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Influences on Career Path Decisions

Making a decision for a particular career is one of the biggest steps you take in life. Who or what influences those decisions will depend on you and your background. In all, though, certain people in your life will usually be some of those influences. But DePaul Center says that you should also know yourself when pursuing a career path.

Role Models

The Experience Blog says that 60 percent of Generation Y kids said a role model made a difference in what career path they took. This emphasized the point that role models are a major factor in decision making for Generation Y. Additionally, 45 percent of Generation Y kids said that role models also helped them choose a major in college to help them get on the right career path. The top role models those kids noted were teachers and professors, at 46 percent.

Family

According to 50-year studies cited by the Christian site Crown Financial Ministries, parents are always a major factor in deciding which career path their children take. The site points out that it's a surprising study result because of the influence of media and peers on a teen's life decisions. However, the site points out that some parents are owners of their kids and others stewards. A parent who thinks he owns his children is cited as a negative influence.

Life Circumstance

In an article about external influences on career choice published on The Free Library site, life circumstance is cited as another influence on career decisions. The site refers to uncontrollable events in your life that can be both positive and negative. One example is serendipity, where a better career path is offered to someone, perhaps after a job loss. A negative example is poverty, where you can't pursue a desired career path, creating a different path than intended.

Spiritual and Religious

The Free Library also cites spiritual and religious reasons as a factor in career decisions. Compared with family influences, the article cites this as more of a volitional influence. Other studies show that some people use religion as a factor toward a career decision and in providing job satisfaction. A 2006 study said some people think there is a divine plan behind their career choices.

Desire to Serve Others

Also in the article from The Free Library are studies showing those who made career decisions based on the desire to help other people. The article shows that internal and self-motivated reasons are behind these decisions. It could be because of a desire to have a purpose in life or as a call to address social needs. Influences cited were the Sept. 11, 2001, World Trade Center attacks and Hurricane Katrina in motivating some to leave their jobs and pursue social service careers.



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