How to Choose a Career


It seems people are willing to invest more on planning for a vacation than they are for a career or a job that can make a difference in their lives. Whether you are receiving unemployment, looking for a career change, or in the midst of a job search you need to invest in career planning.

According to the Apollo Research Institute, Dr. Tracey Wilen-Daugent presented the following graph regarding the time people spend planning on their career. the-future-of-work-by-dr-tracey-wilen-issainterclean-las-vegas-2015-42-638-1 Leisure and sports occupied 964.4 percent more of people’s time, as opposed to only 1.5 hours of career planning, as seen to the far right of graph.

Though it seems unemployment is stabilizing, technology and automation is increasing. The idea of losing jobs to robots and automation may seem like science fiction, but this reality may be closer than you think.

According to an Oxford University study, reported on by Bloomberg, half the U.S. workforce can be replaced by technology within a decade or two. The report identified more than 700 occupations at risk of computer automation.

ilenvbyfha5gLook at some of the jobs that are most at risk. Individuals looking for a career change or seeking employment, need to prepare for this changing landscape. This list is quite sobering. Even if an individual has a job, it makes sense to see how technology will continue to challenge and affect their employment. Learning new ways to use this technology can help an employee increase their job value. In this age of rapid technological advancement, where methods being used change quickly, it’s important to keep one’s skills and knowledge up-to-date. Reading the latest trade journals or publications in your industry is essential to job survival.


In my previous blogs “Career Confidence” and “John Henry and the Digital Revolution” I stress the usefulness of career assessments in career planning. Career assessments can help you realize the natural skills you have to offer, as well as transferable skills that you can take from one job to next.  Working alongside a career counselor, individuals can learn other valuable lifelong career management skills.

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Once you have evaluated your natural skills and preferences, you can now develop an employment navigational chart to zero in on jobs and careers that are best suited for your skills. Researching and investigating these career options is your next step. Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) are a fantastic way to get a feel for whether a particular study subject is a good fit for you. The website MOOC-List names many of the free online open courses available.

An Apollo Research Institute report states that the following ten skills will be needed in the workforce by 2020. Please click on the highlighted skill to learn more:

Researching these skills, taking courses and applying them in real-world settings will help an individual in their professional growth and job search. If a current worker doesn’t have a degree or a career changer doesn’t have time to attend college, a professional certificate is a productive option. There are several certificate programs that help update or validate your skills. These are just a few:

When putting together your ’employment navigational chart’ you have to ask yourself:

  1. What is my ultimate goal?
  2. What do I consider successful?
  3. How does this new career align with my core values?
  4. Will this job allow me to achieve what I really want out of life?

“No one can figure out your worth but you.” – Pearl Baile


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