How to choose a career to engage in long-term

Learn how to choose a career to engage in long-term, and find the field you will be most passionate and productive in when you take on that career path.

Often times when people are asked about the most meaningful parts of their life, family, health, and work usually rank as the top three. Therefore, choosing the right type of work to do is undoubtedly one of the most important decisions you can make.

Selecting a career path can take weeks, months, or even years as you continue learning what you want and need to be better qualified for your dream job. It’s important to note that you may have the option to change your path many times in your life, which makes the ability to choose a new career a highly beneficial life skill.

Without any further delay, here are some steps to take on how to choose a career to engage in long-term.

Carry out a self-assessment

Before making any major decisions, it’s a good idea to take time for self-reflection. Choosing a career is no different. In this step, you simply reflect on what kind of work environment you want to be in, what type of work you enjoy, the kind of people you would like to work with, etc.

While you reflect, it is a good idea to write the thoughts down in your notes. These can be helpful references as you’re evaluating job descriptions in the future.

Some good questions to ask yourself include:

  • What are your key values?
  • What soft skills do you possess?
  • What technical skills do you possess?
  • What natural aptitudes do you have?
  • What’s your personality like?
  • What are you interested in?

Find out your needs in a job setting

Another way to plan how to choose a long-term career path is to take out time to find out your needs in a job. the needs can range from anything like salary or travel to benefits, paid leave, and location.

Some good questions on your needs include:

  • Do you need specific benefits like specific healthcare coverage or a certain amount of time off?
  • Could you take a job that requires a lot of traveling? 
  • Do you need to earn a certain salary?
  • Do you need to work in a specified location?
  • Do you require any form of flexibility to work from home?
  • Do you need to respond to a specific job title or level?
  • Are there some tasks you need to or do not want to perform?
  • Is there a kind of work environment that won’t enable you to be productive?

It is highly beneficial to know what you need from a job ahead of time.

Start searching for jobs that interest you

After understanding a bit more about yourself and your needs in a job, start searching for jobs that sound interesting to you. If there’s a job you don’t have much information about,  write it down and do research on it later. In addition, remember that job titles don’t always represent the actual job perfectly. Sometimes the job title may not look desirable, but the job description might be a good fit for you.

Below are some things to consider when carrying out your search.

  • Explore your network of friends and family that have jobs you may be interested in.
  • Look for interesting industries.
  • Find out the things you enjoy doing.
  • Make a list of your goals and values.
  • Analyze your strengths and talents.

In addition, research the serious jobs and create a shortlist of major career possibilities.  Find out what the day-to-day life is like in the jobs, the salary earned to know if it’s suitable for you, what the job requires to know if you fit the script, opportunities for growth, and how the job looks in the labor market.

Get training and update your resume

The next step on how to choose a career to engage in long-term is to get training for the role.  Once you’ve narrowed your list down to one or possibly two career paths, you’ll need to find out whether you need additional training for the job. Some employers may be willing to provide on-the-job training, but some others will look for candidates who already possess their requirements. For details on a  particular job, carefully review the job ad and pay attention to sections labeled: requirements, education, and experience.

Once you’ve determined that you are eligible for this career path, update your resume to reflect your necessary strengths and skills.

Search and apply for jobs

You can begin looking for opportunities on various platforms online, in newspapers, pay attention to job posts in news and make inquiries from places you have interest in getting a job in your area.

Follow instructions when sending your applications and take time to review your application to avoid mistakes, before submitting.

Continue to learn and develop yourself

When you are hired for a job, it may take some time to adjust to your new career path. But during this transition time give attention to the parts of the job you enjoy.  you will continue to grow, learn, and change as you understand more about yourself, your organization, and what works best for you.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you step into a new career:

  • Make the most out of your first year, learn about the industry, and ensure you add value as a new member of the team.

  • Keep track of your goals if you are feeling uneasy or unsatisfied in your career. You can go back to your future goals. If your career no longer aligns with what you want for your future, consider changing your tasks or looking for other roles that might be better suited to your goals.

  •  Go after your interests. If there are certain tasks you majorly enjoy, take out time to develop and explore those interests. Focusing on what you enjoy and are good at can help you advance in your career and get the most out of your daily role.

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