8 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Career Path.
Over 800,000 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exam candidates walked out of the exam rooms with excitement and ambition as they stepped into what they believe will be a bright future.
Well, the prospects of that future will be largely determined by one question: Which career path to pursue?
While some may have already had the benefit of receiving career counseling, the vast majority of others will likely face that question much later.
That process should ideally begin in the early years of post-primary education, but it is never too late to find a career that one is suited for.
There are as many careers available as there are disciplines in tertiary institutions. Individual preferences vary even more.
So, how does one go about determining and selecting how they will spend the rest of their active adult life?
8 Ps to consider when Choosing a Career Path
I propose eight pointers that can be used as a compass when navigating the uncharted high seas of career selection. Passion, performance, professional exposure, planning, and personality type are examples of these.
1. Interest and passion
Passion is a strong desire that can propel you to great heights. Finding your passion is a journey in and of itself. Do not be discouraged if you do not yet know.
Continue to try new things. Even if you have to build it, it will come. Choosing a career that is in line with your interests means committing to a lifetime of occupational fulfillment.
What if you are aware that you have a passion for something but do nothing about it? This is the primary issue with passion.
You can be passionate about something, but if you don’t do anything about it, you’ll never know what you’re truly capable of.
Begin working on it right away! Join that club, play that sport, or participate in the activity that fuels your passion.
Passion will drive you to get up in the middle of the night to finish a task. Passion will drive you to reject distractions that are not in line with your vision.
Passion is the key to unlocking your career. It is the fuel that will propel you past all obstacles in your path.
This is the most basic and important criterion for most people who want to make a career. Affordability, or Paisa in layman’s terms, determines the purchasing power of those who dare to dream.
When it comes to ensuring education for all in Kenya, the Right to Education Act falls short of the mark. In most cases, those who can afford it can receive the best training, knowledge, and opportunities.
Most students disregard their interests in favor of pursuing a career that is financially rewarding. Career planning is essential for rewarding and fulfilling work life.
Aside from passion, one must excel academically in the subjects that will lead to their desired career.
You may be interested in medicine, but your performance in sciences, particularly biology, is poor. You may need to work harder in that subject or switch to another career option.
Remember that universities and colleges will admit you based on your grades before they look at how enthusiastic you are about your career choice.
Grades sell you, but passion motivates you. Determine which subjects will benefit your career. Then make a commitment to improving and excelling in them.
While career advisors can help you identify the subject prerequisites for your career, it is your responsibility to achieve the required grades.
4. Job availability
When selecting a job or career path, you should conduct research and keep up to date on the types of jobs that do not go out of season or jobs that will replace you in the long run due to technological advancements.
It can be exhausting to apply for jobs that have a short lifespan and provide no job satisfaction.
Even as the job market continues to displace more people and replace them with machines, there are still opportunities for people to get good jobs and advance in their careers.
Before making any decisions, look for job openings in your desired career field.
Choosing a career path is not enough. You must decide how you are going to get there. Determine your strengths and interests so that you can find professional opportunities that you will enjoy and excel at.
To make informed academic and career decisions, you must first understand your needs, strengths, personality, skills, talents, and interests.
Early planning is essential. How soon? I believe that career planning begins as soon as a child enters formal schooling.
6. Professional exposure
Some students have a clear idea of what they want to do with their lives. Some people have no idea.
The reason for this is that most students are not exposed to professionals from various fields. I always advise parents and guardians to expose their children to their friends in various professions.
Children learn psychologically through observation and imitation. Exposure to a variety of professions careers piques their interest.
This can be accomplished through job or professional shadowing, internships, career talks, or simply visiting various organizations.
7. Personality type
Why is personality important when choosing a career? Understanding your personality allows you to appreciate your emotions, behaviors, and thought patterns.
For example, do you prefer to work alone or with others? Would you be happy in a job that requires you to be extremely organized and follow a strict schedule?
Or are you the type of person who prefers an open, flexible schedule that allows you to be spontaneous? This information will help you decide which career best fits your personality.
8. Course availability
Because not all institutions offer the same course or teach in the same way, it is best to double-check your desired career path to see if it is taught at your preferred institution.
Most people are forced to change careers because such courses are not available at the university or institution where they have been accepted to study.
Before applying to any institution, it is critical to check for such courses or other related courses for your future job to avoid cases of you changing your career field after graduation.
Course relevance is an important consideration when deciding on a career path. Many careers and jobs are becoming less important and obsolete as new technologies and science replace them.
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As a result, when deciding on a career path, consider the course’s relevance in the job market. ATM machines, for example, are replacing some of the jobs of bank tellers, and manufacturing machines are replacing the jobs of most manufacturers.
A relevant career today may become obsolete tomorrow, so look for jobs with long-term relevance.