You finished school and are now heading towards your professional life. You are exposed to the fact that there are multiple career options available to you, and they are all equally intimidating and exciting at the same time.
This equal attraction to many career options can become a source of trouble in your professional future. After choosing one, you may suddenly find yourself realizing that the career you have spent many years building, wasn’t the best for you or even the right option for you.
The good news is that you are not alone in coming to this crossroad, causing you to think about a switch in your career.
The bad news is that as many as 50–75% of Americans are in the same predicament, according to various studies.
The Importance of Finding the Right Career
Since a great chunk of our time is spent either at work or thinking about work, our careers inevitably play a significant role in our lives.
“If you are unsatisfied, or struggling in your professional life, it can take a serious toll on your physical and mental health.”
Additionally, if you don’t find your role meaningful and rewarding, it becomes hard to put effort and enthusiasm in what is essential to advance your career. To have mental peace and perform at your best, it is highly desirable to choose a career that makes you feel not only complete and content, but also gives you a sense of meaning, belonging, and opportunity for impact that fits your personality.
After making the necessary shift towards the right career that meets your need for meaning, belonging, and impact, you can experience a level of satisfaction you never felt before.
Your working hours become an actual enjoyment for you, and your performance in your professional life will be surprisingly efficient. You can achieve that level of satisfaction when you are doing what you love.
“The right career is what you can do, and what you want to do.”
If you are at a crossroad with your career and feel confused and stuck, here is a guide towards discovering the career that will satisfy you.
How to Choose the Right Career for Yourself
The first step towards choosing the right career path for yourself, is a self-assessment. Learn about your strengths, values, interests, personality, soft skills, and aptitude.
Consider what subjects you enjoyed the most or performed the best during your educational career. You can use self-assessment tools and career tests to get an idea about your traits. You may also choose to work with a career counselor who can help you navigate.
While it is better to start with a long list of careers to have more options, after you’ve completed your self-assessment, begin to narrow down your list. You can do this by separating appropriate fits from those you deem inappropriate, based on your newfound self-knowledge.
Rank them from the dream careers to the least appealing ones. Now analyze which sector you are more attracted to such as science, business, creative, technology or any other.
Explore your sector to see all the career options and try to learn about the earning potential and required qualifications. Learn more by meeting or reading about the successful people in that profession. This will give you deep insights into the career of your choice regarding responsibilities, required skills, and work environments.
It is very important to check and see how in-synch your abilities and the job responsibilities are. Equally important is to check your financial goals against your chosen career field’s earning potential. Be sure to finally check your personality against the typical workplace environment. If any one of those options contradict each other, consider another career choice.
“If after spending hours doing a task, you are still energetic and excited about your work, you’ve made the right career choice for yourself.”
After a deep analysis of yourself, and different career options, soon you will narrow it down to 2–5 best options. You don’t need to narrow them down to any less than that. Keep an open mind and have a few options in hand. Start with the best one of them and set aside the rest as a backup plan.
Here is another milestone to have a successful career. If after the analysis you discover you are in the right career already, then enhance your potential in your career. You can always take some courses or learn by reading or meeting people who have already succeeded in your field. You can choose a coach or mentor to guide you through growing your already successful career.
Your skills, interests, and capacities could be a great match for many types of careers, even some you haven’t heard of yet. What is crucial is to figure out the career that excites you and makes you feel more satisfied personally, professionally, and financially.
You never know, a career that started as a customer care professional might be an indicator of you being a social individual and could lead you towards journalism or a sales career.