Choosing a Career: Q&A
How do I pick a career?
There are many activities you can do to start the process of career exploration. Questions you should begin to consider are:
- What do I like to do?
- What classes do I do well in?
- How long am I willing to go to school?
- What are my job-related values?
- What are my strengths?
You can also take a self-assessment test. The Career Cruising Web-based career exploration program has an interest assessment that offers career suggestions based on what you like and dislike. When you are finished taking these assessments you are shown careers that match up with your results. Career Cruising will provide detailed information on any potential careers. Also, Lee College has skilled counselors who can help you select a career and create an action plan to reach your goal. Contact the Counseling Center for more information.
How much money can I earn in my chosen career?
There are many resources to find salary information. One such resource is Career Cruising. Another excellent resource is a book called Occupational Outlook Handbook
. It is updated every year so it is important to seek the current year’s volume. Any public library will have it in its collection. There are other books/materials available in the Career & Transfer Center.
Also see Lee College’s Career Coach, which lists potential careers, their projected job demand and salary expectations, and the education required for each employment field.
Which jobs are hot?
Most career counselors are very cautious when asked this question. While it is important to consider job outlook (job market), this should not be the only factor considered when selecting a career. “Hot” jobs are located in several career areas including health care and technology. Also, teaching has been an excellent career for many because of a teacher shortage experienced nationally.
Lee College’s Career Coach also shows how many people are currently employed in each career field in this area, as well as offering projections for future employment scenarios.
How do I know which job is for me?
It is difficult to narrow down career choices. Often, students will find it helpful to enlist a friend, teacher, spouse, parent, or counselor to discuss options. It is very important to have reliable factual data when weighing career options. Consider the following:
- How much education is required to enter the career?
- How much money am I likely to make?
- Can I see myself doing this job for several years?
- Will my needs and values be met?
- Can I advance in the field or in a related area?
- Can I do the job?
It may be helpful to list the answers to these questions on a piece of paper in columns so you can compare and contrast the results. Counselors are an excellent resource for discussing and evaluating options.
Can I take a test to tell me what I should do?
A career test will not tell you what to do. Tests should be used as tools to assist your career search. There are a variety of tests available to assist you in career exploration. Interest inventories, ability tests and personality tests are among the most common assessments available. Career Cruising is available to students and the community, at no cost, in the Career & Transfer Center.
How do I choose between two careers?
Decision-making is a process. If you have your career options narrowed to two choices, the best way to choose is likely to be weighing them against each other. In other words, make a list of characteristics for comparing and contrasting against each other.