Committing to a career can be a big decision, so the consideration that goes into it should never be taken lightly. If done well, it can land you in a job in which you are both successful and happy. Today we will build on this self-reflection, with 10 of the most important questions when considering a new career path. There are no right or wrong answers - as long as you are being true to yourself!
This question is one of the most important when considering your career path. It can determine your productivity, efficiency, and how well you enjoy the work you are doing. Obviously, most people aren’t strictly orientated to work within a team or individually, but knowing which way you lean further towards can help in understanding which career best suits you.
This question is important if you are looking to expand your horizons, especially in the current fast-changing working environment. More and more companies are considering the options for more flexible work conditions with work-from-home schedules. This makes it important for you to know if you find these alternatives beneficial or discouraging.
Similar to the previous question, it’s important to know whether you enjoy working around other people. This doesn't necessarily mean within a team, but more whether you work more efficiently when other people are around or not. Furthermore, in order to work remotely, you are required to be self-disciplined and driven. These are serious things to consider before working remotely.
Another thing to consider when you are asking yourself this question is whether or not you will miss being part of a community environment. Yes, your colleagues and workmates will inevitably get on your nerves at some point, however, you may rather be annoyed once in a while than be by yourself all the time. Therefore, if you are someone who can’t spend too much time on their own, remote work is likely not for you.
However, even if that is the case for you, you can still find ways around feeling lonely while working from home. As freelancing and remote work are becoming increasingly popular, more and more co-working spaces pop up around cities. Even in shopping centres, more often than not you can stumble upon a place where you can bring your laptop, your favourite travel mug filled with freshly brewed coffee or tea, a snack, and get your work done in the company of others.
It may not be the same as working alongside the same colleagues every day and forming long-lasting friendships, but it is good for making connections and, who knows, maybe you will meet a working buddy or a future business partner? Co-working spaces connect the flexibility of remote work with the impression of working at an office. The best of both worlds, so to say.
There are many pros to relocation, although it is not always an easy option to make. Aside from boosting your CV and giving you a competitive edge, relocation can help you grow as a person too. However, for those with strong reasons to stay at home (children, dependent family members etc.) your options may be limited in terms of relocation.
Luckily, very few careers require relocation. Finding a remote job could be a great alternative if you want to open more doors in terms of your job search without actually moving abroad. If relocation does appeal to you but for whatever reason it isn't a practical option, finding a job that requires lots of travel could be a great alternative.
For a lot of people, it’s hard to keep up with all the latest computer programmes and technology. This, however, becomes more and more of a problem as these skills are increasingly high in demand. Many careers nowadays require knowledge in programmes such as Photoshop that have traditionally been reserved for jobs such as Graphic Designers and Photographers.
Knowing your strengths and weaknesses is important in the job application process. Some of these skills you will be able to work on by yourself, whereas others will require classes, money, and time. This will help you determine which jobs are within your capabilities, and those that will demand special attention as you may not have all the necessary qualifications.
For some, numbers are their strong suit. Data analysis and calculations are what they strive on. Others are more suited for creative tasks - numbers are a bore to them. The lucky few can find enjoyment in both. Considering the way the required skills are changing within careers, it is important to be aware of what you prefer.
For example, Social Media marketing may sound like creating cool, interactive Instagram posts, when in reality, there is a lot of data analysis that goes into posts being published at peak times on peak days, to ensure optimum interaction.
Your educational background is not the be-all and end-all of your capabilities. Frankly, if you are determined enough, you can steer your career path in whatever direction you like. However, the path you’ve decided to take in education could be pointing you towards many careers you have not yet considered. After all, with the development of modern technology, new jobs are being created every day.
Blogging and Social Media Marketing is a relatively new field, and many don’t realise that their educational experience qualifies them for this career. Degrees in Modern Languages, English or Graphic Design all put you on the right track to pursuing this career. Many of the skills more specific for these careers can be easily learnt using online resources.
One of the most important questions on this list. Before pursuing any career, you need to know whether your end goal is to have enough money for a nice house and a fancy car but not necessarily look forward to going to work every day, or to be passionate about what you are doing, despite not always being financially comfortable. Think twice about both options, because ultimately, the best way is to find a balance between the two.
One of Steve Job's most famous quotes is “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”
By telling you this, we are not saying that if your whole life has been spent dedicated to one career path, then you absolutely cannot change at any point. Rather, by reflecting on your past experiences - what you enjoyed, where you found success, and what you down-right hated - it can lead you towards making the right decision.
Ask yourself how much of your life you want to dedicate to your career. For some of us, our career is what gets us out of bed in the morning and really drives us. For others, a job is simply a form of income, and we’d rather spend our time at home or travelling. Being honest with yourself about how much of your life you choose to put into your work will increase the chances of you enjoying your job. Finding the workload too little or too much can make you miserable and leave you feeling unmotivated.
We've saved the most important question for the last. Following your passions and finding a way to make money out of them is an amazing way to put yourself on the path to success. Granted, this isn't as easy as it sounds. After a little reflection, many people start to wonder what their passions actually are. They are not always as clear-cut as you may think, and it can take a little experimenting and a lot of thinking to figure them out.
However, once you have worked out what makes you get out of bed in the morning, finding a way to make money out of it should come a little easier. This does not mean your passion has to become your whole career - but, having it implemented in your job in some way makes waking up on a Monday morning a whole lot easier.
For example, if you love food, this does not mean you have to become a chef. Still, whether it be for marketing or graphic design, working within a company that focuses on food might make the job a whole lot more enjoyable.
Each of these questions should be considered carefully before choosing your career path, as being honest about them can be the key to success!
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