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I Have 8 Ideas to Spot Your Ideal Career Path. Do You Have 5 Minutes?

I Have 8 Ideas to Spot Your Ideal Career Path. Do You Have 5 Minutes?

Some grow up knowing exactly which career path they want to take while others just can’t seem to figure it out. Maybe you’ve been in the same profession for years and you’re looking to get into something else, but you’re just not sure what. We’d all love to find our calling early on in life and live happily ever after. Unfortunately, that is rarely what happens. If you’re struggling to decide which career path is right for you, here are some ideas to help ease the stress.

Take the Tests to Find Out What Excites You

Whatever you decide to do, make sure it’s something that you’re going to enjoy. Make sure you won’t dread getting out of bed every day. It’s not as difficult as it seems. Sit down, think about the things that you genuinely enjoy doing and write them down. Having a passion for something isn’t the only thing required when discovering a career path, but it’s certainly an essential part. When you thoroughly enjoy something, it’ll definitely help you power through the bad days.

If you need some help, try taking the free personality test below. It requires you to really think about what you enjoy and to evaluate yourself. When completed, you’ll be given a list of different professions based on your answers:

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Big Five Personality Test

The next test asks a series of 60 questions about different things you could see yourself doing. Such as working with people or working with spreadsheets on a computer. At the end of the test you’ll be given a list of professions that you may enjoy just like the test above:

My Next Move Career Test

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Use the G+P+V Formula for Perfect Match

  • G-Gifts
  • P-Passions
  • V-Values

“Gifts” means to consider your strengths. Start by thinking about what you’re good at and writing it down. “Passions” means to think about what excites you. Do you enjoy helping other people, working alone, solving problems? Lastly, “values” is really all about your personality and lifestyle. What about the way you work is nonnegotiable? When you use your strengths towards what you’re invested in, a path that supports your values will lead you to a career that you genuinely enjoy.

Find a Mentor to Clear All Your Confusion

Having a mentor is extremely beneficial when figuring out which career path is best for you. They could really help you take your career to new heights. It’s like having an insider to talk with about the career and make sure you’re on the right path. If you’re unsure how to ask someone to be your mentor, try this: when you find a career that you’re interested in, explore different companies and people to see if you’re able to shadow for a few days. This will give you a better idea of what you’ll be doing in that line of work.

Take a Look at the Options You Have Never Considered

There are popular careers that we all know about such as being a teacher, doctor, lawyer, etc. For some, those typical choices may not peak your interest in the slightest. There are thousands upon thousands of jobs out there. Many you probably have not heard about. Take a look at these unusual jobs from Business Insider.

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You Don’t Have to Hop Between Full-Time Jobs, Internships Can Be Your Choice

If you have some flexibility, an internship is an awesome way to get first-hand experience in the field of work you’re looking to get into. As the internship comes to a close, you may be able to score a full-time job. It may help you discover that you’re on the wrong career path which is okay. Something positive comes from both outcomes. Either way, it’ll help build your network and introduce you to people who you can get career and job advice from.

Prepare a Clear Career Plan to Stop Yourself from Distracted

As with a lot of things in life, it will be more beneficial if you have some plans made and goals set for yourself. Maybe you’ve thought about becoming a writer, but after writing comes editing and you’re not sure that’s what you want to do. Maybe you’ve been a nurse for years, and you’d like to become a florist. It’s important to think about how you’re going to get there.

Make a map planning out where you want to go with steps, possible obstacles, and goals.

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Take Aptitude Tests to Understand Your Interest and Strengths

You may be sitting there thinking that you don’t know what interests you or what your strong suits are. Personality and career assessment tests help narrow down careers that you may enjoy, and are at least worth looking into. You may have taken them in high school so you could start thinking about what you’d like to do. Maybe you took one in college when you started to rethink whether or not the major you chose was a good fit. This one from Oprah’s website includes 5 aptitude tests on the first page. You can download and complete each one. When finished, head over to page two to see your results and what they mean.

Make Use of the Resources You Have

There’s no harm in reaching out to people. One of the best ways to find a career path is to talk with and ask people questions about their field of work. It will give you a little insight when you’re unsure what the job entails. Another great outlet to look into and take advantage of is LinkedIn. It has tons of information about a laundry list of professions, and you have the option to message people when you have some questions. Take a look at this site which lists many different careers and what they entail. It’s a great resource to use when researching.

Look at You career As a Stepping Stone

A career isn’t about racing to the top. Look at your career as if it were a marathon. Instead of a sprint, learn to enjoy all the twists and turns, all the ups and the downs that you encounter along the way. When you put all of your experiences together, you will find a career worth having.

