There’s an old saying: choose a job you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life. Sounds great, right? Yet, when the time comes to start your career, there are so many conflicting pieces of advice it can be hard to know whether you’re setting out on the path that will be right for you in the long-term. So before you choose, it’s wise to invest some time and effort into finding out more about yourself. Here are five easy ways to do just that.
First, take a look inwards and start to analyze your priorities in life. What do you love doing? These can be hobbies and interests. What is it about them that gives you satisfaction? If you could be anything in the world, what would that be? What would that give you? Just take some time to explore what you love doing, as well as what you don’t like. What kind of tasks or environments do you find boring? What do you avoid doing?
Friends and family
Next, ask your friends and family. What do they see you doing in your career? Where do they see your strengths, and what do they think wouldn’t suit you at all? Their responses might surprise you.
Next, try an online psychometric test, which will provide insight into the kind of work environment which will suit you. While there are free versions online, for something this important, it’s best to go for one that’s been validated over decades, such as MBTI online. This will analyze your ’type’ and preferences. For example, based on your input you may be an INTJ type. You’ll then get an in-depth report into the INTJ meaning, which can provide valuable insights into your personality.
Another valuable source of guidance would be to seek advice from a professional career counselor. It may be that your educational institution provides this service free-of-charge. If not, when you consider the adverse impact of the wrong career choice, it’s a wise investment to make in your future. An experienced counselor will know what questions to ask you and can be invaluable in suggesting possibilities that you may not have considered.
Try things out
Before making any final decisions about your career path, see if there’s a possibility to try things out. For example, if you’re dreaming of working as an attorney, an internship will give you fantastic insights into the daily lives of those who work in that environment. Is it filled with excitement and drama, or mainly dull routine? If a full internship isn’t viable, would it be possible to spend a week or even a day? Also, have a look at the websites of the industry bodies in the professional you’re considering. How much are you attracted to learn more? This can be an indication of how deep your interest lies in a particular path.
Choosing your career path is one of the most important decisions you’re ever likely to make. Take your time to understand what it is you want, and you’ll soon be on the road to success.