Tips for Choosing a Career

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Choosing a career is one of the most important decisions you will ever make. Most people spend half or more of their waking hours five days a week at their jobs. While selecting a career can be a difficult process, the following tips can make this process easier for you.

  1. Extensive reading about potential careers is vital. You will discover details about careers that you were not aware of. It's important to collect vital information such as career descriptions, career outlooks, employment statistics, educational requirements, and potential earnings.
  2. Interviewing people in the field is an excellent way to learn about the various aspects of a career. Doing this may also provide good networking opportunities. Informational interviews often change a person's perspective about an occupation. You can find interview candidates by asking friends, teachers, members of an alumni association, and neighbors. You can also contact relevant professional associations and societies and visit appropriate social and professional networking sites online.
  3. Internships provide excellent opportunities for acquiring a realistic, clear picture about the daily duties and job satisfaction in a particular occupation. Also, internships provide valuable networking opportunities that may lead to a job. Further, companies often hire interns that perform well. Volunteering also provides many of the advantages of an internship.
  4. Find a mentor. Many colleges and employers have a formal mentoring program. Also, formal mentoring organizations are available that match mentors with individuals. It's a great way to learn about a career, and a mentor can provide valuable networking opportunities. "Mentworking" is a new trend which combines mentoring and networking, and which has shown good results.
  5. The possibility for a job being outsourced to foreign countries is an important consideration. Job outsourcing information and forecasts can be collected from sources such as articles on the Internet, magazine articles, college counselors, career counselors, professors, employment agencies, and relevant professional associations.
  6. Look for lists of "hot jobs" on the Internet and in magazines. Do this frequently since these lists keep changing. A "hot job" today may not be "hot" next year or the year after. When evaluating these lists, keep in mind your interests, skills, and job satisfaction requirements.
  7. Many community colleges have career centers that provide free individual and group career counseling. Career counselors can provide assistance with the self-evaluation process, career selection process, and the job search process.
  8. Take into consideration the number of job opportunities in your area for each career you are considering. This is vital if you intend to stay in your current location.
  9. The skills required for a career are an essential factor for an individual's potential for success in that career. Write a list of the skills needed for a particular field. Place a check next to each skill you possess. The more checks you make, the more likely this field is right for you.
  10. Your aptitudes should be a vital factor in your career selection process. A gratifying career is often built upon a match with what you are naturally good at. Natural strengths allow an individual to work with ease and to acquire expertise faster.
  11. Explore the advancement opportunities of each potential occupation. Does advancement require additional education? Will additional education and certification provide you with a significant advantage over the competition? Are supervisory and management opportunities available?

Following the tips provided in this article will help you choose a career that is right for you.


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