Choosing the Career Path: Defining the Main Steps

Topic: Career
Words: 927 Pages: 3

Career indecision is a common phenomenon that has faced many people at one point in life. Selecting a career is one of the most significant decisions an individual has to make in life. In large part, a person’s career dictates where they live, their lifestyle, how much money they will make, and the type of people they will associate with. Choosing the right career path allows individuals to pursue their interests which are liable to change with time. It is not rare for somebody to be vested in economics at one time in life and then abruptly develop an interest in history (McKay, 2019). While career indecisions are confusing and time-consuming, the following steps can guide a person in pursuing the right profession.


Individuals learning about themselves is a crucial step when it comes to making the right career choice. An individual’s interests, values, aptitudes, and soft skills combined with personality type make various professions a good fit for them and others incompatible. A person should use self-assessment tools such as “career leader” and “career tests” to gather information about their traits and conversely generate a list of occupations that are well-suited for them (McKay, 2019). Career counselors or professionals focused on career development can also be used to help a person identify themselves.

Making a List of Professions to Explore

At this point, an individual probably has multiple lists of professions that have been generated during the self-assessment process. For the person to be organized, they need to combine all the lists into one master list. Next, the person should identify the occupations that seem appealing to them from the list. These can be careers the person has information about and should examine them further (McKay, 2019). Consequently, they should then include occupations they have no information about and examine them, probably leading to learning something unexpected.

Exploring the Occupations on the Master List

This point should be thrilling because the person has already managed to narrow their list down. This stage should allow the individual to gather some primary information about each occupation in the list. In addition, the person should find job illustrations and training, educational and licensing requirements from published sources (McKay, 2019). Labor market data produced by the government can be used to access information concerning incomes and job outlook.

Creating a Short List

The information gathered in the previous step should help in narrowing the list further. Considering what the person has learned through their research, they should eliminate the occupations they do not want to pursue further. The careers that should be left on the shortlist should range from two to five. Fields that comprise duties that are not appealing to the individual and with poor outlook should be removed from the list (“careers advice archives – Youth employment UK”, 2018). Subsequently, any occupation that the person cannot attain or skills required to succeed in should also be removed.

Conducting Informational Interviews

When there are only a few occupations left on the list, more in-depth research should be conducted. Meetings with people working in the professions of interest should be arranged. These individuals can help in offering first-hand knowledge concerning the occupations on the list (“careers advice archives – Youth employment UK”, 2018). Networks such as LinkedIn should be accessed to find individuals who can be helpful through this type of interview.

Making a Career Choice

Finally, after conducting research has been completed, an individual is probably ready to make a decision. At this stage, it would be wise to pick the occupation that one feels most satisfied with regarding all the information gathered. Moreover, it is allowed to make a do-over if an individual change their mind about the decision they made in the future (“careers advice archives – Youth employment UK”, 2018). Most people have changed their careers a few times over the years.

Goals Identification

Once a decision on the career to pursue has been made, it is time for individuals to identify their long-term and short-term goals. This step helps in chartering a course that should be followed to attain work in the required profession. Long-term goals take more than three to five years to achieve, while a short-term plan can be reached within a period of six to three years. At this stage, the research on education and training should guide setting the goals (“careers advice archives – Youth employment UK”, 2018). For instance, a long-term goal would be finishing education and training.

Writing a Career Action Plan

Establishing a career plan that dictates all the steps to achieve an individual’s goals is crucial. The plan acts as a road map that takes an individual from one point to another. All the long-term and short-term goals should be written in the method and the steps to achieve them. Additionally, all the typical obstacles and possible solutions should be identified (“careers advice archives – Youth employment UK”, 2018). This plan saves a person from a lot of uncertainties and struggles in the future.

Deciding which is the best career path one should follow is very confusing and time-consuming. It is also the most crucial decision that a person has to make in life, but surprisingly many people end up in the wrong careers. An individual’s profession dictates their lifestyle, the people they interact with, their income, and where they live. All these factors indicate how important it is to choose the right career path, and hence people should take their time and do proper research before deciding what they want to do with their lives.


careers advice archives – Youth employment UK. Youth employment UK. (2018). Web.

McKay, D. (2019). Your step-by-step guide to choosing a career. The balance careers. Web.

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