Choosing a career can be one of the most important decisions in your life. It might seem stressful and terrifying to make such a huge choice – but it doesn’t have to be!
There’s a simple way to break down your career choices into a handful of easy steps. By following this process, you might even find out a lot more about yourself than you previously knew.
As you work on finding your ideal career, don’t forget to take more than financial compensation into consideration. There are so many different, but worthwhile motivations for finding your dream job – like considering your working style, the location you’ll be working at, the schedule you’ll work, whether you’ll be doing individual or team-based work, and whether you’ll be situated indoors at a desk or outside on your feet, but that’s just the beginning!
How to Choose the Right Career
You may be wondering “what’s the best career for me?” or even “what career should I have?” – and you’re not alone. Many people find themselves challenged by questions like these.
A great way to start working toward choosing a career path is to consider what skills you might already have. Many skills are transferable between industries – think of unique situations that have made you what you are today.
There’s almost always a way to incorporate your unique background and skills as you work on finding the right career. There are many ways to take stock of your educational and career goals, and with most things in life, it involves asking yourself what you are truly interested in doing.
Start by finding out what you do and don’t like to do. What careers play to your strengths and avoid your weaknesses? As you learn how to pick a career, always keep yourself in mind – in the end, you’ll be the one needing to perform the work, so make sure you’ll enjoy doing it and disregard what others may think about it.
Identify Short Term Goals
Ideally, you should be working towards planning out at least the next 3-5 years of your life. What do you hope to be doing professionally? Personally? Are there any promotions you hope to achieve, or things you want to learn? Vacations or important goals you want to save up for? Your life and your career need to mesh well with each other, so be as broad as possible in this planning phase.
Identify Long Term Goals
As you build off your short term goals and into plans for the long-run, like the next 6-10 years, keep in mind that your planning should be realistic. A helpful tool used by many is known as SMART goalsetting – which involves keeping large and flexible enough to plan around while remaining realistic and, well, smart about their implementation. Each letter stands for something different, yet important:
- S: Specific – Meaning, a goal should be specific enough to be clearly explained
- M: Measurable – One should be able to measure progress against the goal at some points in time
- A: Attainable – Goals are realistic and able to be achieved
- R: Relevant – Goals are actually relevant and make sense in the context of the overall plan
- T: Time-bound – Goals have a set date for completion, and sometimes for completion of sub-tasks
Research Careers Worth Getting Into
Careers might have differing levels of viability in the modern economy. While financial compensation isn’t everything, it’s important to make sure the career you’d like to focus on has jobs available. Review the data for your fields of interest to see what job expectations look like both now, and over the next several years.
Create a Shortlist
As the job search narrows, it might be time to start building a shortlist of those careers worthy of further, in-depth research. This method helps make more efficient use of your time by only focusing significant research on the fields that you’ve identified as being best for you – making it easier to truly dive into a field and think about all of the important considerations you need to take into account before determining if that path would work well for you.
Research Online Reviews
A great way to start research is to simply see what other people already working in the field are saying. Take a look at reviews of current jobs at well-known companies operating in the area you’re considering joining. See what people are saying about career prospects and what the work is like. This is a great and easy way to see how the people already doing the work you’re now considering feel about their roles.
Are You Qualified?
Find out if any certifications or diplomas are necessary to work in the field you’re considering. For example, to work as an HVAC technician, certification from the EPA could be required.
Check With Career Services
At Arizona Automotive Institute (AAI), our Career Services team works with students to develop the skills they need to find opportunities that are right for them and helps them turn those opportunities into a new career.
AAI’s Career Services employees are dedicated to building lasting relationships with employers, businesses, and community organizations, which they may be able to use to help secure job placement for you.
Many area employers trust our graduates because they know who we are and what we’re all about. Career Services could just be the hidden gem you’re looking for to get ahead!
There’s More than One Path (Don’t Be Afraid of Failure!)
Not everyone will find the career they love on the first try. And that’s perfectly ok! Facing failure, while having the resolve to get up and try again is an essential part of overall success. Failure shouldn’t be feared – it’s the best way to truly learn.
At AAI, our students learn by doing – and sometimes that means learning from doing something wrong. There will always be trial and error in life – embrace it!
In-Demand Careers for 2019
AAI offers a variety of programs geared towards real-world experience. We help our students build their careers every day – and we might just have the option for you!
Automotive Service Technology
Do you have a passion for machinery and working with your hands? If car maintenance training is something you are interested in, consider our Automotive Service Technology program. Not only can you learn front-of-shop skills in customer service, but you can also learn to inspect, diagnose and repair 4, 6, and 8-cylinder foreign and domestic vehicles. Major systems are covered including engine performance, steering and suspension, brakes and tires, electrical and air conditioning. As a graduate of our automotive technician classes, you will be ready to pursue a new and exciting career.
If you like working with your hands; with heat, flames, and sparks; and want to know that the work you do is important; Combination Welding might be the right career choice for you. As a student of our welding education program, you will learn to perform shielded metal arc welding, gas tungsten arc welding, gas metal arc welding and flux core arc welding on a variety of metals and surfaces. These skills, along with the technical knowledge you gain in this program, give you the foundation for pursuing a rewarding career as a professional welder.
Diesel – Heavy Truck
Do you like working on big and powerful engines? With our diesel mechanic heavy truck training, you will learn from our experienced instructors who can teach you the hands-on skills you need to prepare you for your new career. As a student enrolled in our Diesel Mechanic Classes, you will learn to inspect, diagnose, service and repair diesel-power medium and heavy-duty vehicles like semi-trucks and buses. All major systems are covered including engine performance, transmissions, steering and suspension, brakes and tires, electrical and air conditioning.
Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Basic Refrigeration
Are you a problem solver who likes to work with your hands? If so, our Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Basic Refrigeration (HVAC/BR) training program might be the next step for you. As a student of this program, you will have the opportunity to train with instructors that have real-world experience in the industry and gain the knowledge, certification and skills that employers want.
Start Your Career Training at AAI!
We’d like to invite you to experience our program for yourself! Our admissions team is ready to answer any questions you might have about our exciting program, so feel free to reach out for additional details.
If you’re interested in visiting in person, we’d be happy to arrange a visit to our campus so you can see if AAI could be in your future. During your visit, you’ll see our students and instructors in action, visit with financial aid, and find out if one of our career training programs could be the right solution for your career training needs.
Financial aid is available to those who qualify.