Figuring out and deciding what career path you want to take may be long, frustrating, and difficult. It’s impossible to know if you’re going to enjoy what you choose to do twenty years down the line, but it’s important to think about the here and now. What do YOU enjoy? Choosing a particular career does not mean you have to spend the rest of your life in that profession. Explore all of your options and have fun doing your research. Knowledge is power!

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Erica Wagner

Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on October 18, 2018

10 Key Characteristics of a Highly Successful Entrepreneur

10 Key Characteristics of a Highly Successful Entrepreneur

When it comes to starting your own business and pursuing your dream of becoming an entrepreneur, it can be advantageous to go all in and embrace the flexibility of finally quitting your day job.

Keep in mind, though, that it takes a special kind of person to take the business world by storm: a person who has cultivated the key characteristics of entrepreneurial success.

People with these characteristics are likely to succeed, whereas people without them have difficulty moving forward with even the most brilliant business ideas.

These characteristics of an entrepreneur are so important that I’ve decided to cover all 10 of them in detail so that you can start your business with your best foot forward.

1. Successful Entrepreneurs Practice Discipline

Plenty of business experts claim that you can’t get anywhere as an entrepreneur without vision or creativity, but that’s simply not the truth. Instead, the one quality that no entrepreneur can be successful without is discipline.

To build an idea into a business, you have to have the discipline to spend time slogging through the least fun parts of running a business (like the bookkeeping), rather than taking that time to do something fun.

Andrew Carnegie, one of the most financially successful Americans of all time, grew up working dull and difficult jobs in factories. Despite going to bed hungry some nights, he continued doing his best work. He was eventually hired by a railroad company and continued to move up the ladder until starting his own successful businesses. Carnegie is a fine example of an entrepreneur dedicated to discipline and hard work. He truly earned his dreams of prosperity and success.

When you’re the boss, there’s no one to keep you at work except yourself — and there’s no short-term consequences for skipping out early.

Sure, if an entrepreneur plays hooky enough he knows that the business just won’t happen, but it’s very hard to convince someone that ‘just this once’ won’t hurt (and to keep ‘just this once’ from becoming a daily occurrence).

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2. Successful Entrepreneurs Keep Calm

Things go wrong when you run your own business.

Most entrepreneurs go through crises with their businesses — and more than a few wind up with outright failures on their hands. But when you’re responsible for a business, you have to be able to keep calm in any situation. Any other reaction — whether you lose your temper or get flustered — compounds the problem.

Instead, a good entrepreneur must have the ability to keep his cool in an emergency or crisis. It may not make the problem easier to solve, but it certainly won’t make it harder.

Honestly, losing your calm is a quick path to becoming the kind of person who gives up in the face of adversity. Instead giving in to frustration, remember classic entrepreneur Benjamin Franklin.

Franklin kept his calm as he experimented and tweaked his inventions again and again in pursuit of success. He didn’t give up during his many failures – he chose to innovate. You can choose innovation, too.

If an entrepreneur can handle failure without frustration or anger, s/he can move past it to find success.

3. Successful Entrepreneurs Pay Attention to Details

Restricting your attention to the big picture can be even more problematic than ‘sweating the small stuff.’

As an entrepreneur, unless venture capital has magically dropped out of the sky, a small expense can be a killer. It’s attention to detail that can make a small business successful when it has competition and it’s attention to detail that can keep costs down.

Attention to detail can be difficult to maintain — going over ledgers can be tedious even when you aren’t trying to pay close attention — but keeping your eye on a long-term vision is just asking for a problem to sneak in under a radar.

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After a business grows, an entrepreneur might be able to hire someone to worry about the details. In the beginning, though, only one person can take responsibility for the details.

Skeptical about the importance of details? Look no further than Howard Schultz, who grew a small coffee shop called Starbucks into one of the most globally successful coffee businesses in the world through his extreme attention to detail.

He is famous for taking all aspects of growing a business into account, paying attention not only to financially smart business decisions, but also focusing on socially responsible business decisions. Details can take you far.

4. Successful Entrepreneurs Embrace Risks

No entrepreneur has a sure thing, no matter how much money s/he stands to earn on a given product. Even if a product tests well, the market can change, the warehouse can burn down and a whole slew of other misfortune can befall a small business.

It’s absolutely risky to run a business of your own and while you can get some insurance, it’s not like most investment options. Even worse, if something does go wrong, it’s the entrepreneur’s responsibility — no matter the actual cause. In order to deal with all of that without developing an ulcer, you have to have a good tolerance for risk.

