How to Choose the Best Career Path for Yourself
Choosing the career path is one of the most important decisions you’ll have to make in your life. No matter which one you choose, it’ll require a lot of time, effort, and patience. This is why you want to make sure you’ve chosen the right path. There are many things to keep in mind though, from your own personality to your work expectations. With that in mind, here’s how to choose the best career path for yourself.
Think about what you love
One of the most important things when choosing the career path is to pick something you are genuinely interested in. That’s the only way to truly enjoy your work later on. In other words, think about something you would gladly do even for free. That being said, being interested alone is not enough to make the right decision. For example, you can be interested in physics, but if you’re not good with numbers, it’s probably not the best career choice for you. So, it’s not just about what you would love to do but also about what you can do.
Take a test
If you’re not that passionate about any specific career, or if you don’t know what you’re good at, you can always take a test. There are many career assessment tests that can help you narrow down your options. There are also many good personality tests that can give you an idea of which careers might suit you. You can also talk to a career counselor who can help you figure out which careers you might like.
Do your research
Once you establish your skills and preferences, write down all the jobs that you could see yourself doing. Combine them into different groups according to how much you like them and how much you know about them. Next, do some research. Get some basic info about all the professions on your list – job descriptions, training and license requirements, advancement opportunities, potential earnings, etc.
After doing your research, it’ll be much easier to narrow down the list. First, cross off your list all the careers that don’t really appeal to you enough. Then, eliminate those that have few advancement opportunities. Next, you should also erase from your list all the careers that you’re not willing to work for, whether they take too much time or simply have too demanding requirements. Also, as already mentioned, if you lack the necessary skills for a certain career – and you can’t acquire them – don’t pursue that path. For instance, a good support worker must be naturally good with people. So, if you’re shy or not very patient, it’s not the best option for you.
Once your list is reduced to only a few choices, do some more research. Find somebody who works in the fields that interest you, and arrange an interview. Ask them everything you want to know, and try to find out as much as you can about the job. They can provide you with firsthand knowledge, and they can give you advice on how to start and advance in that career.
Make a career plan
Like many other things in life, careers also require you to have goals and plans. Identifying them will help you see how you can reach your desired position in the field. For example, if you want to become an editor, you will probably need to start as a writer. Or, perhaps you want to be a restaurant manager, which means that you need to figure out how to get there.
Finally, both short-term and long-term goals take time to reach. Some can be fulfilled in six months while some may take five years. The important thing is to stay patient; a successful career is a marathon, not a sprint. The path is rarely linear, and there will be many obstacles on it. However, if you do choose the right career and keep working hard, it will definitely be worth the effort it takes.
Do an internship
If you’re not dependent on your salary at the moment, consider doing an internship. It’s a great way to test out the career that you like. It could also help you get a job in the future, as it would look good in your CV. Even if you conclude that it’s not the right career path for you, it can still be beneficial. It would help you meet people, improve your CV, and gain experience. Plus, it would save you from making a mistake, so there’s really no downside to it.
Also, if it does turn out to be the right career for you, you can try to find a mentor. A good mentor can teach you everything you need to know about the career. They can help you reach the next level and give you some insider tips on how to become successful. They can also help you land a good job by referring you to companies or other people who work in the field.
Your career choice will greatly determine the quality of your life. Of course, you can always switch careers, but sometimes, that can cost you more than just your time. This is why it’s better to make the right choice. So, take into consideration your skills and preferences, do your research, and talk to people who work in the field. This way, you’re more likely to make the right decision and eventually land a job of your dreams.