Factors That Influence Career Choices

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Article by: College of Career Guidance and Development

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Why do people opt for one career over another? For example, why would a person choose to be a plumber rather than a surgeon? There are a number of factors that determine our career choices.

1. Hobbies, talents and skills

What a person likes to do plays a big role in choosing one career over another. A person may be more inclined to bake for a living because this is what they enjoy doing and what they are good at. Making your big decision based on this is a great way to go because it may offer you higher chances of enthusiasm going to work every day. When you do what you are good at, there is a very high chance that you will love your job. Imagine being paid to do something you love? Ask yourself today, what are my interests, my talents, my abilities? Are they high enough to sustain a career?

2. External influences

The people surrounding you as you grow up also greatly influence your career choices. These could be your mentors, teachers, coaches, family members and friends. Perhaps one of your role models is a very successful engineer. You would also long to have the same ‘fate’ and for that reason, you begin to aspire to become an engineer. A word of caution: you should always be self-aware before letting other people influence your decisions.

3. Personality types

A person’s personality also influences their life path in terms of career choices. For example, a person with an inquisitive personality may gravitate towards more scientific careers to quench their thirst for knowledge. In addition, people with more confidence and loud personalities may lean towards careers that enable them to use their voice. For example, these people may enjoy careers in law or public speaking because their personalities enable them to do just that. Doing a job that aligns with your personality makes it more enjoyable and easier since its requirements are second nature to you.