Choosing your career path is stressful whether you’re a recent high school graduate or in your mid-40s. You may have been working for years only to realize that you are not passionate about your field and want to work a job that brings you genuine happiness. A sense of purpose at work carries over into our lives; since we spend the majority of adulthood working, finding the right career is a major component of our lifelong happiness.
Here are a few pointers to help you discover the right job for you.
There are three categories of core strengths: play, personal, and work. Identifying yours will help you discover careers that build upon what you’re good at and help you grow. Knowing our own strength can be difficult, so ask yourself the following questions to identify yours:
If you’re struck trying to choose a field of study or career path, it can be helpful to identify your interests that aren’t work-related. While plenty of people are naturally drawn toward business, finance and similar majors, others struggle to find an industry that appeals to them.
You may have heard the expression, “If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.” What do you love? If you had unlimited funds, what would you spend your days doing? Even seemingly unrelated hobbies like Netflix and gaming could become potential careers—maybe you’d be interested in TV production, communications or game design?
This straightforward method isn’t a crystal ball, but career aptitude and assessment tests help you identify your strengths and recommend potential career paths based off of them. Your interests are also taken into consideration, including whether you prefer to work in a group or alone, the type of environment you prefer and activities you find engaging. You can find a good career assessment site online, or you can find a career advisement office to visit.
Furthering your education is a great milestone in personal development, but it can also give you greater career opportunities. Most jobs require at least an associate’s or bachelor’s degree nowadays, so talking to colleges and exploring your options can help you explore greater opportunities. College admissions counselors will be able to talk to you about different majors and their related careers, so even if you don’t wind up going to the school, you may gain some valuable information that helps you as you plan your future.