How to Choose a Career
Whether young and unskilled or mature and experienced, the question of how to choose a career that will satisfy, reward financially and offer security and advancement can be a difficult one for many people. Regardless of other criteria you use to judge your path, the cornerstone concept is to be true to yourself.
Before you enroll in an accredited online university to obtain valid and valuable career training, identify within yourself your strengths, weaknesses, likes and dislikes. Because it’s your life and your career—and your happiness—at stake, it’s crucial to know yourself to find your life’s work.
If you love people and have a driving need within yourself to interact with them often and help them, a social services or healthcare profession may be for you. You may also thrive professionally as a teacher, developing and training the society of tomorrow.
If you prefer to work alone, outside a group dynamic, these professions would probably not suit you well. Instead, do you perchance prefer the company of animals to people?
Do you adore math, science, languages or art? Are you better with grease and oil than you are with ink and paper?
Do you want to own your own business some day, or would you prefer to be a ‘faceless member’ of a big corporation?
Are you a defender of the underdog, or are you happiest just ‘going with the flow?’
These and other self-examination questions can be answered honestly only by you. Once you identify your character traits and your true preferences, you have launched the true search for information that answers the age-old question regarding how to choose a career.
When you are confident with your self-examination question but still don’t know how to choose a career that’s right for you, you may want to solicit outside advice.
Close friends who know you well can toss ideas and suggestions. Family members often give career advice, and some even mandate what they think are the best careers for you: you might recognize the type that require you to become a lawyer or a police officer or a doctor if they pay for your schooling.
Take their advice as just that—advice. You are the only one you live with all day and every day for the rest of your life. What might be right in someone else’s eyes may not fit you very well inside.
Guidance counselors and trusted teachers may be able you as well. They see you differently than your friends and family and can often give objective advice and suggestions of which your friends, family or you hadn’t yet thought.
If you still can’t comfortably identify what options suit your strengths and ambitions, don’t worry. You can enroll in general curricula programs offered by top online colleges and declare a major course of study later as your interests define themselves. So long as your search for answers is genuine and honest, sometimes you discover how to choose a career when a career chooses you during your college years.