Choosing a career path is one thing that has got so many frustrated due to the challenges it poses. So many factors to be considered when choosing a career path exist and making informed decisions about these factors are essential. People have failed to fulfil their dreams in life because they made the wrong choices when it comes to these considerations.
Most times choosing the right career path is a two-way decision – that is, you have to choose the best option and leave the other. Forgone alternative. To a young school leaver who is still, unaware of his surroundings, decision making about a career path is really difficult.
In this post, we put together every necessary information needed to guide you in choosing a career path. We also put in place Factors to consider when choosing a career and define some keywords to guide anyone who still asks the question “What is a career path?
Table of Contents
What is a Career?
A career is a person’s course throughout life. This means that a career is a range of processes of one’s life, learning and work. In this post, we will take a career to mean an occupation or a profession that is usually acquired through special training or formal education.
A career is in this regard a lineup of related jobs that are usually carried out within a particular industry or sector. This career forms a pattern for the individual’s life.
There are over one thousand careers in different sectors.
One can choose to be any of the following:
- Legal Secretary,
- Health Administrator,
- Graphic Designer,
- Business Manager,
- Physical Trainers
- Video Producer
- Audio Producer
- Art Therapist, etc.
There are so many other careers one can choose from apart from the above listed. Choosing a career can be challenging as there is no guarantee of success in a particular career. This is because some who are in the career already failed while others succeeded.
In other words, there is no arithmetic to succeed in a given career but there are some factors to consider when choosing a career path. This is why we have written down this post, Choosing A Career Path: What to consider when choosing a career path, to put you a step ahead.
What is a Career Path?
A career path is said to be the stage of progress in a given career. It is made up of the positions (ranks) occupied as one climbs the rungs of a chosen career or grows in his or her field. The beginning of a career path is usually marked by your first job or college degree. Advancement/progress is made as one gains additional knowledge and skills which propels him into more advanced roles.
Possible Career Paths
Listed below are a few examples of possible career paths available in various careers and professions listed above.
- Marketing: Public Relations Assistant → Public Relations Representative → Assistant Director of PR → Director of Communications
- Education: Teacher → Curriculum Coordinator → Assistant Principal → Principal
- Human Resources: HR Assistant → HR Specialist → Assistant Director of HR → Director of HR
- Retail: Sales Associate → Cashier → Assistant Manager → Store Manager → Regional Manager
- Editorial: Intern → Editorial Assistant → Assistant Editor → Editor → Senior Editor → Executive Editor → Editor-in-Chief
Factors To Consider When Choosing A Career Path
To succeed in a chosen career, there are some factors to consider when choosing a career path. To some persons, choosing a career may seem easy, and they do not ask questions about what career suits them best. They regret their decisions in the later stages of their career path because they made no considerations before choosing such a career.
The mistakes most people make when choosing a career could be remedied if the under listed factors to consider when choosing a career are made diligently. What to consider when choosing a career may be divided into two – constants and variables. The variables include the availability of finance, location and market demand whereas interests, behaviours and talents are considered as constant.
Your career path is what gives information about your goals, plans for the future and who you become (personality). When making the choice of career path, considering the following factors are essential. These factors will make or mar your choice of a career and enable you to make the right choice about where to start or change position in the course of your career.
The following factors are what to consider when choosing a career path.
Your Long-Term Career Goal and Purpose
When considering a career, you need to self-examine yourself to know what your purpose for such a career is. To everything, there is a purpose and for every action, there is an interest. So, people have unique goals they intend to fulfil in life. These goals must be considered before a career is chosen and every possible career should align to fulfilling these goals.
In order to ensure that your career aligns with your long-term career goal and purpose, consider asking yourself these questions.
- What are my core values?
- My expectations from my career are what and what?
- What interests me the most?
- What are my strength and weaknesses?
Having noted down these questions, answering them sincerely to yourself means you are making headway in choosing a career. One important thing is this if your answers do not satisfy you, it means you may end up in regrets if you proceed with your choice. Then you need a switch. But if it does, then it means your career aligns with your goals and purpose. This will definitely bring you satisfaction in the long run and make you fulfilled.
Another good reason to consider this factor in choosing a career is to help you switch careers if need be. You can revisit your career goal often as you continue to grow in other to ascertain that your goals remain realistic and your interests are not compromised.
