As kids, we’ve all been asked what we wanted to be when we grew up. For some, that dream has stayed with them as they matured. But for others, that decision has been made a little later on after gaining more awareness of their different options. And then, there are those who have yet to decide.
If you belong in the last category, don’t worry. That’s perfectly normal. Figuring out what you want to do for the rest of your life can be a daunting thought. But don’t let the fear of making the wrong decision stop you from trying. After all, you will always have the choice to change career paths later on in life if you feel unhappy in your current situation.
If you can’t picture yourself in a specific career just yet, that’s okay. We can first explore our options so that we can make an informed decision. Here are some tips on figuring out what career is right for you.
List Down Your Interests and Skills
Ideally, you would want to be in a job you enjoy or at least be good at. In reality, work will be stressful and tiring at some point. It isn’t true that you won’t work a day in your life if you love what you do. Work, no matter how much you enjoy it, is still work, after all.
However, loving what you do can make all that hard work worthwhile and satisfying. It’ll give you the motivation to do your best at your job and advance in your career.
If you don’t have an immediate answer on what you want to do, you can try to list down your interests and skills. You don’t have to limit yourself to your passions when doing this. You may also explore other fields that you may be mildly interested in. Listing down everything you can think of can give you more options to choose from.
Another tip is not to limit yourself to hard skills. Consider also the soft skills you’d want to have in a job. For example, if you believe you excel more in a collaborative environment, that eliminates the more independent jobs.
When you have a list of all the things you’re interested in and good at, you can start to picture jobs that have one or more of these elements. This will give you a better idea of what you want to do.
Look Into Different Career Paths That Interest You
Once you’ve gathered a list of options, you can now conduct some research on the different career paths you can take. You can look at the various career opportunities in particular fields. Can you see yourself heading down this path? Are you interested enough to pursue this option? Does the career seem enticing for you or boring? These are just some of the questions you should ask yourself as you conduct your research.
You should also look into what you’d need to get the job. Perhaps the career path you’re interested in requires training or further education. These are important things to consider. You can check job listings for entry-level positions in that career field to see what hiring managers particularly look for in terms of hard and soft skills. And if possible, it’s also a good idea to interview someone in that career field to get a better picture.
Test the Waters
One way to really know if the career you’ve chosen is right for you is to test the waters. You may do this by taking short courses relevant to the field. Or perhaps you could try and learn a skill you’d need for that job. You may also try getting an internship to have a more realistic idea of what an average day in that field would look like.
Figuring out what to do for the rest of your life can be daunting, but don’t get too stressed at the thought. Take it step by step. Narrow down your options by listing down your skills and interests. Conduct the appropriate research to learn more about the career path you’re interested in. And test the waters through further education, training or an internship.
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