Finding the right career path is something we all go through at some point. As with any decision in life, your career choice should be based on things you love and feel passionate about. It is, after all, a life-changing decision, so taking some time to properly do your research is crucial.
Although it may come as a challenge, choosing a career path when you are undecided isn’t insurmountable as it seems. Here are a couple of tips to help you get started.
Set aside time for introspection
One of the first things to do when you are undecided about your career path is to allow for self-reflection. Every one of us has a unique personality, values, aptitudes, interests, and skills that are suited for a particular occupation. In other words, what might work for someone else may not exactly be the right career choice for you.
This is why it’s important that you set aside time for introspection. This will allow you to examine who you are as a person as well as identify your strengths and weaknesses. Surveys, along with assessment tests, can be of major help when it comes to making the right career choice. Alternatively, you can turn to a career counselor. They can help you learn more about your traits so you can identify the best workplace for yourself.
Write a list of potential occupations
After taking some time to self-reflect, you’ll need to come up with a list of potential occupations. By now, you’ve probably run into multiple exciting occupations. Some you may already know while others may require some additional research.
This is where you want to take the organizational approach. Try to categorize each of the occupations on your list, and find some basic information about them. For instance, someone who’s interested in working at a top law firm may benefit from picking up a thing or two from seasoned trial attorneys such as Mathew Long and examining their winning strategies in the courtroom. Similarly, an aspiring professional who’s looking to convert their creative skills into a profitable career should examine different paths (content creator, book critic, etc.) and find the best way to get published. Some other popular career choices include the role of a digital marketing specialist, web developer, SEO specialist, and blogger.
Gather as much information as possible
Once you have an idea of the occupations that could be right for you, it’s time to narrow them down. You can do this by exploring each option you’ve listed and learning as much as you can about them. Try to find all the important information and create detailed descriptions for each option. The descriptions should list everything from salary to job requirements to job outlook.
Even if you do like a certain occupation, if it requires education, experience, and skills you do not have and are either unwilling or unable to obtain, you’re better off eliminating this option from your long list altogether. Go through each of the job descriptions and identify any deal-breakers that you just can’t accept. These could include poor remuneration, little to no advancement opportunities, earning additional degrees, and so on.
Make your choice and identify your goals
After gathering all the essential information and narrowing down your career options, it’s time to make your choice. Go through the descriptions once again and make a decision based on your extensive research. Surely, factors such as salary will play a vital role here, but don’t base your decision solely on them. Ideally, the occupation you select will align with your personal vision, interests, and values.
Once you’ve made your choice, there’s one more step you need to take, and that’s setting your personal goals. Think about your short-term and long-term goals and how you’re going to land a job in the chosen field. Then, break your plan into actionable steps. Some goals such as volunteering as an intern will take less time to complete (between six months and three years). Others, however, will take longer – three to five years at least (e.g. earning a degree or completing a training program). With an effective action plan, you can kick-start your career on the right foot.
Whether you’re making a career change or just getting started, choosing the right career path can be a challenging task. That said, you can make the process go a lot smoother if you take the time to explore your options. With a bit of research and some patience, you’ll be a step closer to finding your ideal career.
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