5 Steps to Choosing the Right Career Path

Oct 21, 2015 | 7:36 pm

Few things can cause an aspiring young professional more stress than choosing the right career path. If you’ve graduated high school and are beginning to think about what your life can look like as you get older, you need to take a step back. Before making any decisions that can have a dramatic impact on your future, consider these 5 steps.

Step 1:
Asses Your Strengths
Many people have issues with the way high school grades and asses intelligence. One thing that can’t be critiqued, however, is high school allows you to figure out what you’re good at. Whether it’s writing, math, cooking, or any number of other skills, most high schools have a course for it. Decide what you were really good at in high school and concentrate on it.

Step 2:
Research Possibilities
Too many young people are unaware of their job prospects. After assessing and understanding what you’re good at, your next step should be to see what job possibilities exist for you. Great tools like the The Occupational Outlook Handbook or O*NETOnLine exist for you to look at career options, see what the outlook for the careers are and see the average salary these careers have. You should gain an understanding of the job market long before you enter it.

Step 3:
Decide What’s Most Important
To some people, money will be the ultimate goal. To others, following a passion will reign supreme. And to even more, the answer will lie somewhere in between. After assessing your strengths and researching your prospects, you then must decide what matters most to you. It’s not an easy question to ask of a young person. However, if you can decide where your aspirations lie, it will help you narrow down your options.

Step 4:
Consider Your Living Environment
After assessing your strengths, researching your career possibilities, and figuring out if you should follow your heart or your wallet, you then need to think about where you want to live. The city life isn’t for everyone. If you don’t want to live in a metropolitan area, you may want to consider a job that can be found in a rural area. Understanding where you can see yourself living can be a huge factor in deciding a potential career.

Step 5:
Set a Timetable
Now that you’ve considered the most important factors of deciding a career, you must consider a timetable. Wil you enroll in a certificate program this fall? This winter? Will you enroll in a degree program this semester that can set you up for graduation in 2 years? If you’re serious about a career, you need to be serious about a timetable. Ideas are great, but if you don’t turn ideas into action that’s all they will ever be. When you begin to plan actual dates to accomplish tasks, your aspirations turn into reality. Your dream career is a possibility. Follow these steps and achieve it.