How to choose a right career (with Infographics-step by step guide)

How to choose a right career

‘How to choose a career’ is a spoken or unspoken question of numerous individuals. Career is a serious matter for every student and learner, as today’s student is tomorrow’s professional.

As a high school teacher being in the field of education and working with many students, I am questioned several times by many students about how to choose a career.

Some say, “I don’t know what I am good at?”, whereas others say, “I don’t understand what interests me?” 

At the end of the line one thing is clear there is real confusion and struggle in choosing a career.

In this article I will present some strategies that will help you to find the answer of how to choose a career.

NOTE: If you are in a hurry then go through the table of content part but if you are really serious about your career then take some time and go through the entire article, I can assure that you will not regret this investment of time.

Before I write this article I have done thorough research to know what other people think about this and then I have mixed my views and merging all together I have prepared this article for the best possible answer.

Before you read the article you need to go through the infographic below and try to find out which type of career makes you really interested, is it going to the office or work and get salary, working from home for others and getting paid, or working for yourself at home and earning.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

What is a Career?

Types of Career

Gap between school and career job

Confusion between career and entertainment

what you want to be when you grow up

Understand your ability

  • Some career demands huge expense
  • Some career need very less expense

Give time to analyze and evaluate the career

  • career that you want (Desire)
  • career that are possible in reality (Reality)
  • analyze the career options

Action plan to choose a career

Visit websites on career categories and online courses to know the career options

Make a list of career that fit with your ability and interest

Gain some basic knowledge  about the listed career (don’t hurry, take time)

  • Google about the listed career
  • search about the listed career in Quora and Reddit
  • Check the job sites like LinkedIn, indeed etc
  • Watch YouTube tutorials or videos on listed career

Short list the final career from the list of career

Fix your goal to reach to the short listed single career job

  • Create a step by step action plan with time frame to reach to the goal
  • Achieve the education or knowledge required
  • Track and measure your progress
  • Create a portfolio website
  • Add all the record of  learning, skills and practical work experience in website
  • Prepare for interview
  • Go for internship for hands on practical learning
  • Apply for job in companies or work as freelancer

Set Goals for your career

  • Set short term goals
  • Set long term goals

General expectation of human being

  • Desire of acceptance and respectful
  • Life with plenty of free time for relaxation and without too much hard work

Tips to keep in mind during choosing a career

  • Stop becoming a robot programmed by your family and society
  • There are numerous people reached to the high pick of the career but still unsatisfied
  • Luxury life is not always happy life
  • we are not born with an ability we develop it by hard work
  • Stop copying others in the process of career decision
  • Don’t choose a career by being forced
  • There are multiple opportunities
  • Persistence is the key to success in your career
  • There are More Than One ways to reach your career goal
  • Stop seeking excuses rather seek the solution

Summary to take away

  • Choosing a career is a vital part of life for individuals.
  • Take time to choose a career.
  • Choosing a right career path is not hard if you go through the right strategy.
  • Do not choose a career by being forced by your family.
  • Stop becoming robots programmed by your society and family.
  • Find out your interest and capability.
  • Explore the career paths to find out the best one that fits with you.
  • Prepare an action plan to walk on the career path and reach to the end line of success.
  • Learn the required skills and gain the knowledge needed for your career step by step.
  • Set a goal with a time frame as a target to reach to the next milestone towards your goal.
  • Set some short term goal to achieve in a short period of time.
  • Create some long term goals to achieve to reach the ultimate goal.
  • Track and measure your progress, to make sure you are progressing.
  • Create a portfolio website to display your skills and achievements.
  • Prepare for an interview and go for an internship.
  • Work from home as a freelancer or in company as a worker.
career definition or career meaning

1. What is a Career?

Career is an occupation or profession that is chosen by an individual person for remaining in that path for a long time or certain duration of time for the sake of earning or relying upon for income, progressing and finding opportunities.

Career is also often called a career path. It is basically a path upon which an individual gathers educational and practical knowledge, gains handson skills and gets a job to earn and remain in this path for life time or long time.

Because career or career path is a long term or life time game, that’s why it is a very crucial part of every individual’s life.

Choosing the right career can make a person’s life simple and comfortable, whereas choosing a wrong career or not choosing a career from a young age can make life tough and hard.

What is career and types of career

2. Types of Career

Careers can be classified broadly in four groups or types.

