Module 01: Understanding Yourself In the World of Work

1.5 The World Around You and Your Career Choices

Contrary to what we often hear, people don’t make career decisions on their own, in isolation. Each and every career and life decision we make is influenced in some way by the people and cultures around us. Choosing a career path is not only based on your personal characteristics, as we explored in previous sections, but on other factors such as your personal circumstances as well as the types of opportunities and needs you notice in your environment, in the larger community and in the world. As we outlined  in the introductory module, the world of work is continuously changing, so staying up to date on trends is essential to better position yourself for success within an ever-evolving labour market.

Ask yourself:
  • What needs am I observing in my community?
  • Where do I see opportunities?

Personal factors may include:


Location can have a big impact on your career decisions. Certain jobs require living in a specific region (although less so now when we consider remote work), or you may find that employment opportunities are more available in a particular city or country. Think about your preferences in terms of where you want to live, how close you want to be to family and friends, and which locations can support the lifestyle you are looking for.


For many of us, close family and friends can have a huge influence on our career choices. Your family and friends may have strong opinions about what the ‘best’ career is for you or which path you should take. Consider how much their opinion and wishes matter to you and how much weight you should give their opinion. At times it might be difficult to carve your own path if you don’t have your family’s full support.


The culture you were brought up in can have a big impact on your career journey. Cultural expectations may carry a strong message about what is acceptable and expected in terms of your education and career choices. Your cultural background may influence your value system and whether or not you would evaluate a career choice based on its perceived prestige, earning potential, personal fulfilment or other criteria. Consider the cultural influences that may play a role in your career choices and path.

Financial Situation

Your own and/or your family’s financial situation may also be a factor that influences your career path. You might be interested in a career that requires lengthy and expensive training and you would need to consider what kind of financial support is available to you. Your personal financial needs may also be taken into consideration when you are making decisions about your career. Will the earning potential of the chosen field match your financial requirements? How important might this aspect be for you in a few years’ time?


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

Centennial College Career Success Guide Copyright © by Career Services and Cooperative Education, Centennial College is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book