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Five questions to ask yourself before choosing a career

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Choosing a career path is one of the most important decisions we have to make in our lives.

The average person will spend 72,000 hours at work over a 40-year period, so it’s absolutely essential to find a career that is the right fit for you.

Before making any career decisions, consider:

  1. What are your interests?

You may have heard it before: ‘Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.’ The people who are most satisfied with their jobs are usually those that enjoy what they do. When you’re passionate about what you do, you’ll be more motivated and feel more fulfilled.

  1. What are your personal strengths?

Consider careers where you could best utilise your skills and strengths. What are you naturally good at? Investing in your strongest skills will help you choose a job wisely and excel in it. You’ll more than likely enjoy a job if you’re good at it.

  1. What education or training do I need?

Education credentials often guide our career choices. Consider what qualifications you’ll need to pursue your desired career path. If it is likely that you will need additional training, think about how much time and money you’re willing to invest. There are plenty of inexpensive options such as online learning programmes to expand your career prospects beyond those defined by your education.

  1. What is the job outlook?

It’s important to know your job prospects before entering a profession; you don’t want to go through years of studying to find no jobs at the end. You want to avoid entering a dwindling industry, think about your long-term possibilities. Pursue a career with projected job growth, not one that will be obsolete years from now.

  1. What are your salary needs?

Salary shouldn’t be the deciding factor for a career choice but earning potential is a factor to consider. See if your salary expectations can be met within your career field so you can make an informed decision before embarking on a career path. Use a site like PayScale to figure out the average income of mid-career professionals.

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