  • Going to office / work and get salary
  • Working from home for others and getting paid
  • Working for yourself from home and earning 
  • Working as an unskilled worker

1. Going to office or work and getting salary as career

This career type includes working in an office, company, organization or government sectors.

This career type can again be classified in two types:

  • Private jobs

It is when you work in a private sector for earning.

Some examples of this career can be technician, mechanic, electrician, plumber, automobile engineer, painter, driver, accountant etc in a private sector.

  • Government jobs

It is when you work as a government employee and get a salary.

Some of the examples are, doctor in a government hospital, teacher in a govt. school, staff in a govt. bank etc.

In this career, you need to travel and go for the job on a regular basis and as a return of your service you are paid regularly. Most of the people plan for this career type, whereas this career was only way before online job facilities were available. This is kind of a traditional career choice.

2. Working from home for others and getting paid

In this career type, you need to gain certain professional knowledge and skill to sell your service to others. 

For this career type, you need to have a computer system and internet service. Once you learn the skill and are confident enough to solve others’ problems by fulfilling their needs, you can sell your service even by sitting at your home to the people around the world and get paid. 

In this type of job, you don’t need to travel anywhere, you can also work from any part of the world, you literally have no location barrier for working.

Some example of this type of careers can be:

  • Computer programmer ( software engineer, game developer and web developer etc.)
  • Graphic designer
  • Digital marketer
  • Content writer
  • User experience designer
  • Translator
  • Data entry
  • Tutor
  • Social media manager
  • Virtual assistant

3. Working for yourself from home and earning

In this type of career, you work for yourself along with helping or providing services or products to others.

This career type gives you ultimate freedom, as you are the boss of yourself. Even Though you provide service or products to others but still are actually building and growing your own business.

You need a computer system and internet for this career type. 

Using the advantage of the internet, you can just work from your home and earn.

Some of the example of this type of career are:

  • Affiliate marketer
  • Blogger
  • YouTuber
  • Selling products through e-commerce website (manufacturing products and selling online)
  • Drop shipping

4. Working as an unskilled worker

In this type of career, you are not required to have any advanced skill, you may be asked to have some basic experience to handle that work. 

This type of career path pays very less and may require much physical hard work.

Some of the example of unskilled work are:

  • parking lot attendant
  • line operator
  • sewing machine operator
  • construction laborer.
  • information desk clerk
  • cleaner or janitor
  • fast food worker

3. Gap between school and career job

There is a serious problem with our education system and in the process of delivering the education to the students or learners. I am saying this, because there are numerous students who are studying many subjects in the schools with real hard work, but unfortunately they do not know why they are actually doing that. 

When I asked students this question, why are you learning mathematics? Some say for getting good marks in examination, other says for getting a good job. But in reality they learnt math for learning to solve problems. 

Students study many different subjects but in the real world scenario with all those knowledge they  can’t even get a good job, they need to gather some professional skill and knowledge.

There is a huge gap between education in school and skill needed in professional work. Most of the students and even parents think that studying all those subjects is enough for the career job, which is an utter misunderstanding. 

This is the reason, along with study every student or learner must take the right action plan that will take towards the career goal. As you continue to read the article below you will learn all those action plans.

4. Confusion between career and entertainment

Let us understand the major differences and similarities between career and entertainment. 

A career is something where you solve problems of people and get paid for that but our entertainment does not do it. As an example, a doctor solves the problem of a patient and gets paid, so becoming a doctor is a career but a person playing games on the computer not compulsorily solving any problem of others or getting paid from it, so playing games is entertainment. 

Career and entertainment both may need to require some skill or knowledge at advance for performing. As an example, a game developer requires to learn computer programming, and be skilled in it to develop a game, so becoming a game developer is a career and a person who is playing that developed game also needs to gather knowledge and skill to learn and play well but still playing game is entertainment.

Remember you may spend a lot of time learning, be skilled and  be passionate to play games but still the purpose of games is to entertain that’s all.

5. What you want to be when you grow up

Can you remember the first time you faced this question, what you want to be when you grow up? For many people, it is just a question that throws them into a dilemma and deep confusion. 

Yes! It is true that this is a scary question to many. 

Let me tell you one real incident, there was this question in an exam in the school, one of the students tried to write ‘engineer’ but he could not write the spelling so he wrote the ‘doctor’.

