We all like to believe we’ll get to spend our forty-hour workweeks doing what we love, but that isn’t always the case.
In fact, job dissatisfaction was one likely cause of the “Great Resignation,” a trend toward career changes in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. One study found that over 50% of adults who quit their job in 2021 switched to a new field of work!
In other words, knowing how to choose a career path isn’t always as easy as it sounds. After all, how can you be sure you won’t regret your job after a few days? How do you settle on something you know you’ll enjoy for years to come?
Whether you’re looking for your first job or launching a new career, here’s what you should know about finding a job that sparks your passion.
Table of Contents
Consider What You Love
The best way to get on the path to a successful career is to consider your passion. Your interests, potential, and talents can help you figure out the kinds of work you’d most enjoy doing.
If you’re great with children, for example, you might want to consider jobs in education or child welfare. If you’ve always loved dabbling in tech, industries like game design or IT might be more your speed.
If you’re not sure where you stand, here are a few questions that might help you get started:
- What do you like to learn?
- What brings you joy?
- What problems do you like to solve?
- What do you want your average day to look like?
- What are your strengths and skills?
- Do you prefer analytical or creative work?
A bit of soul-searching can offer a wealth of insights, and it may even help you find a job that feels like you aren’t working at all.
Take Self-Assessment Tests
If you still struggle to figure out what types of jobs you’d like to focus on, you may need extra help assessing yourself. There are a few different tests you can try, all of them online, that may give you a better idea of the jobs to look for.
Personality tests, for example, can give you a more objective picture of your interests, skills, and dislikes. Though there are plenty of reputable options, one popular choice is the Myers-Briggs Test. This test divides people into 16 different personality types and offers guidance on understanding how your personality may influence different parts of your life.
You can also find free career assessment tests that help you narrow down your options to different fields. While you shouldn’t base your future on the results, they may help you get a better sense of your skills and interests. The best career tests may even point you toward careers you wouldn’t have considered on your own!
List Your Long-Term Life Goals
While your values and dreams are important when it comes to finding the right job, your vision of the future is important as well. If you haven’t already done so, take some time to list out some five- and ten-year goals. Where do you see yourself at those times?
For example, is your main goal to become a high-salaried executive, or do you want to buy your own home? Do you want a job that gives you purpose, or are you looking for something flexible that lets you focus on your family?
Your long-term goals don’t necessarily need to focus on your career. However, their presence should guide you toward finding a career that can support them as much as possible.
Talk to a Career Coach
Career coaches may charge for their services, but they can sometimes offer valuable insights into a career search. These coaches often work with people who are struggling to find work that suits them, and they have experience drawing lines between their clients’ needs and values to find the perfect job.
Be aware, however, that the career coaching industry is unregulated. Look for reputable and experienced coaches who offer sample sessions to see if they’re a good fit.
Think About Your Work Priorities
Once you’ve narrowed down your preferences, it’s time to consider your work priorities.
This can help you not only figure out what you want to do but where to search. If working for the government is a major work priority, a site like All Sarkari Naukri will be ideal. If you’re hoping for remote work, you’ll want to find job boards that specialize in these flexible careers.
Here are some questions worth asking yourself:
- Do you want a job that has an impact on your community or the world at large?
- Do you like working in a team or on your own?
- Would you mind relocating?
- Do you prefer remote work?
- Would you rather work inside or outdoors?
- What is your ideal work-life balance?
- How important is the salary you receive?
Once you have a better idea of what you want out of your job, you can progress from considering an entire industry to choosing a career or two.
Volunteer to Get Experience
Last, but not least, consider volunteering in your chosen career path! This “try before you buy” strategy can allow you to get hands-on experience for a resume, and it can also help you understand whether the job is a good fit for you. Your volunteer opportunities will depend on your chosen industry, but you’ll often be able to find plenty of options with a quick online search.
Know How to Choose a Career Path You’ll Love
With countless possibilities available, finding a fulfilling career path can sometimes feel like a pipe dream. However, a bit of soul searching can help you find a job that makes you feel like you aren’t working a day in your life! Be sure to use the tips above as you try to understand how to choose a career path that matches your vision.
As you take strides to improve your future, don’t forget to check out our other posts for helpful guides like this one!