How to Choose a Career Path

By Lavender Syanda, Digital Marketer and Career Peer Advisor
Thinking about the future and the direction your life will take might seem like a mountainous task and in a lot of ways, it is. This is because our work-life makes up the majority of human life making it a very big deal. However, it doesn’t have to be something that stresses you out. Here are five steps to choosing a career path:

  • Self-discovery
  • Know your options
  • Do proper research
  • Align yourself with your goals
  • Room for change

The first and most important step to choosing a career path is getting to know yourself. What does that entail exactly? It entails knowing your strengths, weaknesses, likes, interests, personality type, and values. How does one get to know all these things about themselves? There are tons of free tests online. You can start with the 16 personality types Myers Briggs test and go from there.

Why is it so important to know yourself? We shall address that in the second point below.

Know your options
The reason why you should take the time to know yourself is that it helps you select and narrow down your options. Knowing what you are good at and what you suck at will help you choose a field that is suitable for you. Can you imagine being around people all day as an introvert? Being an introvert myself, I shall tell you that it will only end in you being tired and cranky.

Once you have taken all the tests online and have a pretty good idea about yourself, the next step is to write a list of all the career paths that interest you. You can do this by looking at the various courses offered at your school. Once you have listed them down, look into the various classes you need to take to obtain said degree then, using that information, you can narrow your options down.

Do proper research
The third step in choosing a career path is doing proper research. What do I mean? Say you want to be a finance manager or something and you have seen what it takes but you are bad at math, do you see the mismatch? Or perhaps you don’t like working long hours yet the career path you are interested in is fueled by minimal sleep, you are setting yourself up for failure. Think also about work-life balance. Is that something that matters to you or are you looking forward to being married to your work? The point is to know yourself and make a choice that will suit you.

Align yourself with your goals
The fourth step would be to know what it takes to make your dream career a reality. Whatever you would have concluded on, find out what steps you need to take to make it happen then align yourself to said goals. What do I mean? For example, you wish to be a great marketer, what steps do you need to make this happen? You will need to pick the right classes, take all the marketing concentration classes, learn about marketing trends, learn about companies with the best marketing strategies and understand how they achieve them, go to any marketing expos, and of course, get great scores in the classes you are taking. Why is this last point important? Because you are not the only one with this dream. You will have hundreds, if not thousands of rivals so for you to remain competitive, your scores should act as a reflection of your abilities to understand concepts at the very least.

Room for change
The final step is to give yourself room to change your mind. You are only human after all and life changes every day so give yourself room to change your mind. Nothing is cast in stone. In life, things could change either at the drop of a hat or overtime. You could be passionate about finance in your twenties and be passionate about theater in your thirties, life happens so don’t be too obdurate in your thinking.

As always, I hope this helps, and remember that you don’t have to figure everything out on your own. We encourage you to reach out to the Placement and Careers Office for assistance with figuring out your career path. Feel free to email us anytime at

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