Choosing a 'Best Fit' Career Path|
When choosing your career path, there's many important factors to consider including social interaction, earnings potential, work style and work-life balance just to name a few. Whether you're fresh out of school, mid-career or just not feeling fulfilled with your current career path, below are some great points to consider to help you make a qualified career decision.
What talents do you possess?
All of us have special talents, or certain tasks that just come natural to us. When using these talents, we're often complimented for our abilities and time has a way of passing by quickly as if we're not even working. Maybe you're artistic and like to draw? Maybe you've got a green thumb and enjoy gardening? Maybe you've got super-extraverted type A personality and you enjoy meeting new people? Understanding your natural talents, and the skills you already possess, is the first step to helping you choose the right career path. Of course we can all do many things but we're most likely to excel and spend more hours doing the things we enjoy most. Conversely, the tasks we're not so good at will seem more like work!
What is your 'natural' work style?
Whether you realize it or not, each of us already has a natural work style. Although we can adapt to different work environoments, if may conflict with our nautal style and make us very unconfortable. For example, some people are just naturally shy and intraverted and work well on their own. Although this person could try to adapt to a social work environment with lots of interaction with new people, they will likely perform best in a work environment where they can be autonomous to focus on their job duties and responsibilities without feeling uncomfortable. As another example, some people prefer a less structured work environment where they are not tied to a clock whereas others prefer one that is more structured and certain duties are outlined for them. Understanding your natural work environment is important to helping you chose an appropriate career path.
Where do you like to work?
Understanding the type of environment you work best in is very important to know. Are you the type of person that can't sit behind a desk and prefers more physical, hands-on work? Do you prefer to work in an office or do you prefer to spend your days out-and-about meeting new potential customers? Are you the type of person that prefers working from home or do you prefer a daily commute to feel like you're actually at work? Recognizing the type of environment you excel in is important to know.
Do you enjoy social interaction with others?
Are you the type of person who works best alone or do you excel when you're part of a team? Are you an independent thinker or are you inspired by the collaboration of a group setting? Understanding your comfort zone with social interaction in integral to your career choice. Some people would rather have the autonomy to work alone without the complications and frustrations or working with others. Wich are you?
How important is work-life balance to you?
Are you the type of person who prefers a structured 40-hour, Monday though Friday job where your weekends are free? Are you the type of person who prefers flexibility in their work schedule to work the hours you want, whether early morning or late a night? Are you the type of person who values a short commute to work or do you look forward to the train ride to work as a chance to relax before your work day? Understanding your work-life balance needs is important help you focus on a career path appropriate for you.
Are you seeking to give back?
Not all jobs have a component of "giving back" but many jobs do. When slecting a career, some people are most concerned about the difference they can make in others, versus themselves. For example, some people feel compelled to be a teacher because they enjoy seeing student's learn at a young age. Others become doctors becuase they enjoy making people healthy again. And yet, others may pursue a career in city government because they may want a strong, better community to live in for themselves as well as their family. Knowing that you're a person who is looking to give back can be influencial in your career path.
Are you comfortable in the public eye?
Some careers by their nature require you to be seen by the general public on a regular basis. Think of a TV anchor person, a weatherman, a spokesperson for a particular company or a city comissioner just to name a few. Are you the type of person that welcomes extra attention when spotted at the grocery store, church or even at the mall? Some people love being the center of attnetion and some people are, shall we say, are just the opposite. Understanding your comfort level in the public eye is important to know when selecting a career.
How do you handle stress?
Are you the type of person that works well under pressure or are you the type of person that easily gets frustrated? Some positions, by default, force you to deal with deadlines or customer complaints and some people easily succumb to the stress that it put on them. Conversely, some people excel at project with deadlines becuase it gives them an opportunity to promote their abilities and to stand out above the crowd. What type of person are you?
How much money do you want to make?
When seeking a career path, are you the type of person that's motivated by the earning's potential of the position are you more concerned with the life-work balance, level of stress and/or pursuing a career better suited to your natural style? Are you determined to be the bread-winner for your family or are you comfortable with being part of a two-income family? If money is the reward you seek, there are careers to match.
If picking a career path still seems stressful after reading the above, you're best option is to select a career path today by making the best informed decision you can knowing that you can change your mind in the future. In today's fast-paced workplace, people often make career changes and career moves for certain reasons. It's important to recognize that your career focus will change as time rolls on. Your needs for money, freedom, life-work balance and recognition will change as well.