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7 Tips on How to Figure Out your Career

7 Tips on How to Figure Out your Career

The most influential factor in you deciding on your career choice will be your education. Another factor that you must consider when want to choose your career is what you like doing. Personal preference is a very important factor that you must keep in mind. There is no point in going into a profession or field that you have no interest in. It will only make you hate your job and your performance will suffer.

Most people have a level of uncertainty on where to get help in how to choose your career and your career guidance. There are basic steps that a person can take to help them with the question of ‘How to figure out your Career’. Listed below are several suggestions to help you choose your career. These tips are especially helpful for students as they develop a career plan.

Take any career-related tests your college’s career center might offer, or take an on-line career assessment to help you on how to figure out your career. Draw on your own life experiences on jobs, classes or other opportunities that you may have particularly enjoyed. Remember, this is very personal and is all about you! Choosing your career can be very satisfying with the right help.

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1. Learn about your career options

Rarely do you have the opportunity to take a class in college that shows you what the work world as it actually exists. You have to take the initiative to explore it yourself. See if your college’s career office has a library of books describing different kinds of work, the typical qualifications needed and the salary ranges for various occupations.

Your college’s career counselors should be able to help. Also, talk to people through informational interviews, and try out on how to figure out your career by shadowing and taking internships or part-time jobs. The more career planning that you can do as a student, the better prepared you will be when you start to look for your first job.

2. Sort Out Your Priorities For A Career

After you’ve spent time on steps one and two, some of your strong preferences may start to emerge. You might learn you don’t want to be in an office environment. Or you might find that your interest in art wouldn’t sustain a career, so you cross those types of jobs off your list.

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Whatever it is that you learn about yourself, you’re making important discoveries that will help you choose a good career when the time comes. This is a major component of how to figure out your career planning as a student. So don’t put too much pressure on yourself to make the perfect decision, and always keep your eyes open. Use all available resources in your journey to find how to figure out your career.

3. Consider Your Hobbies

Before doing anything, consider what your hobbies are and write them down. Also, think about why you enjoy these hobbies. If you like to bake, for example, perhaps the reason is because you like to create, and a creative career like wedding cake design would be a good fit for you.

4. Reconnect with your dreams and dream BIG

What kinds of dreams did you have for your life before you lost yourself in the busy-ness of life? What have you since deemed impossible or improbable because of where you are today? Grab a journal and reconnect with the dreams you once had and better yet, come up with some new dreams. In a perfect world, what would you love to be, have, or do? What is your soul aching for? Once you reconnect with your dreams, you’ll have the desire and inspiration to begin to take action and suddenly you will have found yourself again.

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5. Expand your comfort zone regularly

It’s time to get uncomfortable by trying new things and meeting new people. Growth doesn’t happen by staying in your bubble of comfort where everything is familiar. Challenge yourself to do something that is slightly terrifying, yet invigorating. That is what I like to call the zone. It’s the space where you are stretching yourself just enough to continue to grow and evolve. What’s the first thing that came to mind for you? Go do that!

6. Don’t Be Afraid

If you really want to find the best career for you, don’t be afraid to make phone calls and follow someone around for a day. Or make the phone calls and follow someone around in spite of your fear. You may miss out on a great career opportunity if you don’t. If certain careers intimidate you because you’d have to go back to school for them, consider what you have to gain from the investment, and look at funding options before concluding that it’s not affordable.

7. Get quiet and listen

Everyday there are signs, messages, and guideposts that will inspire you to act, but you only notice them if you are open. With all the mind chatter and busy-ness we have these days it can be difficult to recognize the signs that are all around, so it’s important to get quiet and listen. Pay attention to the signs on the road, songs on the radio, and the people you meet in the street.

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There are messengers all around with Divine guidance to help you move forward on your path. Your key to finding yourself may very well be on a billboard or come to you as a thought in the shower. Listen up, pay attention, and then follow through on your inspired action.

By focusing on all these tips, it will definitely help you on how to figure out your career, and also, it will help you to choose your career. Most importantly, keep it all in perspective: You don’t have to live forever with any career decision you make in these phases of student career planning. Most people change careers several times during their lives, so the first job you choose right after college probably won’t be your career 15 or 20 years from now, unless you want it to be. Your career as an adult is more or less like a starting point to achieve the greatness in life.

Featured photo credit: thebritisheducationcentre.com via thebritisheducationcentre.com

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Carles Sabarich

Carles aspires to encourage people to live actively and take charge of their lives.

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Last Updated on August 14, 2020

How to Find a Career That Is Right For You

How to Find a Career That Is Right For You

There are thousands of careers to choose from. No wonder finding the one that’s right for you can feel like a guessing game.

Choosing or changing careers can be scary. Even if it’s right for you now, you might wonder, who says it’ll still be a fit in the future?

The truth is, you have to start somewhere. Whether you’re looking for a first job out of college or need a new career, follow this process to find the right one for you:

1. List Out Careers You Could Pursue

It sounds simple, but it’s good advice: Start with what you like. Even before you begin looking for the right career, you probably have an idea of what you’re interested in.

Next, make a second list, this one including your strengths. If you aren’t sure whether you’re actually good at something, ask someone close to you who’ll give you a truthful answer.

Once your lists are made, cross-reference them: What do you like to do and do well?

In a third list, rank these. If you’re skilled at something you don’t particularly like, for instance, that should fall lower on the list.

