Identifying Career Choices

Mary Gormandy White
key to success

You need to consider several different factors when identifying career choices. Before you decide a particular type of job is right for you, it's important to give serious thought to what working in that field is really going to be like. It's certainly important to think about the tasks associated with performing a particular job. However, thinking about the duties you'll carry out on a daily basis is not the only consideration.

Geographic Considerations

It's important to think about where you'll need to live in order to work in the field that you select. With some occupations, employment opportunities are plentiful in cities and towns of all sizes. Doctors, lawyers, accountants, and teachers are in demand in all locations. There are also opportunities for restaurant and retail managers just about everywhere.

Many career fields are specific to particular regions, however. For example, if you want to be a ski instructor, you need to be prepared to live in an area known for its ski resorts. If you want to work in television or in the movies, you'll likely need to relocate to California or New York. If your career plans include working as a television news reporter or anchor, you'll need to be prepared to start your career in a small market, with the expectation that relocation to larger markets will be necessary if you want to advance you your career.

Compensation Considerations

Before settling on a particular career, it's important to think about how much money you are likely to earn in that occupation. You certainly want to select an occupation in which you'll be able to live the type of lifestyle you desire. It's also important to keep in mind that many of the highest paying occupations require a significant amount of formal education.

Make sure that you understand exactly how much you'll spend getting the training you need to enter these types of occupations so you can make an educated decision about whether or not doing so is in your best interest.

Work Schedule

When you're identifying career choices, it's important to think about the type of hours you're likely to work when you go to work in the particular fields that interest you. In some occupations, you can expect to work standard "banker's hours", but many jobs require shift work, evening or weekend hours, or almost constant on-call availability. Some fields are ideal for those who need flexibility, such as freelance writing and direct sales opportunities. Other occupations, such as teaching and working as a bank teller, require structured work schedules.

If it's important to you that you be able to be home for dinner with your family every evening, you won't want to select a field that requires extensive travel or evening work. Hospitals, for example, must be staffed 24 hours per day. Entry level hospital employees typically get the least desirable work schedules, as day shifts are typically made available to tenured employees before new hires.

Benefit Availability

You should also consider the types of benefits you'll be able to get when identifying career choices. Many universities, for example, offer free or discounted tuition to employees and their family members. If you want to continue your education, or make certain that your kids don't have to incur significant student loan debt, it may be in your best interest to seek employment in a school environment.

Many individuals select state or federal government employment opportunities primarily to take advantage of the outstanding retirement benefits associated with these types of occupations. Even though public school teachers typically do not earn the highest salaries, their retirement benefits are far superior to those offered by most private employers.

Making Career Decisions

Identifying career choices is not something that anyone should do lightly. Before you make a final decision about pursuing a particular line of work, be sure to consider all the relevant factors.

Identifying Career Choices