“Take care to get what you like, or you will be forced to like what you get.” This popular quote by George Bernard Shaw is an aphorism for almost every decision you make in life and is especially true when choosing a career.
By working a well-suited job, you boost your chances of success and happiness. Make a bad choice and risk your future prosperity.
Standard career advice involves reflecting for days on end until your true talent is discovered. Perhaps take a career test or quiz to help identify what piques your interest and motivation. However, it’s undeniable that each person’s abilities are built rather than discovered. And the problem is that these methods don’t work all the time.
Research shows that it’s almost impossible to predict what you’ll be good at, especially when following gut instincts. Instead, the ultimate way to find the right career is to investigate, learn, and try out the available options. This process involves looking outwards rather than inwards.
Why Job Satisfaction is Important
On average, we spend a staggering 30 percent of our lives at work. It’s therefore crucial to feel good about what you’re doing. If you’re bored or unmotivated, it can have serious repercussions on your mental and physical health. Long periods of time spent in a job that is monotonous and unsatisfying can lead to high levels of stress. It also becomes harder to achieve progress in a career that is meaningless and unrewarding. In contrast, if you feel excited, passionate, and happy about your work, there’s a greater chance of achieving growth and success.
How to Choose the Right Career
Getting a sense of your own personality and source of motivation forms the backbone of making good career decisions. The problem is, our career choices are often affected by bias.
According to research, early-career preferences are predominantly cultivated by extrinsic factors such as parental influence, peer pressure, status, and media. These preferences tend to take a backseat when you actually start thinking responsibly about your career interests.
Additionally, it becomes more difficult to make a change after starting off on a specific career path. You’ll feel increasing pressure to continue in the same direction as transitioning often means resetting and taking a pay cut.
But, there’s no time like the present, and being proactive in making career decisions should be a crucial attribute for everyone involved in the job market.
Researching options can help you understand your strengths and eventually discover the right path for you. Listed below are some factors that provide a framework for you to make a good career choice:
1. Explore Your Interests
Interests are not something that you get to decide. They're either inherently present or they get cultivated over time. According to the Holland codes, there are six types of interest:
- Realistic (Doers)
- Investigative (Thinkers)
- Artistic (Creators)
- Social (Helpers)
- Enterprising (Persuaders)
- Conventional (Organizers)
Depending on how your interests are aligned, you’ll be better suited to some jobs over others. We recommend exploring your interests and looking more into the Holland Occupational Themes.
2. Understand Your Personality Type
Once you understand your personality type, it becomes easier to narrow down your career options.
If you enjoy social interactions and group gatherings, chances are you’re an extrovert. You’ll prefer jobs that involve dealing with people like sales development, project management, and social media management.
Introverts aren’t too concerned about socializing or interacting with people. They prefer focusing on a single task and take great pride in their work. Data analysis, software engineering, and accountancy are perfect roles for this personality type.
There’s a lot more to understanding your personality than simply looking at introverted and extroverted characteristics. The Myers-Briggs indicator is a popular tool used for assessing personalities. It contains 16 different personality types in total. While this seems like a wide-ranging scale, some experts say that 16 categories aren’t enough and the indicator oversimplifies things.
To learn more about personality types and how they can help you find your perfect career, we recommend doing some background research on the subject.
3. Leverage Your Skills
Your skillset is shaped by your background, education, and previous work experience. Skills fall into two categories, transferrable soft skills, and technical hard skills.
Valuable soft skills include:
- Time Management
Soft skills are transferrable and can be used across different jobs irrespective of the type of work.
Hard skills require industry-specific knowledge and are only applicable to individual roles. You’ll need focused training to learn and practice these skills.
Choosing a career that requires some of the skills (or similar skills) that you already possess is a smart move. But if there is a gap in your skillset, consider filling it with an intensive online bootcamp. These courses are laser-focused and teach the very latest tools and techniques. They’re designed by experts to get you up to speed, fast. Contact our admission team for more information on the programs we provide.
4. Find the Ideal Work Environment
The work environment includes aspects like the number of working hours, the type of people you’ll work with, and the management structure of the company. It could also include aspects like travel opportunities, the actual workplace environment, and the workplace location. You may choose a perfect career, one that you’re interested in and passionate about. But if you don’t enjoy the work environment it could result in frustration.
5. Enroll in an Internship
After you’ve done some inner searching, completed all your research, and finally selected a career path, consider applying for an internship position.
Internships can provide you with an incredible amount of experience and on-the-job learning. This will improve your resume and help you land a well-paid position in the future. Some internships can even lead to full-time employment once the term is completed.
The real advantage of an internship is that you get to try out your profession before committing any further. You might find that the role isn’t quite what you expected, in which case you can take what you learned and continue your search.
6. Consider Your Constraints
Career selection can be constrained by various factors like geographical or financial limitations, family responsibilities, and your qualifications or skills. If you have a career path mapped out but are held back by something, try to develop a plan of action. It may involve relocating or leveling-up your professional skills with online training courses.
7. Research Your Choices
Researching specific careers online can provide a wealth of information. From detailed job descriptions and required skills to average salaries and projected future growth. You can check out our blog for insights into a range of popular tech careers. While plenty of information can be gathered from online research, there’s nothing better than taking a more direct approach. Talk to professionals currently in the field and find out as much as you can about the role. You can find contact details from company websites or even attend industry conferences. Existing professionals will be brutally honest and give you a real insight into the work that’s actually done in the role. It’s then up to you to decide if their real-life accounts match your expectations.
8. Continue Learning
You should constantly evaluate your strengths and weaknesses. Improving your existing skills and learning new tools and techniques can give you insight into the aspects of your job that you really enjoy Look to fill any skill gaps with extra training. You can take on voluntary work, complete an internship, work in community development programs, or take on small freelance projects. This will ensure you’re constantly gaining new experience and developing your skills. We provide online bootcamps in software engineering, data science, project management, and many other tech fields. Our intensive courses have been put together by leading industry experts who understand exactly what skills you need. Our aim is to provide practical hands-on learning to help you land a well-paid job in your chosen field.
9. Consider Starting a Business
If you’re bored and dissatisfied with your current profession, it can be tempting to start your very own business. However, it’s important to understand the reality of creating a new start-up. You'll need to be clear about your area of interest, your business idea, and your commitment to that idea. You’ll also need to perform detailed market research, write a business plan, identify potential investors, and define the scope of the business. You should also accept the fact that in the early days you’ll have a very low income, if at all.
Make A Change and Discover Your Ideal Career
Hopefully, you now have a solid starting base from which to choose your future career. Learning what career is right for you can be a challenging process. Many of us don’t get it exactly right the first time, and that’s ok. Rest assured, you always have the option to change direction and reskill in an area that makes you happy. Feel free to browse our tech careers blog for further inspiration on trending careers.