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No man can live a meaningful life without coming across career choice. The fact without gain saying is that career choice is one of the most important decisions a student or a professional has to make. The decision may be to select a specialization, organisation or a profession. It is expected to be made after careful consideration of the internal (including physical, emotional and intellectual demands) and external environment (which might include one’s suitability to the type of work). This choice is crucial as it shall drive what will be the individual’s daily schedule for the rest of their life. Furthermore, it will have a direct impact on their other aspects of life such as life style, self-satisfaction, work-life balance and quality of life.

The career choice decision is also difficult not just because of the range of career options available to an individual in the current environment, but having an adequate understanding of a career without getting into it. Too often, only after a person has made sustainable commitments in time, energy, and money or has cut off other opportunities by taking steps to enter a career, does he or she find that it is not what was expected or wanted (Rohi, 2017). Another difficulty lies in having a clear perception, occupational preference testing, guidance counselling, and experience in activities related to the career are all resources for making this choice (Winsome, Wilma, John, & 2000).

Decision Making

Which Factors Influence A Career Choice?

            Talathi (2018) defines decision making as the process of selecting a best alternative course of action; from among a number of alternatives given to management or developed by it after carefully and critically examining each alternative. The definition given by Talathi (2018) shows that decision making is a process. Meanwhile the outcome of this process is known as a decision. As a result, the better the decision-making process; the better would be the decisions emerging out of it leading to an efficient commitment of precious organisational resources.

Making decision on a career choice requires getting in touch with ourselves and our surroundings. There are clearly two ways of looking at and assessing options. On one hand it is about intuition and listening to the heart, which helps us create a vision of what one wishes to accomplish in life and how we influence the world. On the other hand it is about the evaluation of the innerself and the environment and use of the brain to evaluate what option is the most suitable one. The former evaluation is usually made in a relaxing environment both physically and mentally. The latter involves considering the pros and cons of each of the options that come from first part. Having a worklife balance involves determination and persistence while looking ahead and at the same time being not hugely critical of the past and enjoy the accomplishments and achievements (Bonabeau, 2003).

Career Choice

A career can be defined as the sequence and variety of occupations undertaken for a significant period of a person’s life and with opportunities for progress. More broadly, career includes life roles, leisure activities, learning and work. It includes the sum total of paid and unpaid work, learning and life roles you undertake throughout your life (Suresh, 2018).

The term ‘career’ was traditionally associated with paid employment and referred to a single occupation. In today’s world of work the term ‘career’ is seen as a continuous process of learning and development. As you gain more experience in the world of work and undertake a variety of life experiences, you are building your unique career path. All life experiences, including paid work, sporting interests and managing a household should be drawn upon as evidence to a potential employer that you are the person for the job (Suresh, 2018).

Leaung (2008) proposes career choice process to be the one involving evaluating individual’s abilities, skills and values in the light of the occupations available and how these align with the work values of the available alternatives.

Significance of Career Choice Decisions

Recent research shows that the younger generation are working to live their life rather than living for the work. Just because of that the term career anchors has emerged which can be defined as ones self-concept incorporating perceived career related talents, values, abilities motivations and needs (Myers and Sadaghiani, 2010).

Broadly these career anchors are creativity, autonomy, security, stability, competency and independence. An employee always wants to balance between his work and personal life so that there is no need for him to keep hopping on the jobs for his comforts. Individuals also liable to get influenced from their families’ choices related to their occupational choices. Family also affect the decision to change their job or go for geographical transfers, or even to depart from an organization forever (Myers and Sadaghiani, 2010).

Career choice is the phenomenon which is very multifaceted and complex. Furthermore it is hard to understand and predict if there are number of factors that influence it in different ways. Dowd (2018) states the following significance of career choice as:

– Salary and Earning Potential: Following a career path paves the way for economic security throughout your lifespan. Most people do not fall into their dream job by sheer luck. Completing a 2-or-4-year degree opens the door to your membership in the middle-or-upper class. Only a sliver of the population achieves fame and fortune through extraordinary talent alone. A high school education is required for most jobs that pay above minimum wage.

– Job Satisfaction: Getting out of bed on a cold, cloudy Monday morning is easier when you don’t hate your job. Workers are most content when given an opportunity to use their skills and talents in a meaningful way. More than any other generation, 88 percent of millennials find it especially important to work at a job that supports their career development, according to job satisfaction surveys reported by the Society for Human Resource Management. Other key contributors to job happiness include feeling respected by everyone at work and receiving good wages and benefits. Choosing a career path will likely involve postsecondary training with internships or apprenticeships, which can offer assurance that you are on the right track to finding a job you will enjoy for many years.

