Deciding on a career to suit you

Careers are always hard to choose. We spend most of our young adult lives looking for the right career, and when we don’t manage to find it, it can be stressful and overwhelming. We all have times in life where we don’t know what to do. You are not alone and it happens to the best of us. To help you find out what career suits you, here are some things to consider.

Lifestyle

The first thing you will want to think about is what kind of work you can see yourself doing. If you don’t want to be sitting behind a desk all day, you have plenty of other options which are just as great and which can suit your level of activity. If you are super fit you could be a personal trainer, if you love the outdoors you could be a park ranger, and if you have a passion for animals you could be an animal cruelty investigator. Think of the lifestyle you want to lead and fit your job into that.

Hobbies

If you don’t know what you want to do, think about your hobbies. If you have something which you really love to do, you can use this hobby to choose a job. You could find an apprenticeship in a field that you enjoy and work your way towards a qualification while you work in an industry that you love. Think of your passion and use it because your career is more than just a job, it could be something you wake up excited to do every morning.

Commitments

If you have a child or you have other commitments in your life already, finding the right job for you can be a little more tricky. Think about choosing a job which gives you flexibility and allows you to work in a way which fits around your commitments. Think about working from home if you need to look after your children or think of flexible hours if you have other things which you are in charge of. You pr job needs to fit around you, not the other way around!

Values

It is incredibly important think about your personal values and ethics when choosing a career. You need to make sure that when you go to work, you are going to a job which makes you happy and which makes you proud. Don’t compromise on your values for money because it will make you miserable. If you don’t agree with cold calling, don’t join a call centre. If you are a huge animal rights advocate, join a team which doesn’t test on animals or use meat. Use your values to narrow down your search and find your ideal job.

Your strengths

What are you good at? Sit down one evening and make a list of your skills. Think about what your strongest points are and where your talents lie. From this you can start thinking of the careers which use these strengths. You can take a quiz online to help you decide if you need to, and this will make life a lot easier when deciding.

Photo by Frame Harirak

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Christine Buske is a former academic who left science at the bench, and now considers herself a woman in tech. She is a frequently invited speaker, and enjoys talking about career transformation (particularly leaving academia for the business world), tech, issues around women in tech, product management, agile, and outreach. She is a proud Canadian resident, and qualifies as a "serial expat".

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