Feeling Lost? Read This Ultimate Guide to Finding Your Ideal Career
From an early age, we start asking children what they want to be when they grow up. It’s light-hearted to begin with. But by the time they’re getting ready to finish their compulsory education everyone’s asking what they’re going to do with the rest of their lives. Choosing a career path to follow, whether it’s for your whole life or just a few years, is no easy decision. It can feel like a lot of pressure, as you’re about to finish school, college or university, and you already have exams and assessments piling up. How do you know what you should do next? Of course, you don’t have to choose something to do forever. But even if you make a decision for now, there will come a time when you feel like a change. Is it possible to pick your ideal career, even if it’s only perfect until your circumstances change?
If you’re feeling at a loss, whether you’re starting your career or are in the middle of it, it’s time to do some serious thinking. You can think about your personality, interests, skills and desires to help you work out which job is right for you.
The fundamental essence of who you are is one thing that you need to think about when you’re considering your career path. Parts of your personality can change over time, but chances are that there are elements of you that are never going to alter. You can learn to like different things or start thinking in a different way, but those things usually happen over a long time. Looking at the person you are now will help you work out what sort of work you’re suited to. If you’re quick to complain when you’re taken out of a comfortable building with the latest mod cons, you probably aren’t going to make it as a wildlife conservationist.
One fantastic way to match your personality to different careers is to use one of the many tests you can find online. You might also be able to take one through your school or local careers advice service. You can find these tests on sites like careerpsychometrics.com or findingpotential.com. Many of these quizzes give you detailed results and suggest jobs to which you are and aren’t suited.
No one wants a job that bores them out of their mind. Of course, everyone is likely to have to do a job they don’t enjoy at some point in their lives. Sometimes we can’t be picky, and we have to do what we can to get to where we want to go. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t go after something better, and look for something that engages and interests you. If you’re looking for a career that becomes part of your life, and not just a job to help you get by, it should be something that excites you.
Think about your current interests, and how you might apply them to a future career. They don’t have to be academic subjects. Perhaps you enjoy sewing, and you could start an alterations or custom clothes business. Of course, your school subjects are an excellent source of inspiration too. If you like biology, for example, there are plenty of fields you could explore. There are things you could do as a career in biotechnology, biochemistry or microbiology. If you want to continue your education once you’ve finished your compulsory schooling, it’s a good idea to think about the academic areas that interest you. Are you going to do a bachelor’s degree or take another qualification to improve your career prospects? If you choose to do a degree, it needs to be in something you enjoy, so you can stick at it for three or four years.
Of course, it’s not just what you like, but what you’re good at too. Skills are obviously things that you can build, but it’s worth thinking about the things you have a natural aptitude for. As well as looking at the skills you have now, you should take opportunities to try new things. Don’t let yourself be held back by the thought that you wouldn’t be any good at something. Try it out regardless, and see what happens. If there’s something you’ve always wanted to do, grab life by the horns and do it. You might discover a hidden talent that you never knew you had, which could put you on the path to your new career.
Your Working Style
You should also consider the way that you like to work. Are you happy sitting inside all day, at a desk with a book or computer? Or are you more of an outdoor person, who needs to do more physical work? Some people can work for eight hours straight and love the routine of starting and finishing at the same time every day. Others need to have frequent short breaks, or would prefer to have an irregular working pattern that ensures no two days are ever the same. It’s necessary to consider the conditions that you want to work in, or you could end up in a job that’s completely unsuitable for your personality and work ethic.
You mustn’t forget to think about your goals among everything else. You might not have any long term goals for now, and that’s perfectly acceptable. You don’t have to know what you want to do for the rest of your life, and you might never know. But you should think about how ambitious you want to be with your work. Do you want a career that you can progress through, or just a job to keep you afloat. Some people want to make their job a significant part of their lives. But others prefer to do what they need to so the money’s coming in and focus on the things they enjoy during their personal time. You should think about your priorities; do you want to earn a high salary, do some good for the world or simply do something you enjoy?
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