You don’t need to channel your inner frat boy and take on absolutely stupid risks, but you need to know just how much you can afford to risk — and get a good idea of how likely you are to lose it. If the numbers make you uncomfortable, the risk is too great.

Embracing risks is essential for growth and additional success, as well. Walt Disney, for example, could have stayed comfortable with his advances in the film and animation industries, but decided to expand his brand with a new dream: a theme park that soared above the competition. Without taking this risk, the incredibly successful Disney theme park empire would never have come about.

An entrepreneur has to be willing to accept pretty big risks, with some level of comfort.

5. Successful Entrepreneurs are Balanced

You can take any characteristic too far. There’s a point at which attention to detail can become obsession or calm can become unemotional response.

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As an entrepreneur, you have to be able to balance your characteristics, getting the most of them without going over the edge. But balance for an entrepreneur goes far beyond keeping your characteristics in check, though.

Just as an entrepreneur doesn’t have a boss to keep them at work when necessary, they don’t have one to send them home when they’re done. If you are working for yourself, you have to decide how to balance your work and home life — and if you have a day job to add into the equation, balance just gets more complicated.

Oprah Winfrey, one of the most successful and influential entrepreneurs out there, understands the importance of balance. Winfrey has a lot going on; she runs her own media kingdom, acts, produces films, publishes print, and more. In an interview with Fast Company,[1] she talks about her efforts to balance priorities and self care, saying that she must ask herself what is truly important in each limited day.

You may or may not have as much on your plate as Oprah, but learning how to balance whatever you have going on in life will certainly help you farther along down the road as you learn to be a great entrepreneur.

6. Successful Entrepreneurs are Passionate and Motivated

In order to develop any of the above characteristics, you must have a foundation of passion. Staying disciplined day after day during the building of your business takes unrivaled motivation.

Before you start any business, ask yourself if you can sustain true excitement about your idea during even the darkest days ahead of you. If the answer is yes, then good for you! Nurture your natural motivation by taking these action steps throughout your business journey:

  • Commit to making short and long-term goals. Check in with them often to stay on task.
  • Have a plan in place for the inevitable days when you feel discouraged. Make a list of things that will help keep you motivated and focused.
  • Share your ideas with trusted individuals who are just as excited as you are. They will help keep your enthusiasm rolling even when you are feeling down.

By being prepared for apathetic days and holding fast to your authentic passion, you can actually enjoy your journey to success.

7. Successful Entrepreneurs Adapt

Remember this one word: flexibility. Seasoned entrepreneurs know that change is not only a part of life, but also a part of the business world. Expect change and choose to adapt.

As a new entrepreneur, it will be tempting to cling to your original business plan with no exceptions, even if you notice it isn’t working. Good entrepreneurs know that it’s okay to make smart, informed changes in order to ensure efficiency.

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8. Successful Entrepreneurs are Marketing and Sales Experts

No matter what kind of business you are starting, a knowledge of marketing and sales will save you many headaches. A passion for creating a beautiful handmade lifestyle product is not enough to run a successful lifestyle brand; it is critical that you understand key business principles in addition to your natural skills or great product line.

Not sure how to start? Taking business courses is a great idea, but you can also easily brush up on sales and marketing through free online resources. Check out these 10 Sales Skills Everyone Should Master To Be Successful to begin now.

9. Successful Entrepreneurs Have Strong Money Management

Along with sales and marketing skills, money management is a very useful tool in the box of the entrepreneur. Understanding how to best manage your money can be the difference between early success and early failure in the business world.

If money management isn’t your strongest skill, prepare to hire a financial expert to help you with any tricky business that comes up. Financial guidance and knowledge is never a bad idea.

10. Successful Entrepreneurs Ask Questions and Continually Improve

Pride is a natural human quality, but it’s important to humbly conduct some constructive criticism every now and again on both yourself as a leader and your new business as a whole.

Assess how things are going and be willing to make positive changes if necessary. Here’re 15 ways to cultivate lifelong learning.

If you are always improving, then how can you ultimately fail?

The Bottom Line

Let me remind you of one important fact: the qualities of an entrepreneur listed here are not exclusively available to some people and elusive to others.

Although some people may have natural strengths and weaknesses, these qualities can be learned by anyone interested in taking up the entrepreneurial challenge. It might not be easy to change old habits, but it is absolutely possible to cultivate these characteristics in yourself.

Whether you’re a business owner or an aspiring entrepreneur, with hard work, you can train yourself to develop the qualities that truly determine the entrepreneurial spirit and future success.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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