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How to Find Your Ideal Career Path Without Wasting Time on Jobs Not Suitable for You

How to Find Your Ideal Career Path Without Wasting Time on Jobs Not Suitable for You

Life has a habit of not always working out how we imagined it would. In an ever-evolving technological and economic world, the types of careers we can pursue are far and wide. If we haven’t been one of the lucky ones and figured out our exact career path, or maybe pursued one vocation but realised it’s not really for us, we can be left feeling lost to how we want our careers to look or even what we really want to be doing.

The Problems We Face When It Comes to Choosing the Right Career

Our economics are constantly changing which means the types of jobs and careers are being shaped accordingly. This can lead us feeling like the job we had no longer fulfills us or is heading in a direction we’re not comfortable with.

But we are also changing too. The change and growth within ourselves isn’t always something we contemplate when thinking about careers when we’re younger. We can also be pressured by loved ones to choose the sensible and lucrative career even if it doesn’t make us happy. We may be driven by money but gradually realise money isn’t what makes us happy but rather the passion behind the job you do.

Because of this we can get to a point in life where we want a change but aren’t able to figure out what we really want to do and what will really make us truly happy.

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Why Choosing the Right Career is Important

Strip it all back and what we really want from a career is the feeling of fulfillment, contentment, accomplishment, passion, and a sense of contribution. Considering we spend a big chunk of our waking lives at work, to be happy in life we need to consider the happiness that our careers give us.

When we’re focused too much on the money and not enough on how we feel getting up every morning and going to work, our jobs and careers can start to make us question what this is really all for. Choosing the right career path will bring both abundance and happiness but we must get out of the limited mindset that we must stick to what we’ve already chosen. Or that it’s too late in life to change careers, we’re not qualified, there aren’t enough jobs, not enough lucrative opportunities – the list goes on.

How to Go About Finding the Right Career Path for You

So, you’re considering a new career or you’re just starting out on your career journey – where do you start? Don’t despair if you feel utterly lost, there are positive steps you can take in order to get some ideas flowing and the ball rolling.

Think About What Energises and Excites You

We often forget that choosing a career that we’re passionate about or incorporating the things that excite us is an option. One of the biggest indicators that we’re on the wrong career path is when we don’t enjoy talking about it let alone turn up to do the job.

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Finding a career that you’re passionate about is what will maintain it long term. If you’re just focused on earnings then you’re more likely to become unhappy and unfulfilled much more quickly.

Think About What You’re Good At

Having a think about not only what you enjoy, but what you’re good at can really help in identifying what would make a good career choice. Are you good with people? Do you give good advice? Are you articulate? Do you have a talent for writing? Are you good with animals? Try to think of as many skills that you feel you’re good at and if you’re struggling then ask a good friend or colleague to tell you – sometimes other people are better at seeing us than we are.

A good tip is to identify the skills you use when you’re doing what you enjoy. No matter how insignificant you feel it is, don’t worry just write it down.

Think About a Field of Work Not a Specific Job

One stumbling block can be being too job-specific when considering a possible career. Once we do this we can get easily discouraged and limited in our thinking. Think about the field of work rather than specifics – for example, if you love helping and being around animals then a veterinarian job may be an idea but there are lots of other options such as becoming a professional dog walker.

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The idea is to think outside the box – skills for one job may suit another kind of job – like a teacher’s skill at explaining convoluted topics and using language well to convey the message may make a good writer.

Research the Possible Qualifications Needed

You may have a list of possibilities so now it’s time to research what you would need to know or what qualifications you may need in order to achieve your dream job. Perhaps you’re considering setting up your own business so looking into business classes could help or maybe you need to go back to school and get a degree. Find the different steps you need to take and don’t feel deterred.

Get to Know People in That Field

Consider networking. Ask around your friends and family to see if they know anyone in a similar field you could chat with. Find online forums or groups that discuss the field of work you’re interested in. By talking to others you will get more of a feel of the work and even advice on how to get started.

Evaluate Your Findings

Once you’ve done some research make sure you take stock and evaluate what you’ve found out. Does this career fit in with the lifestyle you want? Consider the information you’ve gathered and work through pros and cons. Does it still excite you? Do you feel passionate about it? Will it involve compromise you’re willing to take or is it too much compromise?

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It’s always important to check in with yourself.

Sign Up for Training and Experience

A good option is to look around for volunteering opportunities or internships in order to get experience or see if it’s really for you. You have nothing to lose, rather you’re gaining more insight into what you do and don’t want to pursue. It can also eliminate any unneeded areas of study or training elsewhere or help you understand what skills you do need to develop.

Once you’re positive and excited for your new career adventure then signing up for gaining the necessary qualifications is the next step. Remember to keep focusing on each step rather than the long term in order to keep any doubts or overwhelming feelings at bay.

