success.

13. Job Market Trends

You also need to consider the job market trends in that particular industry. Do some research and find out what is happening and what may happen in the future.

Staying updated on industry trends and developments will unearth certain facts that will help you in your final choice of career.

For example, is it a rapidly changing field? This may require continuous learning and adaptability.

14. Your Personal Values

As I told you in the beginning, a major factor that influence my decision to change careers when I was barely thirty and move into self-employment had to do with the values I hold dear.

During this period, certain factors have made life difficult for me on a good number of occasions but I remain largely happy and satisfied with my choice of career.

This is because the things I would have been forced to do in my previous public-servant job would have run counter to my cherished values while refusing to do them wouldn’t make life easy for me either.

So seek a career that aligns with your values and sense of purpose. Doing what you know is right will make you live a truly fulfilling intentional life even if the pay is not very big.

15. What Others Are Saying

It is true that intentional living demands that we do not allow what others think, say or do dictate how we choose to live our lives. And that equally goes for when we need to choose the right career path.

However, taking into consideration what you heard or read can positively inform your final decision.

So it isn’t about taking what others are saying. Instead, we want to consider as many opinions as possible regarding a particular career path.

I think this is the essence of accessing the services of a career coach or doing thorough research before making a career decision.

16. Money Isn’t Everything

Finally, for someone who dreams of a simplified life lived on purpose, you need to place most other considerations above the attractiveness of the paycheck.

The same goes for other indirect benefits associated with a particular job or industry.

I personally know people who have no problem taking up a job in a corrupt work environment where it is easy to take or pay bribes and embezzle employers’ funds.

You need to ask yourself if you are that kind of person. Will your conscience forgive you for such a behaviour?

Do you place a high premium on integrity, for example? Then you may not fit in well with a company that is happy with its culture of corruption.

Remember that you may end up having sleepless nights for the rest of your life if you exchange your personal values for ill-gotten wealth.

Final Thoughts

Now you know the main factors to consider before choosing a career.

Remember that every career choice is ultimately a personal decision. It’s okay to seek advice from mentors, career counsellors, or professionals in your field of interest.

Additionally, be open to the idea that your career path may evolve over time. Never must you forget that flexibility and a commitment to lifelong learning are valuable assets in today’s ever-changing job landscape.

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16 Factors to Consider Before Choosing A Career

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