– Job Security: High-paying, appealing careers are within your reach if you develop a career path and follow it. A good job can buffer anxiety over the high cost of living, especially skyrocketing rent or mortgage payments. Also, college graduates have the highest rate of employment. Having a job that won’t go away during a recession is critical. The risk of being unemployed is greatest for high school dropouts who have a dismal employment rate of 48 percent because so many jobs require some type of post-secondary training. Meandering about in various unskilled jobs may suit your present lifestyle but cost you later in terms of job security.

– Freedom to Retire One Day: Goal-oriented students who know where they are heading in life can settle into an interesting, lucrative career after successfully completing an associate or bachelor’s degree. Professional and highly skilled jobs typically come with attractive benefits that include retirement plans. Retirement may be the last thing on your mind, but more and more people are indefinitely delaying retirement because of cuts to social security and pensions. The day may come when you want the option of retiring. The Economic Policy Institute reports that increasing segments of the population will struggle to make ends meet in their retirement years. Single retired women earn less than men but tend to live longer, so they may run out of retirement savings, which forces many elderly women back into the workforce.

Factors affecting Career Choice

There are many factors which influence the future career choice and have the effect on different levels. Let’s talk about the most important factors. Afolabi (2015) states the following factors;

– Different life roles: Every person plays different roles in his or her life. He is a worker at work, a parent, husband or wife at home. And every person thinks about himself in these different roles and decides which role will be the most important for him. And this decision may influence the career choice and the way the person looks at his work.  

– Personality and interests: We are all different. We have different tastes, preferences, and tempers. And someone’s success at the particular job position depends on these things. There is a special theory which is called Holland Occupational Themes which can answer how the personality of the work =seeker influence on his choice, his work ambitions and abilities.

– Previous work experience: If someone has a positive role model in a particular career or positive work experience it will definitely influence the future work choice.  The research has shown that a person prefers to continue the work in which he was more successful rather than start doing something new. In fact, it is a great idea to focus on the work with proven success as well as with positive self-esteem for most of us.

– Cultural background: The cultural background of the person as well as his regional area and ethnic group can influence the future work choice. Besides family of the job seeker and local community also can become the factors which can determine someone’s future career. Person’s expectations and life values are always shaped according to the cultural issues, and they have connections with different parts of our lives. Understanding of the nature of our expectations and values can help us to understand our personality and make a right career choice.  

– Economic and social conditions of life: Our life benchmarks and career choices always lie in the context of the economic and social issues. And it is natural. Sometimes we can’t choose the society in which we have to live, but we can choose the way of life. Different situations and conditions which take place in our economic and social lives give us a definite choice and have a certain effect on it. And we have to take into account this factor.

– The financial aspect: For many of us, money which we can earn is the most important factor which influences on the future career choice. This is not surprising. We have to pay for everything that we have in our lives. But everyone has different needs and ways of life that’s why think twice when considering the job which will not allow living as you like and make a correct and reasonable choice.

According to Aggrawal (2008) the following factors are stated;

– Relations as factor: The relationships have been influencing the decision of career choice in one’s life. Human functioning has many dimensions and the relationship constitutes the major part of it. In recent years the interest to know and understand the relationship between the relationships and the career is been shown by the researchers. Many investigations done within this subject focus on the aspect that the relations and your associations strongly influence your career mobility and progression.

The role of relationships in forming the decision of career choices has been ignored for many years. So there is a need to do the research in this area and even explore further the different types of relationships that affect this decision and why and how. The relative influence of different relationships and the importance of those relationships in making career choices like (mother, father, relatives, colleagues, etc.) need to be explored in management students (Aggrawal 2008).

– Cultural factors’ influence: The thought process and the behaviour of the person are directly influenced by the culture he/she is surrounded by. Cultural values also indirectly have an influence the relationships which in turn have an impact on career choices.


            Career choosing is one of the most difficult decisions for students, parents and professionals everywhere in the world. As a result, it is essential for every human being to be exposed to basic knowledge on decision making and career choosing. Meanwhile, one of the main ways of gaining knowledge on this is to be attending seminars, conferences and workshops.


Bonabeau, E. (2003). Don’t Trust Your Gut. Sourced from 

Dowd, M. (2018). The importance of choosing a career path. Sourced from  

Leaung, S.A. (2008). THE BIG FIVE CAREER THEORIES. International Handbook        of Career Guidance. Business Media, China

Myers & Sadaghiani (2010. Millennials in the Workplace: A Communication Perspective on Millennials’ Organizational Relationships and           Performance. Journal of Business and Psychology, 25 (2), Pp. 225 – 238

Rohi, T. (2017). Career Choice – Concept, Scope, Significance and Research  Methodology. Sourced        pter%201.pdf

Suresh, N. (2018). Concept of career. Surced from  

Talathi, R. (2018). Decision Making : Concept, Features and Rationality |       Business Management. Sourced from            business/decision-making-concept-features-and-rationality-business  management/69762

Winsome, G.,  Wilma, G. John, W. (2000). Regional Training Seminar on        Guidance and Counselling, Module 8: guidance and counselling    programme development; Botswana. Sourced from



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