Many of us struggle to find our desired career path. It’s estimated that around 80% of people dislike their jobs, which is a staggering number.
Yet with the current climate of more entrepreneurs and small business start-ups than ever before, there has been no better time than now to chase your dream career.
Of course, you don’t have to go it alone. That’s just an option that was not as accessible as say, 10 years ago.
If you’re at a crossroads, or about to embark on a new career path. There are some ways to help narrow down your options and make your choice easier.
Here are some tips I’ve used before.
12 Tips to Help You Find Your Desired Career Path
Understand What You Are Passionate About
The reason I used the word ‘understand’ here, is because a lot of people aren’t as passionate about certain things as they think they are. Especially when it comes down to working with the said passion.
Sometimes we are more passionate about the things we don’t get to do very often. So don’t limit yourself to the things you currently have to do. Think about what makes you feel alive. Look at what profession would make this possible.
Remember the Moments That Mattered
I’d be surprised if someone told me they didn’t have any moments that really inspired them while working. We have all had these moments, no matter how small, or long ago.
So write down all the moments in your career that had a positive impact on you. Find a way to recapture those moments, or build on them. Without a spark you’ll never find the right career path.
Assess What You’re Good At
Take a step back and assess what you’re good at. Also take a look at what you’re not good at. Be honest with yourself, and ask others for their input.
You don’t necessarily need polished skills at this point. If you’re good at talking and communicating, maybe sales is for you. If you’re great with numbers and analysis, maybe finance is your calling.
Discover Your Personality Traits
Everyone has a different personality. Individuality is a wonderful thing, you just need to know how to harness your personality and which career will blend will with you.
There are no rights or wrongs, so don’t worry. If you’re an introvert and shy around people, you can work in a solo role. If you need people around you, it’s just as easy to find a suitable role.
Look at Your Values and Beliefs
A career doesn’t have to compromise your personal belief and values. There is need for ethical and responsible behaviour in the corporate world, so knowing where you’re ethics lie is important.
Don’t take a role that compromises your believes, even if you’re desperate. You have to live with yourself at the end of the day.
Write down What You Want from Your Career
Being in a career that meets all your goals is incredibly satisfying. Make a list of what your needs are, then you can start to tick them off with prospective career choices.
Maybe you like to travel, prefer to work long shifts and evenings, or you want to work from home. Before jumping into a career make sure it ticks the boxes.
Consult with a Career Coach
This is one of the most underutilized areas when it comes to finding the right career. There are no shortage of good career coaches, and having a short meeting with one can change your life.
Having a fresh perspective from a professional can open your eyes to some options and careers you didn’t even consider.
Volunteer and Gain Experience
What better way to find out what you think about your chosen career than to give it a try? See if you can volunteer or do some work experience in the industry to get a taste.
Be careful not to judge the career on one short experience. Talk to others, get involved, and draw your own conclusions.
Talk to Others in Industry You’re Interested In
Talking with others who have worked in the industry for some time can help fill in some of the gaps about what to expect. If you can do this in person great, otherwise it’s fairly easy to do online via forums and blogs.
Take more than one person as a sample. Everyone has positive and negative experiences at work, the decision is up to you at the end of the day.
Browse Job Vacancy Descriptions
This tip has proven handy for me before when I have been helping someone with career choices. You can find out a great deal by looking at job vacancy descriptions, they tend to be quite detailed.
Browse the vacancies within the career you’re interested in. You should find all you need to know about required qualifications, core duties, experience etc.
Take Online Tests
There are lots of tests online designed to help you find the best career path. While the results may not always tell you what you want to hear, they can help you know more about yourself and your skillset.
Don’t get too hung up on the results. Tests are very subjective, and results can change as quickly as the wind. But for a few minutes of your time, it’s an option to consider.
Don’t Be Afraid to Start a Business
If there is something you really want to do as a career and you can start your own business, it’s something to consider. In today’s technology age it’s easier than ever, and there are more entrepreneurs than ever before.
You’ll experience the pros of being your own boss and having creative freedom. The cons include lack of stability, but if you never try, you’ll never know.
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.