Choosing a Career

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Making career choices large and small is something that nearly all adults have to do at some point or another. Whether you’re changing jobs, deciding to take on new responsibilities, or pursuing a brand new career different from your current one, career choices can make a big difference in your quality of life. There are a number of factors that affect career choices that you should always keep in mind, no matter what your career involves.

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• [pic]Factors Affecting Career Choices
• [pic]Factors Affecting Career Choices Among Students

Education

o When making career choices, you should always consider your current level of education and how that may affect your ability to, for example, enter a new career field or apply for a more advanced position in your current field. Most jobs require at least a high school diploma, and many jobs require specific training, college or university degrees and other higher education. You can always get more education by attending continuing ed courses, doing an internship or apprenticeship or pursuing another degree. In general, the more education you have, the wider your career options are. Decide whether you have enough education for what you want to do or need more to further your career, and always factor this into your career choices.

Financial Needs

o Careers can be very personally fulfilling and intellectually rewarding, but the bottom line is that for most people, your job is what pays the bills. If you have a family with dependents that need your monetary support, you should always take that into consideration when making important career choices. Be prepared to make sacrifices in your career, which might mean sticking it out in a job you don’t like so that you can pay for your child’s education. If you like to live lavishly, be prepared to work hard for the money you’ll need to do so. Decide for yourself what are your financial needs and what are your desires, and make choices based on that.

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Skills and Interests

o Your career should ideally be a reflection of what you enjoy doing and what corresponds to your unique set of skills. Doing something you hate that is not fulfilling, despite the possible financial gains, will likely leave you feeling unhappy overall. Ask yourself long and hard what you really love doing, what makes you feel useful and what you are good at. These factors should affect every career choice you make. Are you a people person? Do you love crunching numbers? Whatever your skills and interests are, there are careers and jobs for you.

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The factors that affect that choice can be extrinsic, intrinsic or a combination of both. Many people are heavily influenced by the professions that their parents favor. Others follow the career paths that their educational choices have opened up for them. Some choose to follow their passions, regardless of how much or how little money it will make them. Others look to the career that pays them the highest salary.

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• [pic]Factors to Consider in Choosing a Career
• [pic]Factors Influencing Career Choices

Childhood

o Parenting and early education has an immense influence on what career an individual will ultimately choose. If parents have overwhelmingly favored a particular career path or limited selection of careers, it has a powerful psychological affect on their children. Parents create the initial self-esteem of their child, which in most cases lasts the rest of their life. Throughout most of history, parents chose the future professions of their children.

Function

o In the modern era, most children are encouraged to choose their own career paths. The economy develops so quickly that entirely...
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