Which Career Do I Choose?

by Victoria

I have about four different careers I think I would like to go into but I'm not sure which one to pursue!

Physiotherapy (I have a place on an MSc course;
Chartered surveyor;
Graphic/interior design.

Can you give me some guidance and reassurance that I'm doing the right thing?

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Which Career Do I Choose?
by: Cherry

How to choose between different careers? That is a great question and one that I have seen many clients struggle with.

The most important thing you need when making any decision is information about the key elements involved. In the case of your career those elements are a) you and b) the different careers you are considering. Obvious, I know, but it is surprising how few people tackle their career choices in this systematic way.

So what do you need to know about yourself? Take some time to review just what makes you tick. What kind of person are you? What activities enthuse and energise you? How do you like to spend your time? What do you really want to get from your work? What are your natural skills and strengths – it makes sense to use what comes naturally to you. And try taking a step back to take the long view – what would you like to look back on when your career is over? The 4 ideas you are considering will be rewarding in very different ways. Which do you think you would look back on with most pride?

Take a look at the Who Am I section http://www.how-to-change-careers.com/career-change-assessment.html of the How To Change Careers website. That will give you some ideas and exercises to explore these issues more thoroughly.

Then you need to know more about the careers you are considering. I am sure you have done a lot of this already, but the 2 sources I recommend are:

The Prospects website – a UK site which gives detailed job profiles of 100's of graduate jobs, with links to sources of further information and related careers.

O*Net Online – A US government site which does the same, across a very wide range of roles. Be aware that job titles may be slightly different, but the core information they provide is still very helpful.

Once you have built up a clearer picture of who you are, you are in a better position to evaluate the information about the jobs you are researching. Which one matches your own list of skills, interests, values and personal style most closely?

If you are finding it really hard to choose, remember that you do not have to commit to this for life. There have always been people who have pursued a series of different careers over their working lives, and the current job market is moving strongly in the direction of serial careers.

The choice you make now is not for ever. You will grow and change as a person over your life so one option may work for you right now, but then in 15 years time, you will be ready to do something totally different – and that's fine. Don’t ever let your career become a prison; it should grow and change with you not inhibit and constrain you.

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