Choosing a career is one of the most significant decisions that an individual will ever make in his or her life, so it should not be taken lightly. Of course, it is always possible to change careers by going back to school for additional training or education; however, it is best to choose a career as early as possible to maximize promotional opportunities, and to get the most experience possible. Some people find that taking a career aptitude test is a good way to help them make a career decision. Others find that getting as much experience as possible, such as by doing volunteer work or taking classes in a wide variety of subjects, helps give them direction when choosing a career.
People thinking about choosing a career should begin by thinking about what they enjoy doing in their spare time. For instance, people who are good with kids might want to become a teacher; individuals who are interested in science or biology might want to pursue medical or environmental careers. These are just a few examples, but any area in which a person's interests can align with his or her skills will help to ensure an enjoyable career that can last a lifetime. One rule of thumb is to determine if you would still do the job if you had to do it for free.
Another method of choosing a career is to take some personality and career aptitude tests. These can help to indicate potential areas in which a person might be successful based on personality traits. For example, people with leadership skills or a more assertive personality might be successful in a managerial or business environment. If the tests do not provide enough guidance, actually meeting with a career counselor to discuss the results of a career aptitude test may be helpful. This person can provide more information and tips for pursuing a particular career path.
Some people find that rather than focusing on choosing a career, pursuing life experiences helps to point them in the right direction. Doing volunteer work or spending some time traveling can help to point out interests that could head to a career. Others simply take a variety of classes at a local college or university, in the hopes of finding something that sparks an interest. Any of these methods can be successful in either choosing an initial career or making a career change later in life.