There are so many options out there! With social media and the internet influencing us daily, It can be challenging to find the perfect career path for yourself amidst the chaos in your mind. In this blog we’re going to learn which important questions we need to ask, to really understand where our strengths lie. Remember, every path is unique and comparing yourself with others will only slow you down.
1. What are your hobbies?
What interests you during your free time? What are you good at? Do you prefer working with your hands or your mind? Do you like being around people? Love to coach kids/people? Like to interact with nature? Love numbers and puzzles? Love to write? Love to play a certain kind of video game? Love to talk to an audience?
Your skills and interests point to your career, although they may be a few steps away and not visible right now. You may love to coach a young team of kids, but it does not necessarily mean that you should become a professional coach. It indicates that you have excellent leadership skills, which can be applied in a variety of job roles.
2. What does success mean to you?
What do you value? Is it having lots of money or owning fancy cars and houses or free time? Do you value fun at work or having a large family or following a dream? Love to be in the city or the country? Love to live overseas or in the suburbs? Answers to these crucial questions will help you zone in what kind of career opportunities will be suitable and available for you. If you love fast cars and are living in the hills, then you probably have to choose a job among them. Your inner passion will bring out the value of the work you will do.
3. What kind of life do you want?
How do you picture yourself? Do you see yourself living an ordinary life where perhaps you settle down young and start a family in the suburbs? Or do you see yourself living an adventurous life where your career takes you just about anywhere in the world, and you keep your bags permanently ready and packed? As an adventurous person, you might want to be a wildlife photographer, traveling to dangerous places with your camera. In order for you to narrow down to your career, it’s important to visualize yourself in the future living the life you want.
4. Are you willing to compromise?
You will not have much free time if you are young, an investment banker or a corporate lawyer, getting paid big bucks. As an airline pilot or truck driver, you will be spending lots of time outside the home. You will have to study for a long time and get your Ph.D. if you want to become a college professor. As a famous actor/actress, you have to slog it out in front of others who may judge you according to your talent and looks. Are you comfortable with that?
What is it that you are willing to sacrifice? A music band breaks up because some members realize that they are are not willing to sacrifice their time for those endless on-the-road gigs to get famous. Some realize late in life that they are not willing to sacrifice their time even in exchange for fat salaries. These are painful discoveries once you have settled and trodden down your career path.
5. Which subjects were your favorite at school?
Which subjects in school are the most fun to you? Do you hate science and math and love English? If yes, then you know that you probably won’t become a doctor, scientist, engineer or economist. You might end up with a communication-based career such as a writer, lawyer, teacher or the like. Analyzing what fits you is a first step to determining the job role for you.
6. Proactive attitude
To get to know your career choice intimately, you need to to be self aware and start by understanding yourself. If you’re just starting your career, try the following:
- Informational interviewing – talk to somebody who’s doing your dream job.
- Summer jobs – a great way to get to know what your job will be like. They provide you with hands-on experience that lets you see what type of environment you do or don’t want to be working in.
- Internships – the best way to test out a career is by getting to work for a company for some time. You get to check the ‘real world’ to see the environment, culture, and politics of your chosen career. Check The Intern Queen for a variety of internships.
- Career tests – discover your strengths and interests. Some of the best career tests are Myers-Briggs® MBTI® personality type assessment, StrengthsFinder 2.0, and iStartStrongTM inventory.
- Volunteer work – This allows you to do a good deed while getting work experience that you might not otherwise get. The experience can uncover skills and interests that you might be unaware you had. It helps you expose yourself to a wider variety of people and broadens your network.