GNcareers, from Gulf News

3 crucial steps to take before choosing a career

3 crucial steps to take before choosing a careerImage Credit: Supplied

Looking into what career can be right for you should be a process that goes well beyond the infatuation by one aspect of a job. After all, one's job can have a lasting impact on your financial and social status, family, personal relationships and even health. That is why in deciding on a career to pursue or to stick with, it is important that you evaluate what that career entails all around and whether it will be fulfilling on the long run.

In their enthusiasm about a particular aspect of a job, people may overlook the other circumstances. In addition, what can work for a 20-year old may not be as enjoyable later in life. That is why it is important to pick a career that is not headed to a dead end, and be open to change or divert to a direction that better suits your life style, circumstance and needs as you go.

Here is a checklist that you can use to assess how happy you're – will be – with a particular career.


Typically overlooked in the early years of a professional life, the financial future of a particular job can turn into a sticking point later. In deciding whether a job – and a career – is right for you, it is important to look into the prospect financial remuneration. There are many online services that can give you an indication of how much people doing a particular job are getting paid. While many estimates may not be extremely accurate, you can get a general idea whether a job is low-paying one or not. If the answer is yes, it is your decision – based on your fulfilment needs – to stick with it or look for a different direction that might still be related, but comes with a higher pay scale.

Looking into the financial side may be too practical for many who are choosing based on their passion for a particular profession. But it is not a consideration that should be completely overlooked. After all, you need to make sure that you will be able to live independently and relatively comfortably.


Some jobs are more demanding than others by nature. Although the thrill of being in a demanding job – like social services, medicine, etc. - can energize some, doing this demanding job on an extended period of time can take a toll on your relationship and health. Again, you may enjoy the job for many years, but at a certain stage you may see yourself being burnt out. If you begin to notice that the joy that once drove your professional satisfaction has turned into a burden, this is probably a sign that it is time to change.

In every field there can be choices that keeps you in the industry but reduces the stress – think going into an administrative position, for example. That may be a good move for those wishing to stay in their loved field without compromising their health and sanity.


Similar to money, status may not be something that you think of with your first job – you probably are just happy to have any job. But some jobs don't have a much potential for professional advancement and social status. If that is something that you care about and feel strongly about, you must consider where a job will put you in five to 10 years. Even if you're passionate about what you're doing now, thinking of what's next.

Continuing education can be a great tool to plan for the future. Related to your current job or completely in a different direction, if you decide where you want to see yourself down the road, take steps today. Make sure that you pursue the right path in terms of acquiring the right certification or degrees.

If social status doesn't matter to you, you probably a lucky person who can pursue a loved career and appreciate the fulfilment of doing what you love, stick with it. Remember, the pursuit of advancement is relative and what really matters is being where you feel right.

Source: Rania Oteify, Special to Gulf News

The writer is a former Gulf News Business Features Editor, is a Seattle-based editor