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How to Choose a Career: 4 Basic Questions

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If you are a regular reader, you might notice a common thread between blogs this month—choosing a career and choosing wisely. For some, the future is mapped, its charted, its financed, and ready to rocket to the limit. For others, choosing a career goal is an agonizing topic of ponderation.

The Story of Brother Number One and Brother Number Two

I have two younger brothers, one who recently graduated college with an aviation administration degree and one who is in his junior year of high school. Younger Brother Number One had passionate interests since we were little kids. He had big dreams about becoming a pilot, and when he entered into his primary years at college, he made choices in his schooling that would potentially lead up to acquiring his career goal. It was easy for him. He knew what he was good at and what he hated. He had specific interests and worked his resources to the best of his ability. (However, I will mention that he chose a career whose industry tanked in the economic downturn, but that is, all together, another topic. Check out Choosing the Wrong Degree in a Bad Economy May Lead to Unemployment)

The bottom line is he had a focus, a goal to reach, which helped him in his efforts at school—academically and emotionally.

Is that you? Are you Brother Number One? Do you have an idea of where you see yourself in ten years with regard to a career? If not, be encouraged. Many students have a fuzzy visualization of their employment prospects, similar to my youngest brother, Brother Number Two, who has absolutely no idea of anything regarding personal strengths, interests, career goals….nothing.

If you are like Brother Number Two, I appeal to you in every sense of the word, to ask yourself four basic, very general questions. Sometimes we look too much at the details and not at the bigger picture which can cause us to miss what it is we are looking for.

Very Basic Question No. 1

What Am I Good At?

First off, do NOT say “nothing.” That is not true. Everyone, every single person has a strength; however, some strengths are hard to find. There are clues or triggers that may help you in finding your strength:


  • what you enjoy, what entertains you (movies, computer games, outdoor activities, clothing, etc.)
  • how you keep your room, what you display, how you display it (friends, books, sentimental items, etc.)
  • belief systems (religious, spiritual, political, humanitarian, etc.)
  • what you collect (art, magazines, electronics, etc.)
  • areas your friends, family, teachers, mentors, most encourage you (“you have the best…….”; “you are always………..”; “you’re good at……..”
  • school subjects that come easily or you grade well in


  • Are you a word or a numbers person?
  • Are you a people person?
  • Are people drawn to you?
  • Are you drawn to justice and freedom?
  • Are you able to explain or teach others?
  • Are you attracted to color, shapes, lines, and structure?
  • Are you a fix-it, build-it, how does it work person?
  • Are you a food person?
  • Are you drawn to different cultures and travel?
  • Are you a visionary?
  • Are you reactionary?
  • Do you follow directions well?
  • Are you a leader or delegator?
  • Are you easily grossed out by blood?
  • Are you a paperwork details/organization person?
  • Do you like to read?

Very Basic Question No. 2

What Do I Hate?

Aversions on their mild points can be effective motivators and can help you weed out things that you dislike on your path to a major and then on to a career.

For instance, I hate sales. I hate being the receiver of a sales pitch; I hate giving a sales pitch. Of course, I’m not saying I hate people who do sales. I’m simply saying the career and study of effectual sales is, for me, a huge deterrent to any job offer I might receive.

Think of things that you have misgivings for:

  • a subject
  • a service
  • political stance
  • job position
  • a product (energy drinks, for example)

Very Basic Question No. 3

What Sounds Interesting?

Do you picture at all or romanticize an ideal job? Also, where do your interests lie? If you have none, do you have hobbies or things that entertain you, even as obscure as habitually watching YouTube videos? Examine your interest level when measured against the idea of a specific career.

Very Basic Question No. 4

Who Do I Know?

Have you heard the saying, It’s all who you know? Well, very typically, that saying is true. Sometimes, it is good to survey the “in’s” you may have as gateways toward steady future employment. In these cases, whether the job opportunity fits your model of a perfect career, it should come in at a close second. So if there is a empty office in the family business, a venture with a friend, or a job opening with a current or previous employer, it may be worth looking into …tuition reimbursement?

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andie over 6 years ago andie

It is hard to find the right career,especially for those who don't know themselves very well.I had a traumatizing experience in the process of choosing.I did not know what to do.One day I found on my ebook reader "What career to choose?" by Alice Laurent. I readed even even if I felt that not in a million years a career guide could tell what my vocation is, but I found something revealing while I was reading.It made me remember about my childhood dreams and how I always wanted to do something really great with my life, so I recommend it to those who need some insights on this difficult subject.

hanan about 9 years ago hanan

hi my name is hanan im 24. im thinking to go to college, but im not not sure of tow things. i wanna be a nurse and i wanna be a commputer programmer.i dont know wich one i should choose. i love taking care of people specially sick people. and i like to work at computers and be very smart computer woman '_' please help me to choose. thanks