Do you often find yourself asking “What career is right for me?” As strange as it may sound, it would shock you to know that millions of people ask themselves the same question every day. Finding the right career path can be pretty daunting especially when you have so many options to choose from. Below is a step-by-step process to help you make an informed decision when choosing the right career path.
Whether you are fresh out of college and looking for your first job or planning to switch careers, identifying your key strengths and limitations is the first step towards choosing the right career. Luckily, there are a plethora of free self-assessment tools and career tests available on the internet. These assist you in identifying your traits and talents and help narrow a list of occupations that would serve a good fit for you based on your values, interests, personality, and aptitude.
Remember! Discovering all of that about yourself and the world around you is only half the battle. If you truly want to land your ideal career, transform your life and make your dreams come true, you will need to learn how to hold on to the fruits of your labor.
Make a list
We all make lists for when we go to the grocery store, attend a party, or keep track of our assignments. So why is it we don’t use the same set of skills to list down our strengths and weaknesses? Sit down and think about the things you could improve on. Get some paper and a pen, and separate the article into pros and cons. Begin jotting down the things that come to your mind, in whatever order they appear. If you write down more cons than pros, try to refocus your mind on the things you know you are good at. Ultimately, you will have a concise and comprehensive list of tasks and skills that you excel at.
Identify your goals
Setting your goals and seeing them through is the stepping stone towards becoming a productive and valuable member of society. Identifying your goals is important! By equipping yourself with clearly defined plans, you allow yourself to understand what and how your chosen career can help you achieve what really matters to you while at the same time taking stock of your growth. Before moving on to the next step, take a closer look and try to identify your goals (both in the short run and the long run). List them down, so you can revisit them from time to time to evaluate where you stand.
Research, research, research
Working in a fast-paced and highly technological world calls for a candidate who understands the fundamentals of the game. So once you have shortlisted your list of possible occupations, it’s time to begin your research. Investigate and learn more about the job descriptions, educational prerequisites, and advancement opportunities. If possible, speak to the people within the same field to get a deeper insight. A word of caution: don’t just concentrate on money — of course, money matters, but it isn’t everything. Focus on choosing a career that not only stimulates but excites you as well.
Taking it for a test drive
One of the best ways to answer “what career is right for me” is by observing it in real-time through internships and trial jobs. These are usually short-termed and allow you to experience your chosen career instantaneously. Taking part in one not only offers you a low-pressure entry into your chosen field, but it is also a great way to test the waters before you decide to take it up full time.
Apart from getting your foot in the door, internships also provide an excellent means of networking with like-minded professionals within your chosen field. Be it managers, business gurus, or even colleagues with the right connections, if you decide to take the field as a career, finding a lucrative job within the industry (especially in such competitive times) might be a lot easier.
Lean on Me
There are times when all we need is someone to talk to. However, choosing the right person is imperative when making such an important decision. You will have to find a person who is both wise and objective. This sage could be a friend, a former teacher, or even a relative with an unbiased outlook. If finding this person seems impossible, then maybe it is best to seek a career counselor to help you get the answers you seek.
All in all, choosing a career isn’t a decision one makes daily. It is something that you’d probably consider once or maybe twice in your adult life and will stick with you for a very long time. So, take as much time as you need, invest in a lot of research, talk to the sages around you and only then come to a conclusion.