Questions to guide your career choice

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Choosing the right career can be difficult. Where do you start? The traditional three-step career plan – graduate college, get a job, work your way up the ladder for the next 40 years – is outdated. Today’s professionals swap job titles like kids trading snacks during lunch time. Toggling between many companies, teams and industries throughout the course of their careers.


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Choosing the right career can be difficult. Where do you start? The traditional three-step career plan – graduate college, get a job, work your way up the ladder for the next 40 years – is outdated. Today’s professionals swap job titles like kids trading snacks during lunch time. Toggling between many companies, teams and industries throughout the course of their careers.

The upside to this trend is that as a young professional, you’ll have a lot of choice throughout your career. However, not all choices are necessarily good, and having too many can be paralysing. Here are a few questions that will help you choose the right career.

What are you good at and what do you love?

While some people have a clear passion, many find themselves lost in the passion puzzle. They’re paralysed with fear that they’re not doing it right if they don’t have one burning career goal to pursue obsessively. And even if they do have a passion, chances are high it’s something vague and out of reach. The problem isn’t the idea of pursuing things you’re good at and that you love, it’s that your aspirations are too broad and difficult to act on. Think of your passions as a starting point.  

What is the best environment for your personality type?

Doing personality tests will help you pinpoint just what you need in your work environment to thrive. It’s important to determine whether you’re more of an introvert or an extrovert, as the two personality types differ widely in their needs.

What kind of lifestyle do you want?

Most jobs start off with at least a few years of hard labour at lower pay than you’d like. Some factors you might want to consider include the amount of control you have over your own time, the salary and the amount of travel involved. If giving back to the community gives you the most job satisfaction, then perhaps being a social worker with a relatively low wage or a pharmacist with a high salary will satisfy your needs.

Why not consider your hobbies?

It’s very easy to turn your hobbies or something you love doing into a future career. Many hobbies correspond to real world needs and positions. Consider what you like to do and how that might fit into a career. For example, if you love working with people, there are effective communication courses in South Africa that you can do. Or if you like drawing or art, consider becoming a graphic designer.

What skills do you excel in?

If you’re particularly good at certain skills, such as fixing things or making things, this can provide you with a great future career. Schooling may or may not be necessary, but skilled labour is often in demand and you’ll find it fairly easy to find work.

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