Keep a Positive Mindset and Don’t Give Up

Our mind is powerful and can determine whether we give up or succeed. Keeping on your path requires a positive mindset – it’s going to feel daunting and a great leap of faith to change your career but by believing and following your passions, inspirations and happiness, you will allow yourself to realise your potential to be happy in your work life. Don’t let others deter you with their limited thinking or opinions – keep on your path with your happiness in mind and see where it takes you.

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Jenny Marchal

A passionate writer who loves sharing about positive psychology.

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

Do you think of yourself as a creative person? Do you play the drums or do watercolor paintings? Perhaps compose songs or direct plays? Can you even relate to any of these so called ‘creative’ experiences? Growing up, did you ever have that ‘artistic’ sibling or friend who excelled in drawing, playing instruments or literature? And you maybe wondered why you can’t even compose a birthday card greeting–or that drawing stick figures is the furthest you’ll ever get to drawing a family portrait. Many people have this common assumption that creativity is an inborn talent; only a special group of people are inherently creative, and everyone else just unfortunately does not have that special ability. You either have that creative flair or instinct, or you don’t. But, this is far from the truth! So what is creativity?

Can I Be Creative?

The fact is, that everyone has an innate creative ability. Despite what most people may think, creativity is a skill that everyone can learn and hone on. It’s a skill with huge leverage that allows you to generate enormous amounts of value from relatively little input. How is that so? You’ll have to start by expanding your definition of creativity. Ironically, you have to be creative and ‘think out of the box’ with the definition! Creativity at its heart, is being able to see things in a way that others cannot. It’s a skill that helps you find new perspectives to create new possibilities and solutions to different problems. So, if you encounter different challenges and problems that need solving on a regular basis, then creativity is an invaluable skill to have.Let’s say, for example, that you work in sales. Having creativity will help you to look for new ways to approach and reach out to potential customers. Or perhaps you’re a teacher. In this role you have to constantly look for new ways to deliver your message and educate your students.

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How Creativity Works

Let me break another misconception about creativity, which is that it’s only used to create completely “new” or “original” things. Again, this is far from the truth. Because nothing is ever completely new or original. Everything, including works of art, doesn’t come from nothing. Everything derives from some sort of inspiration. That means that creativity works by connecting things together in order to derive new meaning or value.From this perspective, you can see a lot of creativity in action. In technology, Apple combines traditional computers with design and aesthetics to create new ways to use digital products. In music, a musician may be inspired by various styles of music, instruments and rhythms to create an entirely new type of song. All of these examples are about connecting different ideas, finding common ground amongst the differences, and creating a completely new idea out of them.

What Really Is Creativity?

Creativity Needs an Intention

Another misconception about the creative process is that you can just be in a general “creative” state. Real creativity isn’t about coming up with “eureka!” moments for random ideas. Instead, to be truly creative, you need to have a direction. You have to ask yourself this question: “What problem am I trying to solve?” Only by knowing the answer to this question can you start flexing your creativity muscles. Often times, the idea of creativity is associated with the ‘Right’ brain, with intuition and imagination. Hence a lot of focus is placed on the ‘Right’ brain when it comes to creativity. But, to get the most out of creativity, you need to utilize both sides of your brain–Right and Left–which means using the analytical and logical part of your brain, too. This may sound surprising to you, but creativity has a lot to do with problem solving. And, problem solving inherently involves logic and analysis. So instead of throwing out the ‘Left’ brain, full creativity needs them to work in unison. For example, when you’re looking for new ideas, your ‘Left’ brain will guide you to a place of focus, which is based on your objective behind the ideas you’re searching for. The ‘Right’ brain then guides you to gather and explore based on your current focus. And when you decide to try out these new ideas, your ‘Right’ brain will give you novel solutions outside of the ones you already know. Your ‘Left’ brain then helps you evaluate and tune the solutions to work better in practice. So, logic and creativity actually work hand in hand, and not one at the expense of the other.

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Creativity Is a Skill

At the end of the day, creativity is a skill. It’s not some innate or natural born talent that some have over others. What this means is that creativity and innovation can be practiced and improved upon systematically.A skill can be learned and practiced by applying your strongest learning styles. Want to know what your learning style is? Try this test. A skill can be measured and improved through a Feedback Loop, and can be continuously upgraded over time by regular practice. Through regular practice, your creativity goes through different stages of proficiency. This means that you can become more and more creative! If you never thought that creativity was relevant to you, or that you don’t have a knack for being creative… think again! You can use creativity in any aspect of your life. In fact you should use it, as it will allow you to to break through your usual loop, get you out of your comfort zone, and inspire you to grow and try new things. Creativity will definitely give you an edge when you’re trying to solve a problem or come up with new solutions.

Start Connecting the Dots

Excited to start honing your creativity? Here at Lifehack, we’ve got a wealth of knowledge to help you get started. We understand that creativity is a matter of connecting things together in order to derive new meaning or value. So, if you want to learn how to start connecting the dots, check out these tips:

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Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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