Your choice of career plays a major role in how the rest of your life plays out. From your educational goals to your lifestyle, your profession directly impacts all aspects of your day-to-day existence. As such, making this decision can be highly stressful. Add that the fact that there are literally thousands of options to consider and its no wonder why many people have trouble figuring out their career paths early on in life. If you’ve found yourself struggling to identify your employment aspirations, here is a how-to guide that will help you choose the best career path for you at this moment in time.
Choosing Your Career Path
Conduct a self-assessment to learn more about what you are best suited for
When choosing a career, the overall goal is to find one that is best suited for our personality and skillset. In order to get to that point, we must first truly know ourselves and what we are looking for out of our professional lives. Take the time to sit down and ask yourself questions that will help you find your ideal job like:
- What kind of skills do I currently have (both soft and technical)? Where would those skills best be utilized?
- What are my own personal values? What career path would be most aligned with those values? (For example, if you enjoy helping people, seeking out medical programs that can help you work towards nursing may be a good choice for you.)
- What am I naturally good at? Are there any careers built upon these talents?
- Do I have any passions or interests? Is there a career path for this passion?
- What type of personality do I have?
These types of questions will provide you with a better foundation to launch your career search. With these in mind, you can begin looking for jobs that match well with the factors above.
Find the intersection between what you would like to do and what you can get paid for
Passion for a certain line of work is great to have. However, you will soon discover that not all of our passions or interests are capable of generating income. The best way to choose a career is to figure out what you love and what people are willing to pay you for, meeting somewhere in the middle. Of course, that is not to say that you cannot build a career that is creative in nature like novel writing or acting. Some people are able to make a career out of their passion and thrive. Still, it is best to find a realistic career path to work towards and fall back on in the event that your top choice doesn’t work out as planned. Once you find more of these options, you will be one step closer to landing your desired job.
Create a list of potential careers and conduct further research
There are some people that find a career path and fall in love instantly. If this is you, great! Others may struggle with choosing out one career from all of the potential options available. If this is you, that’s okay too! One way to help you narrow down your choices is to make a list of options that you are most likely to pick. Then, take a look at each one and consider the amount of work it would take to make that career a reality and whether or not that would be realistic for you.
For example, let’s imagine that court reporting made an appearance on your list. You may then want to follow up with questions like, what does it take to become a court reporter? Is court reporting school difficult? What certificate programs will I need to take, if any? Do I want to be a full-time court reporter or a freelance court reporter? What is the opportunity for job growth? Remember, the further that you probe, the better you will be able to determine whether or not a specific career is right for you.
Finding a career that you will pursue for most of your life is a major decision that requires careful thought and consideration. If you are on the hunt for your ideal career, use the tips provided above to simplify the process and reach your final decision with ease.
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