Friday, October 24, 2008

Four Important Factors to Consider When Choosing a Career

Choosing a career involves a lot of thought and introspection. Superficial factors such as income or prestige do not provide career satisfaction in the long-term. Important factors have to do with who you are as an individual.

1. Interests : What topics do you read about in your spare time and what classes do you enjoy in school? Your career doesn't have to be your passion, but it shouldn't bore you to tears, either.

2. Natural Skills and Abilities: If you struggled through math in school and couldn't pass no matter how much you studied, you may want to consider a career that doesn't require a great deal of mathematical ability. However, most degree programs include a variety of classes that may or may not relate to your future occupation. Don't let this discourage you from pursuing the career you want.

3. Introversion vs. Extroversion: Introverts require time alone to recharge, while extroverts thrive on social interaction. Most people are close to the middle of the spectrum and will be most happy in a career that balances time alone with social interaction.

4. Goals and rewards : What do you find rewarding? Some people desire to help others directly, while others seek independence and autonomy. Everyone derives their fulfillment in different ways.

4 comments:

Brian said...

Thanks for the tips. You are so right about introverts needing time to recharge. I can honestly say I have very strong skills and experience, a great work-ethic and can and have excelled in many different work environments. I haven't had a supervisor that wouldn't recommend me.

However, my weakness is getting my foot in the door. I prefer to do my job hunting on the net, rather than the face to face. I can only go out to staffing agencies about once a week, due to this factor. I also don't do so well with my interviews. Even though I have the skills and experience, sometimes my introverted ways effect the way I convey those skills. If it was a written interview, I could kick some butt. :)

Thanks for the tips.

Andrea said...

I don't do well in interviews, either. It's really discouraging to know that I can work hard to build up an impressive resume, but my introversion (and a little social awkwardness) can prevent me from getting the job. It's particularly unfortunate since the jobs I interview for do not really require an extroverted personality.

Jessica said...

Once again you hit the nail on the head! The funny thing is that I feel like once someone does let me get my foot in the door that I do fine. I actually work out the social akwardness and become quite comfortable and extremely good at what I do. But like Brian said... It's the task of getting your foot in the door that is so hard. I have realized that if I am doing something that I truly enjoy that I tend to be a lot healthier in all aspects of my life. Only if I could find that in a job...no luck so far.

Andrea said...

Jessica, I feel the same way. My social awkwardness seems to disappear once I feel like I belong and am no longer being judged on every move I make. Unfortunately, the interview is one of the few times in your life when every word you utter and every move you make can make or break you. It's really crazy because research has shown that interviews are not at all accurate in terms of predicting future success and productivity of a potential employee.