By Nathan Page Ph.D.

Why Finding a Career that Matches Your Interests is Important

Many people don’t know what they would be good at or what type of work would make them happy.  This pertains to both choosing a post-secondary school major as well as a career field.  Career interest inventories are designed to answer these questions.

In general, the closer the fit between a person and a career field, the more likely the individual will be satisfied as well as successful in that career.  However, the fit between a person and a career is dependent on many factors.  These include interests, work personality, values, motives, skills and abilities.  A key place to start is to explore a person’s career interests and their fit with different career fields.  Research over the past 100 years indicates that people who have interests that match the characteristics of a career field tend to be more satisfied in their career.

Individuals who have chosen a college major and a career that are in alignment with their career interests are more likely to:

  • Have greater satisfaction in their careers.  They are more likely to enjoy their work and feel a sense of satisfaction with their work accomplishments.
  • Have higher College Degree completion rates.  They are more likely to follow through with the full program for obtaining a degree.  They see how the choice of a major fits with their interests and will be rewarding to them.  They tend to have less frustration with school courses because they see how their program fits with their career.  They are less likely to drop out of a course or from school.
  • Have higher Grade Point Averages (GPAs) in their College Major field of study.  They are more likely to obtain higher grades because of their interest and enjoyment in what they are studying.  They see how courses fit with their career choice and are more likely to invest maximum effort in their coursework. 
  • Find it easier to find jobs after completing college.  They are more likely to seek internships in alignment with their career choice.  Moreover, their sense of purpose and enjoyment with a career field are apparent to employers.  Their interest and enthusiasm is conveyed in job interviews and employers are impressed with this.
  • Are less likely to change careers over the years.  Because their interests are in alignment with their career, they are unlikely to be dissatisfied in what they do and accomplish at work.  They are less likely to choose to do something different.
  • Tend to advance faster in their careers.  Their enthusiasm and fit with their career tend to stimulate their willingness to work hard.  Consequently, they are more likely to seize advancement opportunities and be given opportunities to advance.  They enjoy what they do and this translates into career advancement opportunities.
  • Tend to make more money over their careers.  Because they tend to enjoy their career field, they may tend to work harder, find more opportunities for advancement, and have longer tenure within their career.  They tend not to start from the beginning level which happens when people change their career field.

These benefits from using a Career Interest Inventory are powerful reasons for completing an interest inventory.

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First Steps in Finding a Career You Love
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