by Waller Jamison
There are a great many factors which influence your career
choice, whether you are just starting out in the workforce or making a career change in your 30s, 40s or later. To
get you started, here are some of the main areas you need to consider: your personality, your interests, you long
term goals and your values.
The 6 broad personality types defined by John Holland
Realistic, Social, Conventional, Investigative, Enterpising
and Artistic. Most people will find they identify strongly with one of those groups and also have a few traits from
a couple of others. In fact you might find that you identify really strongly with two of them. This is a good
starting point for determining the best career choice for you.
Generally speaking, artistic people don't like structure and
are drawn to creative work, whilst conventional types tend to go for routine and structure and like to have someone
else in charge.
The realistic category includes people who enjoy physical
work, whether with animals or plants or being involved in sports. They may also be good at making and repairing
things, or working with tools and machinery.
Social is fairly obvious - people who enjoy
working with people.
Investigative is for all the budding CSIs out there, as well
as people who enjoy working in research in any field from journalism to medicine.
Enterprising people are the ones who enjoy setting up
businesses, taking risks and being the leader.
Values and Beliefs
If you have important values, these can have a significant
bearing on your choice of career and how or where you practise it, for example, if you feel strongly about access
to health care for all, you might become a doctor or nurse and work with homeless people, peple on low incomes or
you might go abroad to any area where there are limited health care facilities.
If you feel strongly about the way in which we are treating
the planet, you might choose to work in some area of conservation.
Ambitions and Goals
These are important motivators when it ocmes to career
choice. Do you want to climb to the top of a ladder and enjoy responsibility and a high salary in a corporate
environment? Or are you more interested in having a varied career which gives the opportunity to do a wide range of
Are you academic and enjoy gaining qualifications because you
have a thirst for knowledge? Do you want to travel or be your own boss, or both?
This is the corner of the room where the sportsmen and women
have congregataed along with those who are good at making or fixing things. There are also a few other people who
enjoy working outside, with animals or plants or who likek to work with machines or tools.
The interest you have developed so far in your life should
alsobe key components in your choice of career. After all, no-one wants to spend a lifetime doing a job which they
find boring. So think about the type of skills and activities which you enjoy and would like to be doing on a daily
basis for at least several years.