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2. Take a Career Assessment

Standardized tests shouldn’t make decisions for you, but they can get you pointed in the right direction. Career assessment tests gauge your abilities and interests and make recommendations for career paths based on the answers you give.[1]

Before reviewing your results, take a break. Getting some perspective can help you see whether your answers were guided by your mood. Look at the percentage match and ask yourself whether you could see yourself doing the work of the career or role every day.

For example, if your responses emphasized helping others, the test might point you to a medical career. However, if you don’t want to work in a hospital or clinical environment, you might cut that option or place it lower on your list.

3. Sweat the Details

Every career has gratifying and frustrating things about it. Before you choose one, you need to be clear on those. Reading reviews and job descriptions you find related to each career, make a list of its pros and cons.

There are a lot of factors to think through. Key questions to ask yourself include:

  • What are the hours required by this type of work? Can they be flexible?
  • What skills are required? Do I possess them, or would I be willing to learn them?
  • What are the education requirements? Can I afford to go back to school?
  • How much do jobs in the field pay? Is the payscale top-heavy or evenly distributed?
  • What does job growth in this sector look like? Are they traditional or contracted roles?
  • Are opportunities in the field available in my area? If not, would I be willing to move?
  • Would I be working solo or on a team?

In answering these questions, you’ll find yourself crossing a lot of careers off your list. Remember, that’s a good thing: You’d rather find out a career isn’t right for you now than after you’ve put yourself on that path.

4. Find the Sweet Spot

The crux of the career question is this: What’s the “sweet spot” between your interests and strengths and the market’s needs? The greater the overlap, the better.

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Be warned that you’ll have to compromise. Perhaps you enjoy working with animals, but there’s no demand for that line of work in your area. You might be good at math, but you wouldn’t want to crunch numbers in a cubicle for a living. Finding balance is crucial.

5. Start Networking

What’s the best way to get the real story about the careers you’re interested in? Talking to professionals in the field.

Where should you find these people?

  • Reach out to local businesses.
  • Scour your social media networks, particularly LinkedIn.
  • Ask a past employer for recommendations.
  • Sign up for industry events and conferences.

Schedule a short interview with each of your new connections. Ask them to weigh in on the comments you see online. Every role and company is a bit different, so don’t be surprised if their responses don’t align.

Regardless of who you find or what they say, write it down. If one interviewee’s responses differ wildly from online responses, chat with someone else in the field. Do your best to find out what’s the rule and what’s the exception.

6. Shadow and Volunteer

As valuable as networking can be, you need a firsthand glimpse of the work. If you hit it off with one of your interviewees, ask to do some job shadowing. Sitting beside someone as they work can help you understand not just the pay and the responsibilities but also the culture and work environment associated with each career.

Job shadowing is a good way to get your feet wet before taking a career plunge. If you felt uninterested or unhappy during your shadowing experience, it’s a good sign that you should ponder a different career path. If your shadowing experience made you want to come back for more, you may have found your calling.

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Volunteer work is an alternative to job shadowing that can get you the experience you need as you analyze your career options. As a volunteer, you can be more flexible with your time and get opportunities you wouldn’t find elsewhere.

7. Sign Up for Classes

Many careers have an academic component that you can’t ignore. If you decide you want to be a lawyer, for instance, you might want to know you can survive law school first.

Sign up for an introductory class or two related to each career you’re interested in. The earlier you do this, the better. If you’re still in college, the class will count as an elective and may be covered by your scholarship, but if not, look for a community college option to keep costs low.

Taking a single class is not the same as earning a degree in the field. With that said, it’s a good way to test the waters before you invest thousands of dollars.

If the content interests you and you look forward to class each week, that’s a good sign. If you start dreading the class or choose to drop it, focus your attention elsewhere.

8. Enter the Gig Economy

Contracted work is a great “try it before you buy it” career tactic. Skipping to an entry-level role requires more commitment than you might want to give while you’re still investigating your options. The gig economy offers the best of both worlds: paid work as well as flexibility.[2]

Gig workers take work from companies or individuals that do not directly employ them. Plumbers and artists are good examples. Rather than receiving a regular paycheck, they sell their services by the task or deliverable.

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In the gig economy, you aren’t bound by long-term agreements. If you don’t like the experience, you can simply move on.

You never know if you’ll enjoy something until you try it. And because contractors work with professionals in the field, gig workers naturally get networking and shadowing opportunities.

9. Market Yourself

As you zero in on your dream career, there’s one final test you can use to find out whether you’ll be successful: marketing yourself as a candidate for hire. Whether you get bites is a key indicator of how you’ll fare in the field.

Beware that, as someone without much experience in the field, you’re going to get a lot of rejections. Don’t be discouraged. If you get two interviews out of 50 applications, think of it as two opportunities you didn’t have before to find your ideal career.

Just as important as outreach is a good inbound strategy. Set up a website, and post your portfolio on it. Describe your dream job on your social media.

Recruiters are constantly on the lookout for candidates that fit their company. The more exposure you get, the more people will be interested in what you have to offer. Put yourself out there, and you just might find the perfect fit.

Don’t Give Up!

Nobody ever said it was easy to find a career that’s right for you. Finding one is tough enough, and even then, you may find yourself looking for a new field ten years into your career.

Whatever you want from your professional life, you have to be willing to put in the time. Don’t hesitate, and don’t give up. Start your search today.

More Tips on How to Find a Career

Featured photo credit: Saulo Mohana via unsplash.com

Reference

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