How to choose the right career for me: 10 Tips for Finding the Right Career Path


“Find out what you like doing best and get someone to pay you for doing it.” – Katharine Whitehorn

I love how Katharine Whitehorn describes a career. To her, it’s getting paid for something you love doing. Isn’t that something? Imagine having a career as a food taster. Foodie heaven!

Choosing a career is one of the most important decisions you’ll have to make. A lot of us struggle with making this decision. There seem to be so many options that choosing the right one becomes challenging. You cannot rush over such an important decision. It deserves much introspection and consideration. Take time out to examine your options before jumping right in.

In this post, I’ll 10 things you should consider when choosing a career path. It doesn’t matter whether you are straight out of school or already knee-deep in another field, this post is for you.  


How to choose the right career path

Here are some of the top factors to consider when deciding which career path is right for you: 


  • Personal preferences

Think about your personal preferences when you are choosing a career. Your career will take up a good chunk of your time and, consequently, your life, so you’d want to make sure that you choose a career whose norms and environment are things you are comfortable with. Imagine choosing a career as a nurse when you are afraid of blood. It doesn't make much sense.

If you enjoy working with children, you can choose a career that is in line with those preferences, such as a daycare worker, a pediatric doctor or nurse, a schoolteacher, etc. Factoring in your personal preferences when choosing a career is important because you want to ensure that you can perform your tasks and enjoy the process.


  • Available employment opportunities

“Will I be able to secure a job in this field? Is this specialization in demand? Is there a vacuum in the job market for people with this training?” These are some of the questions you should be asking yourself. Pilots were in high demand a decade ago, and many people rushed to the field. There was a need for people with such qualifications, and the pay package was excellent. Fast forward to today, and there seem to be more pilots than jobs. The market is no longer the same; neither is the pay.

These are factors to consider before choosing a career. It is essential to follow the trends to see if, a year or two from now, you’ll be able to secure employment in that field. With constant advancements in technology, many job roles are becoming extinct at an alarming rate. Robots and AIs are taking over tasks that humans previously did. You don’t want to prepare for a career to find out that your skills are unnecessary.


  • Preparation requirements

Preparation includes any formal or informal training you would have to undergo. Consider how long it would take and how much it would cost you. Are you willing to spend that much time and resources on that career choice? Also, make sure that you are aware of any specific educational requirements for that field. This isn’t to deter you from your choice. It is intended to give you a realistic understanding of what you are venturing into.

For some careers, an undergraduate degree is enough to land an entry-level job, but other careers might require a master’s degree, doctorate, and certification or specialized training. Some careers also require that you upgrade your qualifications to move up the ladder.


  • Compensation expectations

It would be best if you had a realistic expectation of how much you’ll be earning from your career of choice. A paycheck shouldn’t be the sole reason for your career choice, but it can influence your decision, and that’s ok too. It is essential to know how much to expect from your future career. Can this pay for the type of life you want to live? There are several resources online to help have a picture of how much each job pays as well as the expected growth rate of that job. Make good use of such resources for your research.


  • Career assessment testing

There are a variety of career options that you can choose from, some of which are unheard of to you. Because of that, there’s a tendency that you will choose from the careers you are already aware of. To correct this, consider taking a career assessment test. This will expose you to other careers that you will be well suited for instead of simply choosing from the careers you know. For people in high school or college, see a guidance counsellor to administer the test and help them with the process.

You can also opt for a career coach or a private counsellor to help you with a career assessment test and deciding what career path to embark on.


  • Evaluate your work styles

Your career match will compliment your work style. For example, if you are more of a self-starter who prefers working on your own, then careers that require collaborative and group efforts wouldn’t be the best for you. By evaluating your work style, you will be able to determine whether you are better suited for remote work, independent roles, and collaborative roles or if you work better under close supervision. For people who procrastinate a lot, consider a career where you are closely supervised.


  • Assess your social needs

You will spend a lot of time at work and with your colleagues, so make sure that your chosen career is a good social fit for you. For someone who loves meeting new people, talking, and interacting with others, consider a career as a counsellor or a schoolteacher that allows you to be expressive and social. For loners, you may want a career that allows you to work remotely and independently. One where your physical interactions with other people are as limited as possible.


  • Evaluate the value of re-training

Some careers evolve and morph into something new and unfamiliar so before choosing a career, consider how much it might cost you to return to school for some form of retraining. If you are going to borrow money to pay for a college degree to land your dream job, it would be ideal to choose programs that help you pay off your student loans.


  • Conduct informational interviews

Ask a friend, family member, or anybody else who holds a job in the field you are interested in. These informational interviews help you solidify your stance and verify all that you know so far about the field. Sometimes, the theories of things aren’t the same as reality, so speaking with somebody who has your dream job will give you a better perspective. They can also give you advice, guidance, and direction. Make sure to maximize your time with them by asking the right questions and staying attentive to their responses.


  • Prioritize job satisfaction

Above all else, make sure to prioritize job satisfaction. Nothing is as important as motivation when it comes to careers. You might enjoy the thrill of day-to-day challenges or prefer to look at the bigger picture. What’s important is that you find joy and satisfaction daily.



I'll leave you with these words from Paulo Coelho, “Whatever you decide to do, make sure it makes you happy.” I couldn’t have said it better! The summary of it all is to choose what makes you happy. We hope these tips help you figure your career choice out. If you need some private counselling, kindly contact us for personalized career coaching.

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