At some point in our lives, we have been through the familiar phase of leaving education and deciding what’s next and it can be a very daunting experience. During your life, you’ve tried different sports, studied a range of subjects and developed various hobbies and interests. Then you have to pick a career path.
All of a sudden, it feels like you need to decide whether you prefer cooking or technology; politics or art. The pressure can start to pile on if you find yourself struggling to choose where your career will be.
However, if you take your time and really analyse your interests and life choices, its possible to find a career path that doesn’t mean you are working solely to make an income.
Figure out what it is that you care about and love doing because that is how you will build a successful career. You need to enjoy everyday so start by thinking about things you are passionate about. Whether it’s looking after animals, teaching young children or caring for the elderly, identify the one thing that would make you happy if you were to do it everyday.
Further to this, understand what motivates you. For example, if you had to spend the day cleaning, how would you keep motivated to complete the task? Would you find it easier if you could work with a team? Or if you were listening to music and working independently? Your answer to these questions will help you get to the core of what you need to know when choosing a career.
To help with this, try taking an online personality assessment that will identify different things about you. This should help narrow down your options and point you in the right direction.
Think Outside the Box
When considering your career choice, many of the skills you already possess will be transferable from one industry to another in some way. A 2016 study found that research skills were ranked in the top 12 most important skills for a range of industries, from marketing and PR to healthcare and technology.
Look into a wide range of industries to find out which skills are most important in them and how you could add value with skills and experience you already have. Think outside the box and consider your unique talents. For example, if you have always loved music but are tone deaf, instead of learning the piano, you studied web development. You could always embrace your interest in music and use your skills developing websites for artists and bands.
Hopefully at some point, you will find your ideal career path and things will start well. However, unfortunately it may not always continue like that in the future, so you need to always look for opportunities and organisations that support career development. From doing so, you will start developing as an individual, and finding new things that you feel passionate about.
When researching career opportunities, find out how a company approaches coaching, training and development. Do they put all employees through the same training programme? Do they allow employees to take part in a course that allows new experience that isn’t related to their current responsibilities? If you are somebody who is often curious and wants to always improve skills and experiences, your long-term happiness depends on how well the organisation supports exploring different interests.