There are several students and young learners who are totally confused with this question, because most of us are mind washed by the others that there are basically few good types of jobs like doctor, engineer, pilot etc. Due to this there is utter confusion in answering this question.

But I hope after reading this whole article you will be able to answer this question without hesitation.

6. Understand your ability

Can you remember the idiom “cut your coat according to your cloth”.

Basically this means making plans and decisions according to your available resources rather than living in a world of imagination.

Now I do believe that in the path of career this is not true all the time but surely most of the time. There are examples of people reached to pick on the great position in spite of their very incapable background. 

But if we look at the reality of the majority then we see that most of the time our capability decides most of the things.

So, before jumping into the career decision, it is very important to realise your capability or ability.

Some career demands huge expense

There are many careers that demand a lot of expenses to be trained and become ready for the profession. As an example, in order to be a good doctor, you are required to spend a lot of money in most cases.

With a very poor financial background it can become pretty tough to reach that destination. Even though your merit and dedication can make change.

I have no purpose to discourage you rather just trying to display the picture of reality.

So, it is a very wise thing that you must sit down, plan and calculate the cost and effort needed to reach the end line of the career you are willing to step in. 

You must plan the expanse of the house before you build it or else you will build the incomplete house and be a joke before others.

Some career need very less expense

Many career options out there require very less expense and are affordable to almost everyone. As an example, becoming a good programmer, at present time you are required to spend huge money for this rather what you actually need is firm determination and persistence to achieve it. 

Thanks to the advancement of technology, you can even become a good programmer just by learning and practicing at home with the help of the internet, online course and computer.

There are almost too many career options that actually require too less money.

Basically, every career that needs skills, which can be learnt online is very much affordable. 

In order to know them you can visit the online course websites like Udemy and check out the courses available. You can also visit the freelancing sites and get an idea of the careers from there.

7. Give time to analyze and evaluate the career

Have you ever seen a cat or tiger, what they do before hunting its prey? They just sit quietly and take time then go for the jump to hunt. In the same manner, a career is a very important decision for every person so before jumping on it, you must sit quietly and decide well, analyze and evaluate.

Never take decisions in hurry or else you will have to regret in the days to come. 

Career that you want (Desire)

It is a deception that many people want to run or be pushed to the career that looks to pay a huge salary. But in the real world this sort of running can’t fuel you to reach till the end line. 

It is our interest and desire that can actually fuel and keep you motivated till the end.

Remember how you begin the journey is not much important but how you end decides your destination. 

So, always go for the career that is passionate to you rather than by being motivated by the money and people.

Career that are possible in reality (Reality)

Now this passion or desire must go align with the reality of possibility according to your capabilities or else it will become and remain a dream only.

If you want your dream to become reality then desire and possibility must be merged together.

Take it like, desire and possibility are two wings of a single bird that will lead a bird towards its right destination.

How to choose a right career using desire and possibilities

Analyze the career options

Once you merge both your desire  and possibility, now is the time to analyze and find out the list of best career options for you.

This analysis phase can be very confusing as you need to analyze different career options and find the best one for you.

Let us look at the action plans to understand all the steps better.

8. Action plan to choose a career

Choosing a career requires some very important steps, here we will understand them one by one and step by step.

1. Visit websites on career categories, freelancing and online courses to know the career options

How is it possible to choose a career without knowing the options, and in reality most people know very few of them. This is the reason it is very important to know the career options available, for this you can go for thorough research in several ways. But here I would like to guide you through a very simple way.

Visit the websites related to career categories, freelancing jobs and online courses, in all these sites you will find a long list of career options.

Go through them thoroughly. 

2. Make a list of career that fit with your ability and interest

Now is the time to make a list of careers that fit with your desire or interest and capability or possibility.

Don’t forget about the choice among different types of career, like working in an office, working for others from home or working for yourself from your home.

Note the careers that match with your decision.

3. Gain some basic knowledge about the listed career (don’t hurry, take time)

It is the time for gathering the basic knowledge about the listed careers. Again don’t hurry, rather take time and study about them one by one and try to figure out which one is best for you.

  • Google about the listed career
  • Search about the listed career in forum site like Quora and Reddit
  • Check the job sites like LinkedIn, indeed etc
  • Watch YouTube tutorials or videos on listed career

First of all, Google the career options one by one to learn about the needed skills, job opportunities, market demand etc.

