Everyone can feel lost when they are looking for a career. It can be tough to know which route to take. Should you follow your passion and do something rewarding? Or should you look for a financially stable job that means you can enjoy vacations with your family whenever and wherever you want? Do these two have to be mutually exclusive? All of these issues are difficult to answer. Choosing a career path is a big decision and as such, here is some advice on how to make the best decisions for your future.
Strong Interest Inventory Test
The Strong Interest Inventory Test is an assessment that can help people match their interests with educational careers or leisure activities. It uses a variety of individual preferences in several areas to determine what they would most enjoy doing with their work and free time.
Each career option and college major category has a set of interest themes associated with them, based on the answers that you give. The Strong Interest Inventory results will score higher and lower on certain scales indicating what interests are more important to you and as such which career you are more likely to enjoy and succeed at.
This will hopefully give you a clearer insight into what you prefer.
Practical things to do
Having a vague idea of what you would like to do is a great start, but you should start to make a practical plan for your new career. Here are a few pieces of advice.
Occupation Exploration- From your tests results, you probably have a list of multiple occupations in front of you some of which you are on board with and others you are not. Begin by keeping yourself organized and combine them in a master list.
You can look for careers that appear on multiple lists and copy them onto a blank space. Categorize them by how much they appeal to you and the ones you want to explore more. Also, you should include professions that you have not heard about or previously thought about. You might find something new to pursue.
Identify your goals
Once you have made a decision on which careers you would like to explore, you should identify both long- and short-term goals. This can help you chart a course towards landing your dream job in the chosen field. You should look to have your long-term goals achieved in a period of 3-5 years whilst your short-term goals should be aimed to be achieved in 6 months to 2 years.
You should research the required education and experience for the job that you are aiming for. If you don’t have all of the details then you should conduct more research. Perhaps speak to someone in that career or in the educational facility that you would need to attend to achieve the required experience.
Once you have all of your information, you can begin setting achievable goals.
Review your previous experience
Your job satisfaction in previous roles can help guide your career choices. Identifying trends in your previous positions can help you decide what you liked about your roles and what you excelled at. Reviewing your job history can also help you identify positions in which you felt fulfilled mentally and physically.
Additionally, you should assess your current skill set and what you require for your career move. You can do this by making a list of your current skills, certifications, and areas of expertise. Equally, you can ask current and previous co-workers for feedback on your strengths and weaknesses. This kind of evaluation will help you find a career that matches your experience.
Take a note of your interests outside of work. These can help you identify which careers you will enjoy more and be stimulated by. Hobbies, past volunteer experiences, and interests to identify which activities you enjoy the most. Whilst it may be outside of your professional context, creating a list of activities that you are interested in may help you narrow your search.
For example, a career in cyber security or science may enjoy logic puzzles, whilst a traveling sales role may appeal to those who enjoy meeting people and a social atmosphere.
Choosing a new career
It can be easy to fall into a rut with your career. Everyone has bills to pay and it can be difficult to find the time to sit down and truly assess where you would like to be in your life. However, it is worth it. Take time out to chase your interests and you will no doubt find a career that is not only financially rewarding but enjoyable as well.