The 7 Questions To Ask When You Research a Career?
When researching a career there are 7 things you should consider:
- Will there be a strong demand for that career in the future?
- What are the trends that could influence the demand in the future?
- Will there be local jobs in that field, or will you have to relocate?
- What skills, education, languages and experience are required in that field?
- Will the job pay enough?
- Will you find satisfaction in that career and will it be fulfilling?
- Do you have what it takes to be successful in that field?
1) Will there be a strong demand for that career in the future?
Click here to read about the "Job Outlook" for your chosen career.
2) What are the trends that could influence the demand in the future?
Learn what "Trends" are all about and how to spot them. It's not that hard.
Read books about the near future. There are several authors and researchers who get paid to look into the future and write about what big changes they see.
3) Will there be enough local jobs in that field, or will you have to relocate?
Certain jobs are tied to a few locations while other jobs can be found in almost every city in the world.
If you want to be an auto mechanic, plumber, electrician, beautician, or nurse, those types of jobs tend to be local and widespread.
However, if you want to be a rocket scientist, there are probably only a few cities in the world where they do that kind of work.
So, all you have to do is apply a little common sense, and perhaps some research on the internet to learn where people in your chosen field work.
4) What skills, education, languages and experience are required in that field?
The best way to learn about a career is to talk to someone who is currently in that career, who is successful at it, and who enjoys it.
Finding such a person is not that hard and it will only take you a little bit of time. First, identify a company or two that is well known in your field of choice. Then call their HR department. Tell them you are a student who is researching this particular career field. Ask them if they could have one of their most successful people in that field call you and tell you about his/her career.
The only problem, is if they think you are a recruiter or competitor trying to steel their top talent.
But from my experience, the people that work in HR know all the movers and shakers in a company. They know who the super stars are. You just have to convince them to connect the two of you by phone.
Then, once you do get to talk to the super star in your chosen field, you had better have your questions ready.
5) Will the job pay enough?
There are many places on the web where you can research the salary for a given career, in a given geographic region.
There are also many books that will describe careers and salaries.
But we want to give you some more valuable advice and insight into how do you make the big bucks.
There are two main factors in determining salaries:
A) The profit margin on the end product or service.
In companies where the profit margin is low, most of the people will be paid relatively low.
If the profit margins are high, there is the potential for bigger salaries, bigger raises, and bigger bonuses.
There are some exceptions. For example, even when profit margins are low, the top 2 to 5 people in a company are still probably making a lot of money. But for the rest, forget it.
So, to make a big pay check, you should look for companies that have high profit margins on their products and services.
Apple computer with it's high profit margin iPhone and iPod is a very good example. The folks that created those products probably make quite a bit of money.
The same is true in the Jewelry business. The profit margins on gold, platinum and diamonds is very high. Thus people who work in the Jewelry business can make a lot of money. A good sales person in a high volume well managed jewelry store can make over $100,000 a year including bonuses. A manager or owner of a jewelry store will make much more.
On the opposite side, take the shoe sales business. Except for exotic brand names found mainly in Beverly Hills, Paris and New York, the profit margins on shoes is not all that high. Thus a shoe sales person in your local mall shoe store probably does not make all that much money. Maybe less than half that of the jewelry sales person.
Both sales people put in the same exact hours, yet one makes twice as much. Why? It's the profit margin on the end product.
B) The supply / demand for people who do the work.
Supply and Demand affects salaries. When there is a shortage of skilled, experience people, the salaries go up. When there is an excess of people to do a job, the salaries stay flat or go down.
When a product or service has become mature enough that it can be off shored, the salaries plummet.
This is where advanced education can help. You need to differentiate your self from the masses.
For example, there are a lot of people who can park cars and make espresso drinks at Star Bucks. (no offense). Thus these jobs pay something near minimum wage.
However, the education and skill set to design an iPhone is much more rare and is worth so much more.
6) Will you find satisfaction in your chosen career and will it be fulfilling?
The most powerful tool for discovering what types of careers will be satisfying and fulfilling for you is based on what is known as your "Psychological Type," or more commonly known as your "Personality Type."
To make a long story short, back in the 1920's, Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung, who was to psychology like Albert Einstein is to physics, discovered basic patterns in how our minds work. He also discovered that these basic patterns remain the same from birth to death.
Then in the 1940's and 1950's Katherine Briggs and her daughter Isabel Myers Briggs took Jung's work a step further. They determined there were 16 different Psychological Types and then they created a test that would determine a person's Type.
From there, Briggs and others mapped Careers to Types. They did this by correlating the careers people really did well in and enjoyed with their 4 letter Personality Type. Researchers have continued this work right up to the present day.
Thus by knowing your 4 letter Personality Type, also known as your Myers Briggs Type, you can learn a lot about the careers that are best for you.
Here at CareerPlanner, we offer a free test that will help you determine your 4 letter type. Then to help you understand your type and the careers that go along with it, we offer the Advanced Personality Type Career Report.
7) Do you have what it takes to be successful in that field?
There are several different factors that determine how successful you will be in your chosen career. Some of these you can control, others you can not influence:
Success Factors You Can Influence
- The right education, training, and experience
- The relationships you build and the people you know
- A passion for the work you do
Success Factors Out of Your Control
- Natural abilities and talents
- Luck and being in the right place at the right time (Serendipity)
Our Career Interest Test, and our Advanced Personality Type Career Report will help you discover the type of work you can be passionate about.
Before you invest in any more education and training you should use these two products to make sure you are in the right field.
The Advanced Personality Type Career Report will also help you understand what your natural strengths probably are, and how to better manage your relationships, especially with the tough to get along with people in your life.
Finally, you can try our Career Counseling service which will help bring this all together for you.