Type the career name and next to it write quora, study about the people’s experiences on that career, give attention to people’s view about that career. Again type the career name and next to it write reddit, and gather the knowledge about the career option from the people actually involved in that career at present.

Check out the job sites especially LinkedIn.com to find more details about the job requirements.

Watch the YouTube tutorials or videos to learn the basics about the career and needed skills.

4. Short list the final career from the list of career

After studying and learning about the basics of the listed career, now is the time to sort out the final one. 

You need to find out only one career path to walk upon. Because unless you come to a single point, it is impossible to fix the goal. 

This is your final work on choosing the career, once you are sure of the final career and decide it as your one and only goal, then you need to create another action plan to reach that goal to become a professional in that chosen career path.

5. Fix your goal to reach to the short listed single career job

CONGRATULATION! You have reached the first mile stone. Now follow the steps below for moving ahead.

  • Create a step by step action plan with time frame to reach to the goal
  • Achieve the education or knowledge required
  • Track and measure your progress

The next is to create another action plan to acquire the educational degree, practical knowledge and skill. Create a time frame so that you can measure your progress, mean take an example, you want to become a software engineer, then make an action plan of the programming languages you need to learn and create a time frame, support you will learn first programming language within 6 months and nest one within next 6 months by spending 4 hours a day in learning and practicing. 

Once you create this time frame,  now it becomes easy to measure your progress. Measuring progress will help you to know where you are at present or how far have you travelled towards your goal. Tracking and measuring your progress also keeps you motivated and helps you to move ahead without being blocked in the same position.

  • Create a portfolio website
  • Add all the record of  learning, skills and practical work experience in website

As you start to learn the required knowledge and skills, it is important that you can display your skills through work and these works must be displayed in a portfolio website. So, create a portfolio website to display all your good works. Creating a website does not cost much at present days so go ahead and create one.

Add all your achievement, practical works and experience on that website. So, that your future employer or client may see your achievements and works to trust you to choose you among the others. 

  • Prepare for interview

This is the time to be prepared for facing an interview. It may seem challenging and fearful but if you are prepared well then facing an interview must not disturb you much.

Read the blogs and watch the YouTube videos to learn about the interview manner and needed requirements.

Learn about the common questions from google, and try some mock interviews with your friends or family to break the fear of facing people and removing hesitation.

  • Go for internship for hands on practical learning

Internship is a great decision for learning the skills practically in a company or organization. It makes you capable of handling the professional work in the real world, where the employer or client both can establish a real trust upon you, because not only have you learnt the skills and achieved knowledge but also you are hands on with practical work to provide service professionally. 

During the internship, you might be paid less or not at all but still this is very necessary for your professionalism.

  • Apply for job in companies or work as freelancer

Now you are eligible for applying in a company for a regular job or you may choose to work from your home as a freelancer sell service around the world.

you have reached the end line of your career.

Once again, CONGRATULATION! For your determination and persistence to reach so far.

9. Set Goals for your career

As you set goals for your career, to acquire knowledge and skill, make sure you set two types of goals, one is short term goal and other long term goal.

Let us understand with an example of a digital marketer, in order to become a digital marketer you need to be an expert in different branches of it, like SEO, Facebook marketing, Search engine marketing, YouTube marketing, Instagram marketing etc. 

Set short term goals

So, if your goal is to become a successful digital marketer then you must create a list of short term goals, like learning SEO within 4 months, Facebook marketing within the next 4 months, and so on.

Once you successfully reach the first goal, celebrate your learning and be happy that you are one step ahead towards your career goal. 

Set long term goals

You also need to set some long term goals like, reaching to the beginners level within 6 months, advanced level within next 6 months, working practically as an intern for 6 months and so on.

These long term goals will help you to understand how expert you became within the certain time frame. 

Reaching these goals are bigger achievements so celebrate them with your friends and family to keep yourself motivated.

10. General expectation of human being

  • Desire of acceptance and respectful
  • Life with plenty of free time for relaxation and without too much hard work

Some of the general expectation of every human being is to be accepted and respected by others as a mature professional, who can stand his own dignity. A person also expects a life where he gets a lot of free time to spend with his friends and family along with regular jobs.

There is nothing wrong with all these expectations, because human beings are the social being, and a social being every human wants to spend time with humans and having fun time.

But in order to fulfill this expectation, one needs to create and follow a procedure. Just like, if you expect to learn to ride a by-cycle then you need to go through a certain procedure, having a by-cycle and gathering knowledge on how to learn it and then learning practically. 

