Finding the Way - Ins and Outs of Choosing a Job

By Khaled G. Mohammad

Staff Writer —

We all start our careers full of hope. There exists this passion to achieve something, to be something. What that thing is remains a bewildering question for many.

What a Burden!

Bearing in mind that what kind of job, and hence career, you choose in your twenties might very well change the whole course of your life, the burden of such a choice may weigh heavily upon you.

But have no fear, career counselors are all over the place nowadays! The beauty about this is that although the best way is to sit down with a flesh-and-blood adviser and discuss your potentials and aspirations, you can still find answers to many of your career-related questions on the Internet, at bookstores, and at your local library.

The fastest way to get an answer is to jot down whatever question you have into a search engine and hit Enter. You will probably be overwhelmed with the number of results you get. Googling [at the time of writing this article] "how to choose a job" brings about 17,000,000 results! Yes, that is 17 million. So, you won't be short on online resources when you need them!

Know Thyself

The very first step in solving a problem is defining it. The same applies to the solution part: The first part in coming up with a solution is knowing your strengths and weaknesses. Ask yourself: What am I really good at? If you cannot come up with an answer quickly, enlist the help of your family and friends (and teachers or instructors if any); they will definitely offer you an insight into that.

Hinting at the answer for this question is another one: What do I enjoy doing? This one is all yours to answer; see what kind of activities is fun for you. Keep in mind that, theoretically, anything you enjoy doing may turn dull and boring after doing it over and over and over.

Here comes into play an important factor. Which activities bring you a sense of achievement? Knowing what makes your cheeks puffy with pride is an easy way to answer this one. This point has proven itself to be quite vital; it is the one thing that will keep you going on in your chosen career. The need of fulfillment is what has made people remain steadfast in careers that might drive others away in no time.

Take humanitarian work as an example: People who have chosen it as their career often face obstacles from several factors, be that uncooperative authorities, suspecting victims, and — most probably — lack of funds. But this does not in the least hinder them from carrying on.

Know Thy... Enemy!

Your enemy here won't be a colleague vying for what you want for yourself, be that at school, college, university, work, or a sports field. In fact, this enemy of yours won't be a person at all!
It is the job market that you will be in some kind of constant war with. Strange as that may sound, it is true. People treading for the first time into the job market (job seekers, that is) are often confronted with an employer's question: Do you have what I am looking for?

Simple yet essential, this question when answered in the affirmative may be your guaranteed ticket into the workplace and the job you dream of.

So you need to know how your field of choice (the one you enjoy doing and derive a sense of achievement out of) can fit in.

Find out where it is needed. Browse the Internet for information about your chosen field, scan your local newspapers and magazines for job-offer announcements, ask acquaintances what they know or whom they know that may be of help to you.

Also remember this one thing about the job market: It constantly changes. What employers vigorously search for now may not be their main concern in a couple of years. Try adjusting your career of choice to these ever-changing needs.

Beware of falling into the lure of an attractive, fun job that would probably be out of vogue as time passes by. Remember those online ventures that boomed in the late 1990s in the US? The "dotcom bubble"? Whole businesses were established solely on the notion of online presence of those businesses; the problem is that they had no real presence in the real world. Toward the end of 2001, most of them dramatically tumbled (The Dotcom Bubble). Imagine how many people lost their jobs in the wake of that big incident?

Luckily, the tuning of your choice does not have to be drastic. A few actions on your side can keep your boat sailing safely through the job market ocean!

First and foremost, enhance your skills and look into acquiring new ones. Consider this example, a journalist who does not like using computers! Putting in mind that this person lived and worked in the 1970s, a news agency or newspaper would find no problem at all dealing with him or her. But what are the chances of this person finding a job as a journalist or correspondent nowadays?! Yes, that would be almost nil. A quarter of a century ago, computer skills were unique and exclusively taught to those whose work called for such skills. Nowadays, a child who has not celebrated his or her 10th birthday yet can use a computer as efficient as he or she rides a bicycle.

Another thing you can do to stay tucked in the job market is networking. Getting to know more and more people always proves useful, especially if these people are in the business you like. A tip from here and a hint from there could make you a wanted person everywhere!

Shifting Gears

After spending a couple of years in the same business, you might find that you have grown tired of it. This should not be a problem in any way. All you have to do is to go through that process of finding what you enjoy and take pride in doing then to squeeze it into the job market. Voila! You got yourself a fresh start.

Now let me ask you, are you happy with your career choice?


Peter, Ian. "History of the Internet: The Dotcom Bubble." Net History. Accessed 2 April 2008.

Khaled G. Mohammad is a staff writer, and's Copyediting Unit Head. He can be reached at


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