The problem of choosing a profession is faced by everyone who graduates from school. After all, this step can determine the rest of a person’s life. It isn’t always possible to choose correctly at the first time. But there are recommendations that will help school students decide what to do in the future. Let’s find out how to choose a profession and what mistakes should be avoided.

When to Choose a Profession

First, ask yourself the question: are you sure you are ready to make a choice once and for all now? Life circumstances are constantly changing, as are hobbies, values, preferences, and worldviews. And it’s okay if, having chosen one profession now, you want to change it in ten or twenty years. Don’t be afraid to try new things, experiment, look for yourself.

But at a certain point, you have to make a choice. Usually this moment comes in high school, when a student thinks where to go after graduation. This choice doesn’t have to be the final decision. You can always drop out or change your major. But it is better if at once it’s possible to define your vocation correctly.

Criteria for Choosing a Profession

To make the right choice of profession, you need to be guided by several criteria:

  • The degree of difficulty of mastering. You shouldn’t choose a specialty that will be difficult to learn.
  • Opportunities for admission. There are different educational institutions, courses and programs for mastering the future profession. Consider all the options and choose the most convenient one.
  • The profession is in demand. Think about whether it will be easy to find a job when you graduate, will such specialists be needed? For example, if you choose a sports career, you will be able to work as a coach, a betting expert at 22Bet, or a referee. 
  • Prospects for the profession. Everything is changing rapidly in the world. Will the profession be in demand in five, ten, or twenty years? If you want to make a choice for life, be sure to consider this criterion.
  • Prestige. The degree of its prestige and popularity in society also affects the choice of profession.
  • Working conditions. There are professions that involve risks to life or health, or involve working in harsh conditions. Are you prepared for that?
  • Opportunities for self-realization, for unlocking one’s potential.
  • Another criterion worth mentioning is social relevance. For many people it’s important that their work is not just interesting, well-paid and prestigious but also noble and honest, beneficial to society and making the world a better place.

Mistakes in Choosing a Career

Letting the Decision Be Made for You

It is not uncommon for applicants to enter an institution because their parents said so. This is bad for two reasons. First, if the choice is made for you, there is a high chance that you will be disappointed in your education and profession. Second, there will be resentment toward those closest to you who pushed you to make the wrong decision.

The opinion of relatives is important and worth listening to. But do not forget that after all, this is your life. Consider their advice, but decide for yourself.

Following the Crowd

This mistake is typical for people who are unsure of themselves and do not know how to defend their opinion, as in the previous case. But here the applicant enters an educational institution that his friends, a loved one, or just most of his classmates go to.

You shouldn’t do it that way. Your paths are likely to diverge anyway, even if you’re sure of the opposite now.

Not Measuring Your Desires Against Your Possibilities

The choice of future profession is made according to the formula: want + can + need. The first is our desires and needs. The third is the real prospects and opportunities in the profession, its demand. As for “can”, these are your opportunities, and they need to be taken into account.

For example, you love plants and dream of becoming a botanist. But at the same time you are allergic to pollen, which will not allow close contact with flowering plants. Is it worth studying to be a botanist? It’s up to you, but try to be realistic.

Having Misconceptions About the Profession

High school students sometimes don’t quite realize how things really are in the field they’re interested in. Many dream about show business, music or acting, fame and popularity. But everything has a downside. Becoming a star, a person forever loses the chance for privacy. His life will be held in the crosshairs of the paparazzi cameras and under the gaze of the public.

Chasing Prestige

The prestige of the profession is one of the criteria for its choice. But it is wrong to focus only on how popular it is, because the prestige of the job does not guarantee that it suits the person or that he will cope with it successfully. You need to look deeper and not let yourself be deceived by the external gloss.

Choosing by School

Some people choose a profession not on the basis of their abilities and interests, but on the prestige of the educational institution. In addition to prestige, the decision can be influenced by its proximity to the place of residence or family tradition (for example, Mom and Dad and their parents studied there). But this is the wrong approach. You may not like it there, or it may be difficult to study, and there may be no specialty you want to enroll in.

Tips for Choosing a Career

Consider Your Abilities and Interests

Everyone has what they do well and what they don’t do well. If you categorically do not learn, for example, mathematics and physics, it makes no sense to go to technical specialties. Difficulties with chemistry and biology? Then medical specialties are not suitable.

Be guided by what you know how to do. Everyone has something they are good at. Some are great with people, easy to find common ground, others cope well with the monotonous work, some – the real organizers, know how to lead, some are creative and developed artistic perception. Think about what you have.

Also consider interests and hobbies. This is important: the work should be fun, bring pleasure and satisfaction. Psychological comfort is more important than even a high salary. So make a list of interests and think about which of these would be suitable as a profession for life (or at least for the next ten years).

But do not forget to be guided by the criteria for choosing a profession listed above. The more criteria your option meets, the better.

Take a Career Counseling Course

This is a system of activities that help young people decide what to do. It includes special tests and questionnaires, excursions to various enterprises, consultations with practitioners in the field of interest, and work on projects.

Analyze the Job Market

Almost everyone has access to the Internet, which will provide all the information you need. Explore job sites, labor exchanges. Look at what professions are in demand, what working conditions employers offer, what knowledge, skills and level of education are needed for them.

At the same time study how often there are vacancies for the job you would like to have. If they are rare or non-existent, you may want to reconsider your plans while you still have time.

Explore the Professions You Like

Choosing the right occupation and profession will help you make a careful collection and analysis of information. Let’s say you are convinced that your future profession is in demand and well paid. But the data collection does not end there. Try to study the issue more deeply. Real reviews of those who have already held this or a similar position will help you do this. They can also be found online.

You can also communicate in real life with representatives of some professions. Ask how they assess their job, how stable and promising it is, what in their opinion are its pros and cons. It often happens that high school students have an illusory idea of a dream job.