From researching a company’s provisions to learning what you want from a career, here are 13 answers to the question, “What are the most important factors to consider when researching a career field?“
Assess Organizational Opportunities
A less common factor to assess is an organization’s ability to invest in upskilling and professional development opportunities; this will allow you to gain industry-specific knowledge and further your career.
When companies actively invest in your growth and provide access to material resources, such as an upgraded laptop or software subscriptions, it speaks volumes about their commitment to you as an employee. One should closely study these types of investments prior to accepting job offers, as they can be invaluable for gaining experience.
Research the Field’s Relevance
Many career fields show tremendous growth potential, but others may not have that same upside, so it is critical to research a field’s relevance. Most people who worked with phonebook advertisements never foresaw a day when that job would become extinct, and there are many fields out there that may interest you, but recent developments and technology may threaten some.
Taking the time to look at a career field’s relevance, identifying technologies that challenge its sustainability, and evaluating its overall potential for growth is important to not end up in a job that is slowly being phased out.
The best career fields are those that have the potential to grow and be sustainable, and by considering the surrounding factors that impact those qualities, you can ensure that you will make a good choice.
Think About How Your Career Will Affect Your Goals
When you’re looking into a career field, weigh roles and prospects against your long-term goals. For example, if you want to work in social media, roles involving communications or content creation could be a stepping stone in that direction.
Conversely, holding a position that doesn’t involve any creative output may give future potential employers some pause. Researching offered roles in any field and seeing how they align with your long-term ideals is important when researching a career path.
Balance Your Work and Life
Consider how your career will fit into your life outside of work. Some people cannot handle certain professions because of the long hours, frequent travel, or even having to work on weekends or holidays.
Find out what aspects of a healthy work-life balance are most important to you, and then investigate whether the career can accommodate those aspects.
Jay Soni, Marketing Director, Yorkshire Fabric Shop
Be Honest With Yourself
When researching a career field, there are several factors to consider, but perhaps the most important one is to determine whether the career field aligns with your interests, values, and skills.
Ask yourself if you find the work engaging and motivating. Does it excite you to think about working in this field for the long term? Make sure you have the skills and aptitude required to succeed in the field. If not, decide if you will learn and develop those skills.
It’s important to enjoy what you do because if you think about it, you’ll be spending most of your time at work. There is no point in going down a career path in which you know you will be miserable.
Pay Attention to Career Longevity
It’s important to have confidence that the potential route you’re going offers job stability and growth opportunities over the course of your career.
When you invest time and energy into building skills and expertise in a particular field, you want to know that your efforts will pay off in the long run.
A career field with longevity may also offer more opportunities to build transferable skills that can apply to different jobs and industries. This can give you more flexibility in your career path and increase your overall job marketability.
Know the Benefits and Salary
Consider any incentives or benefits that you can include when researching the average wage range for your desired career field.
This information can help you in determining whether the salary and benefits are competitive and meet your financial objectives and needs. Job postings, industry publications, and online salary calculators can research compensation and benefits.
Move Where Your Career Thrives
The most important factor to consider when researching a job field would be the location where that field mainly operates. We tend not to think about such things as having access to anything online, but the reality is some industries are synonymous with their locations. And that means a person may have to move.
An example would be New York, NY, which is a great place for those in fashion and finance. Los Angeles, CA, is still a great place for anyone seeking a career in film production. Your career may dictate where you end up living.
Practice Career Pathing
Career pathing is the most important factor to consider when researching a career field. A particular career may sound great on the outside, but once a job seeker does research, they should learn more about how, if, and/or when this field will help them reach their ultimate professional goal.
In doing so, it is important to consider all the stops and/or detours along the way.
Shape Your Career on Your Personality
One of the most important factors to consider is your personality and the level of happiness you want to attain from your employment.
Extroverted people like engaging with others and find professional fulfillment in positions that entail a lot of socializing. Extroverts excel in fields like sales, medicine, healthcare, and customer service. It may dissatisfy extroverts to have a job that demands them to work alone for extended periods.
Those who are more introverted prefer to work alone or in small groups. Introverts dominate careers such as writing and editing, software engineering, and paralegal.
Look Into Growth Opportunities and Advancement
You should look into potential career choices, advancement chances, and professional development opportunities.
This information might help you decide whether the chosen field offers prospects for promotion and growth. You can explore prospects for growth and promotion by reviewing job descriptions, speaking with professionals in the sector, and investigating industry publications and resources.
Attending career fairs and networking events can provide insights into a specific field’s growth prospects and opportunities.
Strengthen Your Self-Awareness
It’s incredibly helpful if you are self-aware while researching a career field. Knowing yourself and your goals can go a long way in finding the right career. One can increase self-awareness by introspection — journaling is a powerful way to do that.
You can take personality and career assessment tests, such as the MBTI, Enneagram, and the Holland Career Assessment test. These tests are available to take for free online. You can also do a 360-feedback exercise with friends, family, and former work associates to understand your strengths and areas of improvement.
Keep Your Values in Mind
When researching a career field, exploring your passions, what motivates you, and what you enjoy doing is essential.
This will help you determine which career field aligns best with your values and interests. Choosing a career that matches your passions and interests makes you more likely to be engaged and fulfilled in your work, leading to greater job satisfaction and success. It’s also important to consider factors such as job growth, salary, and work-life balance.
However, these factors should not be the sole drivers of your career choice. By prioritizing your personal values and interests, you can find a career that brings you joy and fulfillment and where you can thrive and make a meaningful impact.