Whether you’re fresh out of college or you’ve been in the workforce and are looking to make a major career shift, the following guide will help you decide your next move. Ask yourself these four questions — and you’ll be on your way to a rewarding, successful work life. When it comes to how to choose a career, here’s everything you need to know.
How To Choose A Career: 4 Questions To Ask Yourself
What does my career assessment say?
Google the term “career assessment” and you’ll return a lot of results. Do they really work? Should you dole out money to take multiple online career quizzes? Clearly, there’s a major market for career aptitude tests. However, many are unproven and expensive. That’s why you should test out inexpensive/free ones when it comes to how to choose a career.
One great option? John Holland’s SDS (Self Directed Search) — an assessment that helps determine potential roles as well as aligning office environments and company cultures based on your personality type.
This test is based on the scientific findings of award-winning psychologist John Holland, who devised the “Holland Codes,” a system that fits people into one of six categories: Doers, Thinkers, Creators, Helpers, Persuaders and Organizers. Each category connects to a variety of career routes. The test costs $9.95, but if it helps you pinpoint your life’s calling, chances are you won’t regret the purchase.
What do you know about yourself?
It’s important to understand your own strengths, values, personality and skills when it comes to how to choose a career. This will help you determine which career best aligns with your interests and talents.
Have you spoken with a career coach?
Typically, those who enlist the help of a career coach are frustrated by a lengthy period of job searching without seeing results. Why wait? Try to get in touch with a career coach early on in your journey. You’ll generally have a better chance at working in a field that resonates with you if you seek a career coach’s help before the job search completely saps your motivation.
How might a career coach help? Well, it’s their job to find you a meaningful, fitting career.
These individuals are usually experts at networking. That’s why they can frequently access resources you may not discover without their help.
Career coaches could average around $150 an hour. That can be discouraging and wallet-draining. However, you can visit your college’s career center for free advice. Counselors there are specially trained to assist you in finding your passion.
Who inspires you?
If you’re unsure about your career, it’s crucial that you set up informational interviews with professionals across various industries to find out firsthand what their jobs entail. Sit down with each person and ask the important questions to garner honest feedback. This is a top tip in how to choose a career — as it also fosters networking right out of the gate. When someone devotes their time to you, they then become invested in your success.
So, how do you know who to contact? Start with people who already know you — perhaps a supervisor, professor, mentor or someone you already know working in a field you’re potentially interested in. Also, never hesitate to reach out to anyone you don’t know. Be willing to learn. Chatting with new faces allows you to also grow as a networker and boosts your confidence in speaking.
If nothing else, you’ll probably get some reassurance that your current path isn’t as aimless as you might assume. While your first job or career jump is important, it’s not the end-all-be-all of your life. Ask any baby boomer how they got to where they are now — they’ll probably tell you it was a long, meandering road of diverse roles.