In a perfect world, everyone would find happiness in their chosen career. Unfortunately, people today switch careers more frequently than ever before. This indicates that large numbers of them are either following in their parents’ footsteps or choosing their careers randomly. If you’re undecided on which career suits you best, or are pondering a change in the near future, the following tips may be useful in helping you find more fulfillment in your work.
Think About What Excites You
Regardless of whether you’re seeking the perfect job or just something that can pay the bills, you should make an effort to find work you can enjoy. If you’re disinterested in the work, you’re unlikely to give it all you’ve got. This could prevent you from advancing as quickly as you should, which can lead you right back into looking for another career. While it might be an exaggeration to think you'd enjoy any career more than spending time with your family, a fulfilling job is one you will want to make the best of, rather than dreading each day at the office.
Analyze Your Skills
If you can’t earn a living doing what you love, you should at least learn to love what you do. Whether you can think of any compelling ideas yet or not, you should also consider the skills you already have. If you’re already good at something, work that involves using these skill sets should be seriously considered. You’ll probably find that putting what you already know to work will make you even better at your job over time, which could inspire you to enjoy it more. For example, if you’re good with your hands, you’ll probably get more enjoyment out of using tools than sitting at a desk.
Take a Career Aptitude Test
Some individuals remain undecided because they either have multiple interests or aren’t really sure what they’re good at. High schools and colleges use assessment tests to help their students narrow down their choices, based on their skills and interests. If you’ve never taken one, or it’s been a long time since you have, you can find similar tests online at job search sites. They can also help you find something that matches your goals and motivational focus.
Ask Others What They Think
Sometimes your friends and family may notice traits in you that you don’t even know you have. They may be particularly observant of traits or skills that are prevalent in their own careers. It never hurts to ask those who know you best what type of work they think you may be suited for. They might have some ideas you’ve never considered or some advice you’ve never heard. At the very least, they might suggest something that leads you in a particular direction. While it would be unwise to blindly follow anyone’s advice, it should be considered in proper context, alongside anything else you may learn about your interests.
Research Unusual Careers
Everyone’s aware of the most popular career choices. Chances are, you have friends or family members that are doctors, lawyers, teachers, and first responders. If these typical choices seem uninspiring, it might help to research a wider list of careers, some of which may be unconventional. For example, you may have never considered a career as an animal trainer, but this can be a very fulfilling career for someone who enjoys spending time with animals.
Create a List of Careers to Explore
Based on the information gathered so far, you probably already have some ideas in mind. Write them down on a list and make it a point to research them all. Jot down both their advantages and disadvantages, based on what you can live with in terms of pay, benefits, working environment, career outlook, and your personal values. Pay special attention to those that meet at least 60 percent of your criteria.
Choosing a career path can be confusing, but it shouldn’t cause depression or excessive anxiety. Remember that your goals and values may differ from those of others in similar situations. This should be taken into account, along with careful assessments of your skills and interests, before making serious commitments to any new career.