Regardless of how much effort you exert into choosing an occupation or career path, there will be days when it will feel like work. However, there will be others where you’d be more than happy to work even if you don’t get paid. The trick here is to pick a career with more great days than ones that aren’t as much, but with thousands of occupations to choose from, it can be overwhelming.
When choosing a career, don’t just go for the highest offer. Find one that fits in with your interests, aptitudes, personality, and work values.
Here are six tips to help you choose the right career path:
Before you can pick the perfect career for yourself, you need to learn more about yourself. Like how IT consulting companies help businesses future-proof their operations by proactively tackling their IT environment’s needs early on — assessing yourself can help you see what occupations would be the best over time.
You should consider your values, soft skills, interests, personality, and aptitude. The best way to determine these is by using self-assessment tools and taking career tests to understand yourself better when it comes to your professional life. Additionally, you may hire career counselors or other career development professionals to navigate this process.
Create a List of Jobs to Explore
After assessing yourself, you now have to identify the jobs that fit your skillset and your preferences. You likely have several lists of occupations in consideration at this point in life, one generated by personal interests and self-assessment tools you’ve used. To help you find the best career option, keep yourself organized and combine all the occupations into one master list.
To narrow them down, look for careers you know about or those you want to explore more. You’re also free to include professions that you don’t know anything about since you might learn something unexpected and gain a new skill to use later on. At this point, you should be able to narrow your career choices down to 10 to 20 options.
After narrowing down your list, learn more about each one to help you pinpoint which one is worth your time, effort and promises long-term success. You can do this by finding job descriptions, educational, training, or licensing requirements from their official websites or other published sources.
Narrow Your Choices Down
After creating a job list close to your interests and strengths, it’s best to narrow down your list further until you’ve reached at least five of the best choices for you. Cross off any non-negotiable options, duties that don’t appeal to you, and careers with weak job outlooks. Remember, you need to be thorough about each one. After all, it’s going to stick with you throughout your adult years.
Conduct “Informational” Interviews
When you’ve narrowed down your occupational choices, begin by doing your research. The best way to find more about each job you’re interested in is by meeting with individuals in the exact position you want. These people can offer firsthand knowledge and advice about the careers on your list, and you can find out more by holding informational interviews with them.
You can access your networks, such as LinkedIn, to find individuals to interview.
Identify Your Goals
When you’ve made a decision, always identify your goals in your career, whether it’s short- or long-term, and determining your goals early on helps chart a course toward getting a job in your preferred field. Long-term goals usually take 3 to 5 years to achieve, while short-term goals last around six months to 3 years. You can determine your goals by looking at the required education and training your preferred career path needs.
For instance, a long-term goal can be completing your higher education and training, while short-term ones include apprenticeships, internships, and other training programs.
Make a Career Action Plan
Making a career action plan consisting of a thoroughly written document laying out all the steps you’ll need to take to reach your career goals is a great way to see how you will tackle the process. Make sure to write down all of your short- and long-term career goals alongside the steps you’ll need to take to reach each one. Don’t forget to include any issues you may face along the way and how to overcome them.
Although writing a career action plan may seem like a lot of work, it makes it easier for you to forge a perfect career path.
With thousands of options in your palms, choosing a career path can be overwhelming. Luckily, it is doable. Following an organized process while considering the tips mentioned increases your chances of making the best decision for yourself, ensuring a successful career path.