Choosing a career path could be quite overwhelming & stressful. Since we all have to work between 8-10 hours each day, it’s important we choose a career that interests us. Some people have multiple interests & passions, and though it’s quite a positive thing, sometimes having too many options makes it harder for us to decide on a career.
Are you stuck & confused? Worry not! Here are a few steps to guide you on how to find your ideal career.
“Find out what you like doing best, and get someone to pay you for it” – Katharine Whitehorn
1. Take a Personality Test/Assess yourself
Consider taking a personality test to check which career suits you the best. There are plenty of personality tests available online, some of these include –
A – Myers-Briggs Type Indicator – this test comprises 90 questions and helps you find what career is right for you, and the suitable work environment for you to work.
B – The Birkman Method – this test features 300 questions measuring typical & interpersonal behaviors helping you to decide which career to pursue.
C. HIGH5 Test – The 100 questions of this test will help you to know your professional strengths & weaknesses, identify your personality, and choose a career that suits your attitude, ability, and goals.
D – Keirsey Temperament Sorter – this test will help you to find out your main temperament and secondary temperament type. It helps you to find what career is right for you based on your personality and thought process.
2. Make a List of Potential Career Options
Now make a list of all suggested career options you have. Remove what does not interest you, and narrow down your list. You can also rank your options from the best to the worst.
3. Explore Options/ Research Your Options
Explore each career option. Do initial research, and meet the people who are already in the profession. Also, try to set up a shadow day or learning experience in that field. Evaluate the educational & professional requirements of each option. Consider work-life balance, assess the potential for job satisfaction, and also consider your short-term & long-term goals.
4. Understand Your Wants & Needs
Jot down your personal & professional ideals for your work & life. Make a list of things like salary, benefits, personal satisfaction, and opportunity for personal & professional growth. Rearrange the list in the order of priority, and compare this list with the career options you are considering.
5. Ask Your Mentor
The right mentor will guide you and help you take your career to new heights. Speaking to a mentor will help you to organize your ideas and gain some clarity. You will not only get helpful insights but will learn from your mentor’s experience. About 80% of CEOs attribute their success to having worked with mentors.
Networking is great for your career, the more people you meet, the better understanding you will have of the opportunities available. Meet people who are working in the fields you are interested in. Ask questions about their job, challenges, pros and cons, their professional journey, and industry. Network with people at conferences & workshops.
Before you set your heart on a particular career or rule out something, ask yourself these questions –
1. Will I enjoy doing the job each day?
2. Does the career meet most of my preferences?
3. Is the career realistic in terms of salary?
4. Does the career fit with my values?
5. Are there any location/financial/skills limitations I need to consider?
Answering these questions will give you clarity and awareness, and help you to find your ideal career. You have a greater chance of being successful in your career when you are fully aware of how you function, what your strengths are and what you value.