It doesn’t matter if you’re just starting your search for a dream job or if you’re thinking of switching jobs, making such a huge choice as choosing a new career path can be quite tricky. Ideally, we should all know exactly what we want to do when we grow up and stick to it until retirement. However, the reality is a bit different—an average person is expected to change their career three times in their lifetime! So, if you still haven’t found your professional path, here’s a little guide that can help you make your decision.
A lot of people act like being a doctor, lawyer, accountant and teacher are the only career paths in the world! Actually, there are soo many different careers you can discover only if you dig deeper and talk to the right people. One great way to connect with people from different fields is to create a LinkedIn account (basically, any social network will do) and start mining for information. Your local library is also a good source of career resources.
Are you good at it?
If you’re more money-oriented, it’s best to go with a career you’re good at. Maybe you don’t feel especially passionate about it at first, but if you’re good at it, you’ll have a fairly smooth career. There’s an amazing quote that aims at exactly this: “Don’t do what you love. Do what you are.”
Does it excite you?
In an ideal world, every worker would enjoy their career. Often, the best telltale sign that you’re on the wrong career path is that you avoid talking about your job, which means you’re not passionate about it! And, even though passion isn’t the most important requirement for a happy and successful career, it’s definitely near the top of the list. It’s what will keep you pushing through the hard times and what will inspire you to get better. Don’t really know what job excites you? Ask yourself, is there a job you’d take even if you need to do it for free? This will give you the answer.
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Does it fit your character?
Having a job that fits your personality and temperament is very important if you want to be good at what you do. For instance, are you good with people? Do you like to help, give and make others happy? Why not find a career in caregiving and make someone’s day every time you go to work? On the other hand, if you’re a great leader and even better at planning things and time, the position of a manager would be perfect for you! All in all, examine your character, find your personality strengths and make sure to use them.
Try an internship
Internships are a great way to give different jobs a shot and test many industries, especially if you’re flexible with pay and have no prior experience. Another reason why internships are good is that even if you discover a certain position isn’t for you, you’ll gain experience and build your network! Plus, not all internships involve only making coffee and picking up lunch. Even though they are harder to find, some companies will put you to real work!
Think about your future
Try to imagine yourself as a retired person and think about what you’d like to be remembered as. Most people don’t know the answer to this question right away, but try to give it a real thought. Do you want to be known for your empire? Do you want to be remembered for your technology and inventions? Do you want to be remembered as someone who changed lives? Think about these legacies, because they can help you determine what path to take. While we’re on the subject of future, consider how a certain career will affect you as you get older. For instance, if the job requires a lot of traveling or if it’s physically demanding, it might be hard to sustain as you age and start a family.
Take a test
If you want to do something both useful and fun, why not take an aptitude test? Today, there are tons of free aptitude tests online that can help you find your perfect career though carefully formulated questions. They test your strengths, flaws, passions and even your personality to lead you to a career path that suits you the best. Make sure to take several of these tests and compare the results!
Now that you know how and where to look, it’s time you start your search for a perfect career. However, keep in mind that nothing is ever set in stone! It might take you many tries and fails to find a career path that will make you happy and bring you money.
Stella van Lane is a Sydney based mom and a passionate writer in love with coffee, chocolate, music, books and good vibes. Her top interests are health, yoga, meditation and interior design.
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