Choosing the Right Career

By: Azmir Yunus

Making a career choice is a tough decision. If you are able to make the right career choice earlier in your life, then you have a good chance of success in the future. The right time to start thinking about a career is when you are a teenager because the decision you make will determine your education or training after high school. But if you're a university student and you haven't decided on a career, or if you are a working adult who work in a job that you never really planned, then perhaps it's time to do a career analysis by taking a closer look at your strengths and your weaknesses and deciding what should be the best career for you.

So how do you know what is the right career for you? Essentially, when you are trying to look for a career, you are finding a match between a career and your own interest, ability, motivation, personality and expectation.

Choose a career that matches your interest

I strongly believe that a person should have a career that matches his own interest because otherwise he will lose the desire to carry out his duties effectively. Unless you are a person who can find love in anything you do, then finding a career that interests you should be an important priority.

Choose a career that matches your ability

Sometimes interest alone is not a strong enough factor for a career decision. You must also look at your ability because sometimes what you like is not necessarily what you are good at. I have interest in football and I like watching football games, but I simply do not have the athletic ability to play at professional league and therefore, a career as a professional footballer is out of the question for me.

Choose a career that matches your motivation

According to Abraham Maslow, human needs have the following hierarchical order: physiological needs, safety needs, social needs, esteem needs, cognitive needs, esthetic needs and self-actualization needs. Although some scholars argued against the hierarchical structure of these needs, I believe that each person has his own unique levels of needs. So examine yourself and try to figure out, for each category of needs, what level you find acceptable and then see how the career you choose can fulfill the needs.

Choose a career that matches your personality

What kind of person are you? Do you like working with people, or do you prefer working with machine and equipment? Are you comfortable handling stress? Do you have specific lifestyle that you are not willing to compromise? Do you prefer high-risk high-reward type of job or do you prefer a more stable job? These are basically things that relate to your personality and you need to consider them seriously before deciding on a career.

Choose a career that matches your expectation

Planning for a career requires you to have a vision of yourself in 10, 20 or 30 years from now. If you have a clear vision of where you want to go, then it is easier to decide how to get there. For example, if your expectation of yourself is to be a millionaire before the age of 35, then your pathway to get there is probably through business ventures. Have a clear expectation of yourself and you will see a much clearer path to reach your destination.

Conclusion

Choosing a career requires you to examine yourself and analyze your interest, ability, motivation, personality and expectation. If you can find a career that matches all these five criteria then you are on the right track. But one thing to remember is that career analysis is not something you do once in a lifetime. As you grow older, you will develop new interest, acquire new ability, and experience a change in your expectation. When that happens, you know it's time to do a career analysis again and decide what career is best for you.

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