The Do’s and Don’ts when Choosing Your Career

Choosing a career can seem like a daunting task, whether it is your first job, or you are in the middle of changing careers.  However, if you have the right tools and resources and ask yourself the right questions, then it can be made considerably easier.  Factors such as interests, attitudes, skills, training and availability of work are all important to consider when searching for a new career.

What Interests You?

Before selecting a career, it's a good idea to make a list of the things that interest you in terms of work.  Would you like to work in academia, perhaps in research and analysis, or you’ve always wanted to teach school-aged children.  Perhaps the world of advertising and marketing appeals or you’re a fan of the Apprentice and want to be an entrepreneur but want to get some work experience first.  Office-based work offers a host of opportunities in accounting and bookkeeping, HR, business development, recruitment, administration and secretarial work to name a few.  You may be surprised to find that some of the things you enjoy doing daily can actually be components of a future career.

Evaluate Your Skills

Knowing your strengths, values, personality and skills is key to choosing the best career option.   What things do you do well and compare them to work you've done in the past to identify key transferrable skills that can be used in a new career.  For example, do you enjoy working with numbers; perhaps maths was a strong subject at school or university? Perhaps you’re a people person and really enjoy interacting face-to-face with people?  Are you organised and like the fine detail, or are you more of a ‘bigger picture’ person?  Skills can be broken down by types and matched up with specific career paths. In order to determine what career you should choose, begin by looking at skills that can be used on the job or look at career paths that compliment your current skills and talents.


Work Attitudes

How you feel about work can have an affect on the types of careers that you will eventually choose. Having a positive attitude and being self-motivated about working can help with being able to manage stress, as well as deal with responsibility.  Attitudes can also contribute to the factors that drive people to work in certain careers; such as those attracted to high earnings, wanting to work with specific groups of people or needing independence.

Social Environment

You’ll want to consider the social environment in which you’ll work.   Are you an introvert or an extrovert?  Would you be happy working in an office or are you keen to be on the go, perhaps visiting the client’s offices, or even working outside?  Try to choose a career that fits your social needs and even if a job doesn’t fit what you’re comfortable with, it’s always a great opportunity to grow with new experiences!

Training and Education

In order to work in certain careers, an industry expected level of training and education is a general requirement.  This may mean that you will need to attain a certain degree or level of experience before you can begin work in that area or you may be able to gain a qualification or undertake further training while on the job.  Many employers today offer and fund continual professional development programmes for employees at every level so be sure to investigate the opportunities available when considering an employer. It’s important to choose a training program that is within your means to achieve, from both a financial and time commitment perspective, to avoid setting yourself up for failure.

Availability of Jobs

When choosing a career, a big factor is how many jobs will be available at certain levels.  If you are a new graduate or are trying to switch careers mid-life, this determines what type of work you settle on.  As we know in Guernsey particularly, local industries can play a large part in what work people do, so if you are looking for something that is outside of available work, you can expect to have to relocate to find a job.  You need to focus on realistic and viable career options.  By pursuing a skill that’s marketable, and that you’re good at, you’ll have an opportunity to work in the future.   

Career Advice

Last but not least, you can also seek career advice which will help guide and support you in making the right choices.  The States of Guernsey provides a career advisory service and at Situations we have been offering recruitment and career advice for over 30 years, guiding thousands of candidates through the process and finding them fantastic careers in both the commercial and financial sectors on the island.


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