In the same manner, having expectations is great but if you are not working on it then it will always remain an expectation but if you work on it only then you can hope for the fulfillment of those expectations. 

11. Tips to keep in mind during choosing a right career

Here are some important tips you must keep in your mind while choosing the right career. Taking the right decision on a career requires a right mind set at first. 

  • Stop becoming a robot programmed by your family and society

There are literally many individuals who are just programmed by their family and society to choose a certain career. This causes slow and severe damage in the life of that individual. 

So, if you want to choose the right career that fit with your interest and ability then stop being a robot and become a human and use your freewill to choose the right career option that actually fits with you. 

  • There are numerous people reached to the high pick of the career but still unsatisfied

As I was researching on the topic on ‘how to choose the right career?’. I found that many people are openly acknowledging that even though they have achieved their career goal still they are not satisfied. 

This is a great example that choosing the wrong career goal can really harm your professional world. 

So, take time and go through the whole action plan to choose the right career. 

  • Luxury life is not always happy life

Remember that a happy life is not all about luxury life. Real happiness does not come from only luxury life; rather, the closer you are to your family members and friends, the happier you become. And in order to become closer to them, you need to spend more time with them and for spending more time with them, you need to be prepared and work on your career.

  • we are not born with an ability, we develop it by hard work

Never underestimate your ability, remember we are not born with any ability rather we all develop them by our dedication and hard work.

Let not your current ability suppress you down. 

  • Stop copying others in the process of career decision

One of the great mistakes people do, when they copy other’s career decisions. You can copy the success path of the person who is walking on the same career path like yours. But never copy others during your career decision time. 

Everyone is with a different unique essence and interest, so let your interest and capability of expense be the reason for your career choice.

  • Don’t choose a career by being forced

Never choose a career by being forced because if you are not interested in it, then soon you will lose the zeal to have firm determination for reaching the success of that career goal. 

  • Know that there are multiple opportunities

The world is full of opportunities, but it is the thought of the narrow mind that there are only few good careers with real opportunities. 

Achievement, opportunity and money are there in multiple career paths, so let not the limited thinking with narrow walls of achievement and money deceive you to make the wrong career decision.

  • Persistence is the key to success in your career

Whatever career you choose, you need the determination and persistence for success. 

Persistence plays a crucial role in the journey towards your career goal, and your interest is the fuel for your persistence for success in becoming a successful professional.

  • There are More Than One ways to reach your career goal

There are more than one way to reach your career goal, what do I mean by this. 

Let us understand this with an example, suppose you want to become a software engineer. Now you can go for achieving a degree from university and become a software engineer. Or else you can also go another way like, learning the skills required for becoming a software engineer from the online courses by being at your own home for spending very less money and after learning the skills, you can go for internship. Now you can start working professionally. 

If you want a degree now, you can just go for some online or distance study for a degree along with your regular job.

So, in this way you go for better learning, while you are still earning. 

  • Stop seeking excuses rather seek the solution

Excuses can become terrible threats if you don’t know how to convert the excuses to the opportunities. 

There is a saying, where there is a will, there is a way.

So, true will always try to find the way for a solution whereas the unwillingness finds excuses to escape.

This is the reason your response in the face of a problem shows your interest or will.

So, when you are seeking excuses, you can be sure that you are not interested in that.

12. Summary to Take away:

  • Choosing a career is a vital part of life for individuals.
  • Take time to choose a career.
  • Choosing a right career path is not hard if you go through the right strategy.
  • Do not choose a career by being forced by your family.
  • Stop becoming robots programmed by your society and family.
  • Find out your interest and capability.
  • Explore the career paths to find out the best one that fits with you.
  • Prepare an action plan to walk on the career path and reach to the end line of success.
  • Learn the required skills and gain the knowledge needed for your career step by step.
  • Set a goal with a time frame as a target to reach to the next milestone towards your goal.
  • Set some short term goal to achieve in a short period of time.
  • Create some long term goals to achieve to reach the ultimate goal.
  • Track and measure your progress, to make sure you are progressing.
  • Create a portfolio website to display your skills and achievements.
  • Prepare for an interview and go for an internship.
  • Work from home as a freelancer or in company as a worker.

If you have any question or suggestion, feel free to write in comment section below. I will try my best to reply as soon as possible.

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