4 Factors to Consider When Choosing Your Career Path

By Mildred Delgado - April 27th, 2020

long view of a road

On average, we spend around one-third of our lives at work. Therefore, it is important to pause and reflect on the type of career, job, and field of work that we would want to spend that amount of time in. It is said that those who enjoy their job never work a day in their life. Meaning that in addition to choosing a vocation that best matches your skills, it is also important to embark on a career that you enjoy, that sparks your interest and gives you a sense of purpose. So, if you are wondering which long-term career you may be most suited to, and how to go about achieving your goals, below are some of the key factors to consider when making your choice.

  1. Personality

    One of the most valuable things to consider is the nature of your personality and the level of satisfaction that you would like to achieve from your work. Someone who is extraverted enjoys interacting with others and finds job satisfaction in roles that require a lot of socializing. Extraverts perform well in areas such as sales and marketing, medicine, healthcare, and customer service. “Extraverts may find themselves unhappy in a job that requires them to work alone for extended periods. On the contrary, those who are more introverted usually prefer to work alone or in smaller groups. Careers in freelance writing and editing, software engineering and paralegal are mostly populated by introverts,” explains Fiona Adams, a writer at 1 Day 2 Write and Write My X.

  2. Lifestyle

    It’s important to strike a balance between what you need and what you want. Geography is also another factor to consider. If you are someone who does not like hustle and bustle, you may not want to pursue a city-based career that involves a long commute. Likewise, if you are someone who loves the fast-paced city life, you may not want to settle in a job that requires you to work in remote locations. However, it is important not to place yourself into a box! Remember that people are complicated, and personality works on a spectrum.

  3. Transferrable Skills

    “So, you know the type of career that you want, but what is the best way to go about getting that dream job? Try choosing a path that utilizes the skills that you already have or learn garner skills that will take you in a new direction,” says Rachel Christensen, an educator at Britstudent and NextCoursework. Matching your future career to your current skill set may mean that your interests and experience are better aligned, making success come easier. For example, a car mechanic who’s tired of working in a repair shop may take an engineering course so they can work on design projects in an office instead. Not only does the former mechanic now have new design skills, but their prior knowledge in the industry will also be a great advantage in the new role.

  4. A New Path

    If it is a complete change that you are looking for, you can study something entirely different by going back to school or college, or gaining experience in a new industry by starting in an entry-level position. However, you may have commitments that mean you are unable to take a career break or temporary pay cut while you re-train. In that case, look for ways to enroll in an online or evening course. Online courses are very flexible and can work around your current job. Always remember that when you embark on a new career path, employers will consider your previous experience as valuable, even if it is in an unrelated field.

    So, when considering your long-term career path, it is wise to spend time reflecting on several factors and practicalities that will impact overall job satisfaction. Finding a balance between personality and job role is crucial in finding long-term happiness in your work, especially since we spend around eight hours a day in our chosen field of expertise. Managing practical elements, like the time it takes to train, and locational job prospects will save a lot of stress, allowing you to enjoy the work that you do. Exploring all corners of your individuality will help you find a career that challenges and inspires you.

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