What should I do for a living? It is a question that every person has asked themselves at least once in their lives. The job that we do plays a significant part in our lives. It is a significant portion of how we spend our time and has a significant impact on our happiness and lifestyle. Meaning that deciding on a career path is no easy task, and it can be a confusing experience for many, especially for college students.
Many have only written essays about a specific job for class or have read some free writing samples on sites such as Grades fixer but don’t have any experience in the workforce, so it can be hard for them to set a long-term career goal. Some may have it easy, see a job and say, “now this looks like a job for me,” but still, many of them are constantly doubting and asking themselves, “what job is right for me.” And with so many options available nowadays, we can’t blame those who simply can’t decide.
In order to help you, we’ve created this guide that will explain how you can research possible career paths and ways in which you can narrow down your search to jobs that align with your personal goals.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Career
Choosing a career path is an important life decision that requires careful self-reflection and consideration. Meaning that you will need to understand your needs and wants in order to have a successful search. The following is a list of factors that can give you a well-rounded idea of your aspirations and goals:
- Interests- the things you are interested in can be a great starting point when looking for a career. It would help if you envisioned yourself spending a lot of time doing your job, so doing something that is a hobby can help you choose a fun and entertaining career path.
- Skills and Talent — Abilities can also indicate a possible career for you. If you want to develop some specific skills, you can take a course even outside of campus or pursue the skills you already have. Whichever the case, pursuing specific skills can lead to jobs you haven’t even been aware of.
- Perfect Lifestyle — Every job has a different environment and different work schedules. So, think about how much time you want to work, whether you want to travel or settle in one place, and other important things that may influence your everyday life.
- Values — You should also think about your personal beliefs and values when considering a career path to ensure that you will be satisfied. For example, if you value personal and family time, you may look for jobs with a strong work-life balance.
- Financial Goals — thinking about your financial goals can also help you decide. Once you have a clear picture of your financial needs, you can look for career paths that will provide you with the chance to earn your goal salary.
How to Figure Out What Career You Want
Make a list of non-negotiables
Based on the factors mentioned above, list the most important aspects. Once you have the list made, you can use it as a guide to decide if a specific career is worth pushing. The job that interests you may not meet your financial goals or lifestyle, so identify what is a deal-breaker for you before you even start to invest yourself in a career that is not a good fit. Just keep in mind that your first may not meet all of your requirements, but you will always have the chance to improve yourself and grow.
Take a Career Path Test
While still educating yourself at university, you may have many career opportunities in mind. What you can do to help you is a career-focused personality and aptitude test. Those tests will help you identify how you would behave and feel in various situations and then generate possible jobs that can complement your personality. Consider the ones that appeal to you the most.
Research Each Position
Search each career path that looks appealing to you from library books or online, and learn about each profession’s requirements, career trajectories, and daily duties. Then, create a list where you can write important information such as qualifications and education, salary range, workplace environment, etc. Having that list will allow you to compare the best careers side by side and see clearly what each of them offers.
Once you have some options that interest you, reach out to locals working in that field. Shadowing professionals in your targeted field and seeing their day-to-day activities can help you envision yourself in their position. And even give you a clear image of what you could do if you decided to pursue that specific career.
Be open to Changes
If you start working at a job and then realize that is not what you’ve expected, don’t be afraid to seek and explore different options. Many people change career paths multiple times for a variety of different reasons. And gaining experience in different industries can also be useful because it will give you a chance to discover new interests and help you rule out jobs that you no longer want to do. Which, at the end of the day, will get you closer to the career of your dreams.
Conclusion: At this point, you know all the steps that can lead you to your perfect job. Now it is time to take action! If you can’t decide, don’t worry, test a hobby, try a side job, apply for a job outside of your comfort zone, simply take risks and experiment. You will get there eventually!