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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

Freelance Writer

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Published on April 16, 2019

How Self Care Can Help You Live Your Best Life

How Self Care Can Help You Live Your Best Life

When was the last time you did something for yourself?

Whether it was deciding to treat yourself with a little something or travel for some R&R, how often do you practice self-care?

Well, as good as above sounds, there’s a common misconception that many of us have about self-care: that it’s only about indulgence and enjoyment.

However, self-care goes far beyond indulgence. It’s actually about respecting your mind and body, understanding its limits, and being able to take care of every part of yourself, in a holistic way.

And, you really don’t have to go to extreme measures or do anything specific–like meditating or following a plant based diet–in order to practice self-care. You just have to make sure that what you’re doing is in your best interests.

So how can you make that happen?

Below are a few proven methods that will help you become a better version of you. Follow through with these regularly and you’ll be well on your way to living your very best life.

Listen to Yourself

The bulk of self-care is knowing yourself.

This means knowing your body’s limitations, and being in tune with your feelings, emotions and thoughts. So it’s important, then, to know who you are and what you want to do in life, in order to truly say that you know yourself. 

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What is your purpose?

Have you ever thought about this question?

Your purpose doesn’t have to remain the same throughout your life. What you found a purpose in at age 19 would likely be different at age 49.

In your current situation, think about the different roles that you have – as a working professional, a spouse, a partner, a parent, etc.

Do you feel like you are fulfilling your purpose through any of these roles?

All you have to do is ensure that what you’re chasing is meaningful to you; this will bring focus and motivation as you strive to achieve your goals.

If you have your purpose defined, then that’s awesome! You know what drives you and why.

But, if you don’t feel like you have a purpose nailed down, it’s good to start by asking why.

For example, why are you working in your particular job or industry? If the reason is vague or unclear, then your motivational energy will be the same. In which case, you may find yourself not having a direction for where you’re headed in life.

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If you’d like to learn more about finding your purpose, then I recommend you check out this article:

How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up

Seek Out Continuous Education

Now, this may seem less common when you think of self-care, but lifelong learning is incredibly useful and an important component of taking care of yourself.

It’s Super Practical

Lifelong learning is extremely practical these days and does not require as much effort as it may have in the past. Long gone are the days when you could only find information on something by visiting a library. In this day of the internet, anything you can imagine is at your fingertips.

You don’t need to physically go to a learning institution to learn. You can watch Youtube videos to learn new skills, take online courses to earn a degree, and scroll through an endless amount of articles, books and journals from reputable news and informative sites.

When you’re constantly pushing yourself to learn and take up new things, your mental health also improves. Research shows that an active and engaged mind is responsible for diminishing age-related memory loss and improves overall cognitive abilities.

Your Confidence Will Skyrocket

You’ll also have improved self worth as it teaches you to step outside of your comfort zone, which will undoubtedly improve your confidence.

You’ll also connect better with others by expanding your knowledge base. Learning exposes you to a multitude of new ideas and perspectives that you may have otherwise never considered. This also increases your adaptability. Whether it’s at work or just wanting to adapt to society, your peers, and loved ones, life long learning prepares you to take on new challenges.

You’ll Be More Desired in the Job Market

Another obvious reason for continuous education, is that your employability will also increase.

With the ever changing economy, and huge influences from technology, social media, science etc., job descriptions today are moving targets. Assignments and roles change so quickly in response to changing business demands, it becomes a Herculean task to keep a job description database current.

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In years past, stability was a characteristic of the world of work. Procedures, information, jobs, and organizations were established and provided continuity. Education was completed in the first 14 to 22 years of one’s life, followed by a long career occasionally punctuated by short-term job training.

Today, however, jobs, companies, and technology are disappearing and being created simultaneously. To remain current and maintain a competitive advantage in the human capital marketplace, an individual is challenged to continually learn.

People return to school at every age to enrich their skills and knowledge for their current positions. Some even prepare themselves for new jobs or career changes, moving them forward into new opportunities and technology.

We can be assured that we will be challenged to continue to learn new tasks and information throughout our lives. Successful careers belong to flexible, curious learners who are prepared for opportunities because they know themselves and where they make their best contribution. As Peter Drucker, the father of modern management stated,

“Knowledge is choice.”

Lifelong learning also increases social awareness and perspective. To genuinely understand and empathize with others, increase social awareness, and foster strong interpersonal relationships, it’s important to seek out new perspectives. Enhancing the skills that positively impact emotional intelligence can bring even greater happiness and success, both personally and at work; and, this is all part of self-care.

Improve Your Habits (Both at Work and at Home)

Now, the last piece of advice I want to introduce to your self-care regimen, is to improve your habits.

Habits define who you are, and are built up over time. You are what you eat is a great example of this. If you make it a habit to eat foods that nourish your body, rather than make your body feel bad, then you will be much healthier overall.

Good Habits Allow You to Reach Your Goals

Since habits dictate your days and nights, such as waking up every morning to get to work before a certain time, or brushing your teeth before bedtime every night, they play a major role in whether we do or do not reach our goals.

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When you form habits that allow you to progress towards your goals, you’re automatically living a purposeful day, everyday.

Habits Make Your Time a Priority

How do you spend your free time? Do you opt to lounge on the couch watching Netflix passively, or do you engage in activities that support your purpose in life?

It’s natural to waste a lot of time during the day, but fostering good habits will make you set a pattern for how you spend your time and give you the choice of what you choose to spend your time on. By improving your habits, you’ll find that you can be a LOT more productive. When you create good habits, you become more efficient with your time and a lot less is wasted.

This in essence creates an overall positive influence on your life, allowing you to treat your mind and body well, which is why improving your habits are so important to self-care.

Your Well Being Comes First

We live in such a fast-paced society, where we are often so caught up in our work, families, maintaining our social lives, our studies and everything in between. It’s an understatement to say that life can get a little overwhelming at times.

If you’ve ever watched the safety video onboard a plane, you’ll know that they always ask for a parent or adult to put on the safety mask first, before tending to the child. This may sound selfish, but the fact is that if you truly want to ensure the child’s safety, then your safety needs to come first so that you can protect and care for the child without complications from your end.

The same goes for self-care. We need to ensure that our well being is priority, so that we can be the best for the people around us.

Listening to yourself, practicing lifelong learning and improving your habits are steps that you can take to ensure you’re constantly in the best state of mind, alongside the indulgence and rest that you reward yourself with.

Featured photo credit: Photo by Raychan on Unsplash via unsplash.com

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