How To Choose the Right Career Path

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  • Career: It is a field or pursuit of consecutive progressive achievement especially in public, professional, or business life.
  • : a profession for which one trains and which is undertaken as a permanent calling e.g. a career in medicine, arts, service or a career as a sportsperson.

Facts you should know before considering a career:

  1. You will spend one third of your life at your career of choice.
  2. About 63% of the total global workforce dislikes their job, 24% of the global workforce hate their jobs and only 13% of employees like and enjoy doing their jobs.
  3. Every career is important and every job is important if it wasn’t it wouldn’t exist.
  4. Preferences differ according to taste and circumstances, so do not hesitate to choose what suits you.
  5. It doesn’t necessarily mean that your job should be your career, you can pursue a career in music or sport while working as an accountant or teacher.
  6. In the world we have so many different career options that one can consider and there are various factors we should consider before choosing a career:

Internal Factors

1: Interests

Interests are the things you enjoy doing and you can do that again and again without being stressed or disturbed emotionally. Interests are important because a career demands you to be hands-on so if you are to spend a third of your life in something you don’t enjoy doing your life will be a living hell. Motivation is a very essential tool at workplaces so if you do something you are interested in you are likely to stay motivated because you are always engaged. Examples of interests: Outdoor person, exercise and fitness, helping people, art, reading, technology. 

2: Talents and Gifts:

These are the things or abilities you are naturally good at doing, it is your area of specialty. Everyone always wants to win and when you do something you are good at you are likely to win more often. Work sometimes is demanding and you are required to work extra hard. Working hard is demanding but sometimes talent will lessen the burden to work extra hard because you are already gifted in that area you just need perfection. Examples of talents: Athletic, Artistic, Think-tank or philosopher.

3: Skills:

A skill is something that you have learnt, mastered and you can perform so well because you have grasped the gist of the skill. Skills are very essential in choosing a career path because it will make your work easier because you have learned what is required before engaging in the field. Sometimes skills are complementary to your talent and abilities because it adds on what is already there. Examples of skills: Good communication, Leadership skills, oratory skills, Good with crowds, can stand in front of people.

4: Values:

These are the beliefs and ideas that are important to you as an individual, in your family and the people around you. Values are important in career choices because sometimes a job will require you to do things that are at crossroads with your values. This will always dissatisfy you and your conscience will always make you unease at work. One of the main values is religion so considering your religion before you engage in any career is fundamental because religion plays an important role in the spirituality of human beings. If a career demands that you go against your values, it’s wiser to reconsider your career choice before you get engaged in that field. Examples of values: religion, societal view, helping others, loyalty, honesty, family time, views on money.

 External Factors

1: General Job Outlook:

It is the estimated change in the number of people employed in that occupation. There are certain careers that are dwindling because of technological advancement. Technology is replacing certain types of jobs and it estimated that most of the current jobs will be outdated in the next years to come. 80% of future jobs do not even exist currently.

 It will be disheartening to spend 4 years at tertiary level training for a career that is slowly getting out of the market. It is very important to consider job outlook because it will affect your potential to get a job quickly. If it is a flooded career, you have to be highly networked and you should have the best possible results for you to get that job. If it is slowly getting out the market your earnings will definitely be lesser because it’s no longer an essential service in the workplace.            

2: Family, connections and networks:

Your family can play a pivotal role in your career choice because sometimes it is wiser to pursue something that your family or people closer to you are already in. It doesn’t mean pursuing a completely new path isn’t worthwhile, but the process will be easier if you know one or two people who have walked on the same road you intend. Your network will help you to rise in your intended career because you have firsthand experienced people, they will give you direction. It’s easier to evade potholes and setbacks because you have advisors you can run to. They can also help you by connecting you to areas and people who can springboard your career in the formative stages.

3: Society needs and Outlook:

The society also plays a major role in the career options you have because in most careers you will always be in touch with people. Careers mostly make sense when you have people to serve. A doctor becomes relevant if there are patients who need treatment, a builder becomes relevant if there are people in need of houses and a sportsman becomes relevant if there are people to compete with and supporters to support them. So one of the best ways to choose a career is by choosing a career that has the greatest impact on your society. Identifying what your societal needs and then dwell on those so that you become relevant.

A relevant career has the greatest potential to earn you more. Many young people are getting lost in choosing careers that do not serve their societies. What happens in America and Europe is very different from what happens in Africa. So it’s good to see and be inspired by foreign things it gives you exposure but know what is required on the ground by your society. Certain areas require more developers because they are backward in development where others do not require such because they are already advanced.

4: Financial Status:

For you to have a successful career, you will be required to inject money especially if you intend to pursue a college education to boost your credentials in that career. You have to understand your family status, are they able to support such a career if not you have to find something that can bring in money quickly whilst you support your long term career goal. This a very important decision you have to make because if you are not prepared for such reality you will suffer from mental stress and depression.

When others seem like there are progressing and you will be stagnant because you lack the financial muscle to support your career. There are also sporting careers like golf, cricket, and tennis which require great financial support for you to make progress so just know the requirements for your intended career before you engage in it.


The first four factors (Internal factors), these are things you are directly in control of and you have the power to dictate them. Whereas last four factors (External factors) are the things beyond your control and you cannot dictate them. After you have analyzed everything you will discover that no career will present you with everything set perfectly. You will discover that no career will suit every aspect mentioned above.

So in such a moment, you do what is called a cost to benefit analysis, in which you weigh which one has the highest scores then consider them as your options. You have to make options because life is unpredictable so when A fails you can do B and when both A and B fail you do C or you can do C in the short term whilst pursuing A in the long term.

Munyaradzi Zindi Chikomba is a Youth Development Advocate, Researcher Analyst, Marketer & Cofounder of shanduko Foundation. His views are personal they don’t represent any organization or institution he is part of. He can be contacted on +263 71 910 3604 or

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