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Career selection: factors to consider

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Career choice can have a very large impact on your quality of life. This page lists some dimensions along which different careers can vary.

  • Career preparation cost -- How much time, money, and effort is needed to prepare for the career?
  • Job security -- How likely is it that you will need to leave a particular job, and/or leave the career as a whole?
  • Exit flexibility -- How easy is it for you to switch away from the career?
  • Job location options -- What options for location will you have, and how much flexibility will you have in selecting the location?
  • Job satisfaction — How much will you enjoy your work?
  • Earnings — How much money will you earn, after adjusting for things like cost of schooling, taxes, and retirement benefits?
  • Work-life balance — How much time and flexibility will your job leave you to pursue other activities?
  • Social value of work — How much will society benefit from your work?

Each of these can have a large impact on your quality of life.

We offer thoughts on preparing for the work world under Preparing for a career during high school and college.