Often say to yourself, "I don't know what career to choose"? Find invaluable insights and advice to help you discover how to choose a career that makes you wake up every morning feeling motivated and excited.
Feeling lost and not sure what career to choose? Like you're just wandering with no direction? I've been there too. You're probably thinking, "How the heck am I supposed to pick one career for the rest of my life?" It's so overwhelming, right?
I get it. Choosing a career path that fulfills you and aligns with your unique interests and values can seem impossible. You don't want to end up settling and then being stuck in a career that doesn't make you jump out of bed in the morning. The thought of committing to the wrong path and having regrets years later is terrifying.
But what if I told you there's a better way? A way to tune out others' expectations and choose a career that fits you like a perfectly worn pair of jeans. One that makes you feel like a fish swimming effortlessly downstream. In this post, I'll walk you through the steps to finding your true path - one that doesn't leave you doubting yourself years down the road.
Understanding Yourself: Take a Career Test
Choosing a career path can feel overwhelming when you don't know what career you want. Taking a career test is a great way to gain clarity. Career tests like Myers-Briggs can help you find your interests, values, and personality to guide your career search.
Popular career tests also assist in your career research by matching your traits with potential careers that may be a good fit. While the tests don't give definitive answers, they provide insights to inform your career exploration. For example, if your test results indicate you are detail-oriented and analytical, you may want to explore related career paths like accounting or research.
When taking a career test, carefully reflect on each question and answer honestly. Then, use the results for self-reflection to confirm if the suggested careers genuinely align with what you know you want. The tests simply provide a starting point to focus your job search. With an open mind and further self-exploration, you can find a career that feels like the perfect fit.
Choose a Career: Self-Reflection
After taking career tests, go deeper through self-reflection to shape your career goals. Start by listing your interests, passions, natural talents, and skills. Reflect on what engages you and makes you feel energized. Also, consider your values like creativity, stability, or helping others to know what career matches your priorities.
With this self-reflection, identify careers that align with what matters to you. Research details like job responsibilities, work settings, education needed, and advancement opportunities. As you gather insights, you may find some options are not the right fit. That's okay - you can narrow your focus to careers that closely match your interests and values.
Once you have a few promising options, create an action plan to achieve your ideal job. Set short-term goals like taking required courses or applying for entry-level positions to gain experience. Having concrete steps makes your career aspirations feel within reach. Start applying and working towards a fulfilling career path you feel passionate about.
Know What Career I Want: Exploring Different Career Options
It's helpful to explore various careers instead of getting locked into just one possibility. You may uncover exciting new career options you hadn't considered. Check out career sites like O*NET to research different occupations. Pay attention to any that pique your interest, even if they seem unrelated to your background. Keep an open mind and curiosity.
Informational interviews are a great way to learn about different career paths firsthand. Reach out to professionals in careers you want to explore and ask about their typical day, challenges, path to their role, etc. Their insights can help you determine if a career is indeed a good match for your interests and personality.
Job shadowing is another valuable opportunity to experience a career up close. Observing someone's daily work routines and tasks allows you to see specifics of the job that informational interviews can't convey. It can confirm whether a career aligns with your expectations before pursuing the required training.
Exploring all possibilities increases your chances of discovering your perfect career match. Remember, choosing one career path now does not have to close all other doors forever. You can pivot over time as you evolve. The key is maintaining curiosity.
Work Personality Assessment
Understanding your natural working style and personality provides valuable insights into career decisions. Assessments like DISC analyze traits like dominance, influence, steadiness, and compliance. For instance, highly influential people often thrive in collaborative, social careers.
Knowing your personality tendencies enables you to identify careers where you can use your innate strengths. You may realize specific work environments would not be an excellent cultural fit for you. I once had a client who dreamed of event planning but tested high in steadiness. The fast-paced, unpredictable nature of that career was draining for her personality.
While assessments shouldn't be your sole career decision factor, they can reveal optimal work environments and roles where you'll flourish. Combine them with reflective exercises to gain self-awareness. Then, you can pursue a career path that aligns with who you authentically are.
Narrowing Down Your Options
With many promising career options, deciding where to focus can be challenging. Creating a detailed pros and cons list for each path brings welcome clarity. Catalog all the positives like fulfilling work, good salary, upward mobility, etc. Then, list drawbacks like lengthy training, high stress levels, or extensive travel.
This exercise makes you evaluate each career objectively. You can see which options most closely align with your goals and preferences. Of course, don't let a few cons discourage you from a career you feel passionate about. Sometimes, the best fits come with trade-offs.
Talking to mentors and counselors who know you well can provide additional helpful perspectives.
Ask probing questions to rule out poor options. Narrow your focus to one or two strong career choices that best fit your abilities, interests, and personality. Then, you can start gaining the necessary skills, education, and experience.
Choosing a Career Path
After thoroughly assessing your options, it's time to make a decision. This could mean declaring a major, accepting a job offer, or enrolling in a training program. Permit yourself to choose your path without second-guessing. Trust your extensive self-reflection and research to feel confident you are making the right career choice.
Of course, embarking on a new career journey can be daunting. Starting from the bottom in any field is humbling. Be patient with yourself as you work up the learning curve. Set realistic short-term goals focused on building your skills and experience incrementally. View setbacks or criticisms as opportunities for growth.
Also, look ahead to your long-term aspirations in this career. People's careers often take unexpected turns over time as interests evolve. Check in occasionally with your goals to ensure your career path is the right fit. Remain open to making a change if you ultimately realize a career is no longer fulfilling.
Career tests can identify your interests, values, and personality to inform your career search. Use the results as a starting point, not definitive answers.
Deep self-reflection on your passions, ideal work environment, and goals helps determine appealing career options to explore further.
Keep an open mind and curiosity when researching different careers. Informational interviews and job shadowing provide exposure to new possibilities.
Career assessments provide insights into your natural working style. Understand your personality tendencies to pursue options that are good fits.
Make detailed pros and cons lists for each career and seek advice to narrow down your most substantial options. Then, gain the necessary experience and skills.
What if I'm interested in too many careers?
Look for common threads like skills or interests that connect the careers. Find options that allow you to incorporate different interests.
I don't feel passionate about any career. What should I do?
Focus your search on jobs meeting your needs, like work-life balance or stability, rather than seeking a preexisting passion.
How do I handle others disapproving of my career choice?
Ensure the choice aligns with your interests, then discuss your thought process. Stand firm in your decision.
I'm worried about choosing the wrong career. How do I get over this fear?
Doubt is normal. View your choice as a starting point, not a life sentence. Focus on gaining transferable skills and be open to changing paths if needed.
You've Got What It Takes!
I know that whole career-picking thing still seems kinda scary. You're probably thinking, "Sure, the steps make sense, but what if I still choose wrong?" Totally get that. It's intimidating to make such an extensive choice about your future.
But listen here: you have what it takes to pick a career path that rocks your socks off. One that gets you hopping out of bed every morning stoked to go to work. After arming yourself with the insights from this post, you'll be unstoppable.
All it takes now is tuning out that pesky inner critic trying to convince you that you'll fail. Ignore any doubters telling you a fulfilling career is out of reach. And take that first step toward doing work that sparks so much joy within you that it's like having a perpetual fireworks show in your soul.
You've got the passion, the vision, and the resilience to make this happen. So chase down that career that's been patiently waiting for you. Seize it with everything you've got. And don't stop until you're pumping your fists and shouting from the rooftops that you LOVE what you do!
Find that career soulmate of yours!