Your Personality Type (Attitude and Behaviour)
Your attitude and behaviour towards some things are to be considered in choosing a career. One’s personality type can be determined based on his reactions to different situations. Some attitudes and behaviour are naturally considered for specific careers.
For instance, someone who is allergic to blood will find it difficult to associate with hospital-related careers. Hence this type of person cannot successfully be a medical practitioner and even if he becomes, attaining the peak of his career may be impossible.
But if you find yourself to be patient and tolerant, obviously a career in paediatrics may be suitable for you. Hence consider your attitude when choosing a career.
This factor although may be neglected, but it counts massively when certain careers are involved. The availability of funds has been a determining factor of career choice. So many have been denied their dream careers as a result of financial incapability.
6 out of 10 will tell you that what they are doing now was never what they planned to do as kids. But because of financial constraints, they had no choice but to be where they are today. Some careers require funding to actualise, and when the necessary financing is not available, this dream dies off.
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After thorough research of the necessary financial need of a given career, it is advised you sit down and understand your (family/sponsor’s) budget to know if you can fund it.
For instance, somebody that wants to study medicine in the best ranking schools should know that it requires funding. Generally, the cost of studying medicine is twice the cost of studying other courses in the university. So, financially standing, one may not be able to pursue a career in medicine.
The Market Demand and Supply
The demand for some professionals is higher compared to some other professionals. The need for a particular service will necessitate the demand of a related professional. In today’s society, Information Technology has taken the core employment sectors and technologists are in high demand.
Also, the demand for medical professionals are in high demand and a career in a related field may be considered. Other factors such as geographical location and climate may also influence the choice of a career. The demand for a particular career is associated with the place. What may be considered a thriving career in Africa may not be lucrative in Europe or America and vice versa.
Careers in high demand are majorly those that align with daily human needs. For instance, the services of a plumber may not be in high demand in Nigeria, but in the US, they have highly sought after. In other words, the need for a particular could be associated with the location.
In truth, most people consider this factor before choosing a career. On factors to consider when choosing a career path, earning is paramount. Different career path has a variety of income range. It is true that the amount you earn from your dream job does not determine your satisfaction in a given job.
The amount you are likely to earn at an entry level and what you will be likely earning at retirement should enable you to make a choice whether you should continue or not. A nice paying career to some extent assures you of a brighter future and enables you to make savings. This in turn would empower you to achieve more at a younger age.
It is advised that you find out the possible salaries for a given careen in other to choose the best.
Time and Age
When choosing a career, you have to check your age already. Some careers are considered long term careers while others are short term. Certain careers are suitable for certain ages. Some careers require to be started at a very young age while others can be started at any age.
The time frame to complete the acquisition of the necessary skills for a given career can also be so long. This requires that anyone who wishes to undertake such a course should be ready and patient enough in other not to get frustrated out.
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Some careers such as surgeon take a long time to acquire the requisite skills and as such this career demands to be started at a very young age. Someone who wishes to become a University lecturer should also understand that the career demands a series of academic formations and will take time to accomplish. By the time he finishes his bachelor’s, the master’s follows and finally PhD. So it requires starting at a young age in other to fulfil this dream.
Core Values, Talents and Interests
Everyone is given one gift or another and everyone knows what he or she can do willingly without force or supervision. To know about your interests, values and talents, consider answering these questions;
- What interests you most?
- What do you see yourself doing without being asked?
- Do you have a flair for anything, what is that?
Giving yourself answers to these questions puts you on the right track in choosing a career. Students who develop a certain interest in science are usually advised to go for medicine, astronomy, engineering and the likes, while those who know their prowess in arts are encouraged to take up courses in law, music, communication etc.
In regards to talents, some are gifted with different talents – kids on the street play football and you see some of them doing magic with the football on their feet. These kids are encouraged to pick up careers in professional football. Some make music just by the random sound they hear around them, these ones will definitely do exploits in the music industry than in football or even academics.
Values are also essential in making a career choice. Partaking in what you find personally fulfilling will make it easier and more satisfying. These values can be of help in finding fields or niches you are passionate about.
The decision of a career choice is not something that one wakes up one morning and do. Choosing a career path and factors to consider when choosing a career path is what demands time to do. To succeed in any given career, one needs to make informed decisions and that is the major reason we have shared this post with our readers.
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