How Do I Decide What Career Choice is Best for Me?

Finding one’s best career choice can be a challenge. The options are vast, and many people in each field find great satisfaction in them. People can make their career choice easier by learning about themselves and learning about projected job opportunities.

Learning the Self

That people are suited to different careers is obvious. What may be less so is how to determine which careers are most suitable for an individual. People will be well served to consider what they want from their careers and why they want it. This goal-setting exercise will help shape the decisions that follow. However, what people desire and what they are skilled at are not always well matched. Identifying aptitudes can be somewhat confusing. Fortunately, much work has been done to reduce such confusion and offer people avenues to find what their natural personality traits point to.

One such piece of work is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. It is a widely used personality test that sorts people into sixteen types based on their stated preferences. Many career counselors employ it to help guide clients to occupations that best match their personalities, helping to make for happier workers. Similar work shows up in such things as the MAPP career assessment. A visit to a local career counselor can be of substantial benefit.

Learning the Opportunities

Such devices as the Myers-Briggs and MAPP, however, will offer a range of careers rather than any specific one. They narrow the field of inquiry, which is helpful, but they do not select a single job path to follow. Thus, after sitting for such an assessment and getting its results, a look at overall job prospects is in order. Such a search will be greatly assisted by data from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS produces the Occupational Outlook Handbook  which compiles data on various careers.  It comparese data such as average salaries and wages, projected job growth and decline and the kinds of formal study often associated with the profiled careers. That data and information about other job satisfaction metrics can then be compared with the expected costs of entering a given career, such as formal training in vocational or collegiate programs, allowing people to determine whether a career is worth pursuing and which one is most worth following. Here again, visiting a career or other counselor can be of great help, as the many training options available themselves offer a dizzying array of information that takes time to sift through.  A good counselor can point you in the right direction to make sure your career and degree are a good fit.

There are other concerns, of course. Where people want to live as they pursue their careers matters, as some jobs are unavailable in some places, and living near to (or maybe far away from) family and childhood homes is something many people consider closely. But even with such concerns, people knowing themselves and knowing the opportunities and prospects available should help them to make the best career choice they can.