Get started on your new career today!
Childhood is the time to dream your life away, not caring about a career, money or job satisfaction. But what about later on, when the constant stream of questions begins about what you want to do with your life?We all have to grow up one day. Though you may not become a superhero, you can have a meaningful career if you just give it some thought.
What you’ve learned since is choosing a career is one of the most important decisions of your life. You want to be realistic, practical even, about what you’d like to do, but you also want to enjoy your job. If you’re lucky enough to have a passionate interest, that’s a good place to start exploring your options. People often say, “I knew what I loved to do, I just had to figure out how I could get paid doing it.”
For many of us, choosing a career can be harder than choosing a partner in life.
Since we all have different skills, interests, experiences and expectations, there’s no one career that’s best for everyone. So how do you choose the career that’s best for you?
Ask yourself these 9 preliminary questions to get you thinking about WHO you are:
1. What are your natural talents? In other words, identify what you’re good at.
2. What’s your work style? Do you prefer a structured environment with deadlines, or a flexible schedule?
3. Where do you like to work? In an office, the outdoors, or is job with travel up your alley?
4. Do you enjoy social interaction? Do you like working with others as part of a team or solo, or working behind the scenes?
5. How important to you is work-life balance? Is dinner-time always at 6:00 pm? Are weekends on the soccer field a priority?
6. Are you looking to give back? If it’s important to know that your hard work makes a difference in the world, this could be a significant driver in your career choice.
7. Are you comfortable in the public eye? If you thrive on recognition and the chance to build a personal brand while promoting your company’s work, look for careers that allow you to stand out front.
8. Do you deal well with stress? Some of us thrive on big deadlines, or being on the hook for important projects. But if stress makes you want to run the other way, look for jobs that are more laid-back.
9. How much money do you want to make? As you look forward in life, what are your expectations for money? Can you support yourself based on the career you choose?
Once you’ve asked and answered the above questions, now it’s time to tackle the next steps to determine WHAT you want to do:
1. Make a list of 5-10 jobs that you’ve thought about.
2. Now organize the list, putting your favorites at the top. For your top three choices, list the positives and negatives.
3. Now that you’ve got your list, take some career tests. They’re a great place to help you dig deeper to find a match for your interests.
5. Learn more about the job by doing some online research. You can check out pay, required training, even advancement opportunities with just a little research.
If choosing a career feels like too much pressure, here’s another option: Pick a path that feels right today by making the best decision you can, and know that you can change your mind in the future. That way you can still be an astronaut or a fireman or a doctor when you grow up, now that you know the questions to ask to get you on the right career path.