How to Choose a Career Path

Before we go into choosing a career path, it is not out of place to first understand what a career means. Many people think they know or understand what a career means but, in actual fact, their understanding is not more than what a job or employment is. A career is much more than a job or employment. Although, both are part of it but cannot be used to define a career.

what is your career path

What is a career?

It may be a bit difficult to give a definition of what a career is. So, it is better explained. A career is a line of a profession that anyone embarks on for a significant period of time to learn, earn, and make exploit. A career offers stages from entry-level to expert or specialist level. Experientially, a career is built over time moving from one level of knowledge and expertise to the other.

As I stated earlier, a job or employment is not a career. A job can be part of the career because a career is a journey. This means that you can take a job per time based on your career level. A job is a means to an end but not the end in itself. While employment can grant you a career if only it will train, take you through different levels of expertise, and offer you a platform to make exploits.

How to Choose a Career

In choosing a career path, the first step is to know who you are. Knowing who you are is not a mere knowledge of your name, family history, etc. It is more than that kind of information. By knowing who you are, we mean that you need to understand and know your inner man. There is more to you than the physical appearance everyone sees. There is an inner man that is the real you. You cannot successfully choose a career path without understanding the inner man within you because your career is meant to reflect who you are. 

Personality Trait

One of the things that can help you to know who you are is by understanding your personality traits. Personality traits will help you to understand why you act the way you do. It will show you your thinking pattern and why you think that way. You may simply do a personality test. There are different personality tests, you may go for the one that will help you to understand the kind of career to pursue. If you can do the test, you will become more aware of yourself. This is an important key to unlocking your career path. For instance, Sanguine is one of the personality traits and they are good salesperson, public speaker, musician, etc. if you understand your personality, the question on a career path is answered already. 

SWOT Analysis

SWOT analysis is a common analysis that anyone can do. It is an analysis that will reveal the person under examination totally. By SWOT, we mean strength, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. If you understand these four things, you will have a good knowledge of your capacities and deficiencies. Your capacities and deficiencies will show you what you can excel in naturally and those that will give you issues.

Strengths and Weaknesses

You need to know and understand your strength and weaknesses. Your career path is buried in your strengths. By strength, we mean the things you can do effortlessly without problems or issues. Those things you can do effortlessly without having to learn them from people are signaling to your career path. Many times, people overlook or underestimate these strengths without knowing that God has programmed an entire life in them. You need to take out time to list out all your strength. An example of strength can be planning, critical thinking, analysis, etc. With this, you will understand why you are drawn to some professions. 

Just like the strength, weaknesses are the exact opposite. As an individual, you should be able to state what your weaknesses are. This is not to put you in a bad light, no one is good in everything. There will always be areas that are grey. Some people are bad in singing and some are not good at explaining things. Don’t forget to list out your weaknesses too. They are things that may be difficult for you to do. If you know your weaknesses, you will have a good understanding of what you should not waste time on and the things you need to learn. Sometimes, people waste too much time on their weaknesses. Focus on your strength and get to know your career path.

Opportunity and Threats

Another thing you need to pay attention to so as to uncover your career path is the opportunities and threats. You will need to analyze your opportunities to be able to see where you are a great fit. By opportunities, we mean the things that easily come to you. That is, there are some work or opportunities that people easily link to you or call you for. The reason that is happening is that people have seen the tendencies and traits that you can handle those things. If people have seen the traits, don’t you think you need to settle down and itemize those opportunities? If you watch them closely, you will find out that they are things you either enjoy doing or do effortlessly. An opportunity could be that people always seek to talk to you about their problems. It can also be that whenever people need to understand something, they will look for you to explain it to them. Such things are a pointer to what you can do very well. 

Make a List

After understanding your SWOT analysis and personality, the next thing is to make a list of professions that fall into the category of your outcome. That is, you need to make a list of professions that parallel the attributes that you have. By attributes we mean the strengths and opportunities Take, for instance, if you find explaining things to people interesting or easy and one of your strengths is people coming to you for advice, a few professions that fall in this line are Counselor, Teacher, Clergy, Trainer, Customer Service, Coach, etc. Write out all the professions you can think of that fall within the radar of your strength and opportunities.

Things you Enjoy

The path to choosing your career will not be complete if you do not look at the things that interest you. Many people have built a career out of the things they enjoyed doing and that is great. It is not out of place for you to list out the things that you find fascinating no matter how ridiculous it might sound. If you enjoy doing it, list it out. 

Also Read: How to Pray for Direction in Career

After listing them out, check out the career path that is associated with them. Don’t be in a hurry to find them. The clearer you are able to uncover the career path associated with them, the better. As you identify the career paths, ask yourself if any one of them looks like what you really wanted to do for a long time. If yes, then it’s time to go on with the planning to make an exploit there. 

Work with a Career Counselor/Coach

The journey to choose a career is not something you do alone. You need to stand on the shoulders of those that have more knowledge and exposure than you do. At least you need a career coach to help you after making the list of the jobs that you think reflect your personality, strengths, and opportunities. A career coach can help you to know more about yourself and the career path that is made for you.

In choosing the career path with the aid of the career coach, you will be assisted with the full understanding of what each career path stands for, what it entails, and all that you require to get started. These details are very important if you will be making a quality decision on your career path. All of these are best obtained through a career coach who will also guide you through an understanding. It is possible that the career coach would know one or two people in that career path that he can link you up with to have a first-time experience via discussion with that person. 

A Career Plan

Another thing you need to do as you make a career path choice is a career plan. This is a map of your journey through the profession from entry-level to expertise and the exploits you wish to make at each level. Choosing a career path without a plan is not good enough. It means you don’t have any focus of what you want to do or achieve over time. You can work with your career coach and an expert in the field to create a plan. This is as important as choosing a career path. There is no point in choosing a career path if you won’t use it to express who you are and make exploits. That is what a career plan will help you to do systematically. 

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