How Do I Choose the Right Occupation?

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  • Written By: Lily Ruha
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 09 August 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
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Choosing the right occupation requires matching your personal talents and interests to the appropriate career type, industry and work environment. Identifying your personal skills and abilities is an important part of the decision. Determining which types of tasks you find most pleasurable is another factor. Pinpointing the right industry and/or environment is also necessary for thriving in a career, and it typically involves researching multiple occupations. Many people change careers repeatedly throughout their lifetimes, an indication that numerous opportunities exist for making the right career decision.

Narrowing down your career choices often starts with assessing your skills. Analytical thinking, quantitative skills and creative capability are a few examples of personal strengths and skills that might be required in the workplace. Your strengths can be assessed by looking inward to determine the types of tasks for which you have always been praised. You might have excelled in certain school subjects, or supervisors might have commented on your outstanding performance in specific tasks. Working with a career counselor and taking career assessment tests can also help to gauge these skills.


Identifying personal passions and interests is also important when choosing an occupation. Much of your time will be spent at work, making it important to select a career that you enjoy. One of the best ways to identify your passions is to consider how you normally spend your free time. You might enjoy socializing with people, giving advice to friends or researching information on topics of interest. A person who enjoys all three of these activities, for example, might enjoy teaching, counseling or journalism.

The right industry and work environment are important considerations in occupation selection. Examine your primary career goals, which might be to earn a large salary, help people or achieve financial autonomy. If you are passionate about helping people, for example, you might consider an occupation in a community organization or a social services agency. A fast-paced and lucrative industry might be the best choice if you thrive in a more demanding work environment that offers a high salary. If working alone is appealing, starting your own home-based business might be the best choice.

Selecting the right occupation is often a trial-and-error process that involves making a choice and determining whether it is a fit. Committing to the study of a particular subject, for example, does not mean that you cannot change your career direction later. Many people change jobs several times throughout their lives before finding the ideal task, industry and environment. Internships and temporary jobs are other options for exploring new occupations and industries before committing to a career path.



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