Choosing the right career path for you, at any stage of your life, can be a scary prospect. Whether you’re just starting out with your qualifications and want to start off on the right foot, or whether you’re considering a complete career change later in life, making the right choice is essential for your personal growth, happiness and way of life. Having a career that is suited to your needs and which you can develop in and grow is a very rewarding venture, which is why it can often feel so pressurized to make the right choice.
However, what do you do when you simply aren’t sure which career is right for you?
Let the following 4 top tips help you.
Narrow it Down by Category
You may not yet fully be able to pinpoint the precise role you would like to go into, but you can certainly narrow it down a huge amount by considering the job roles you definitely don’t want to go into. By canceling out a high number of categories, roles or qualifications you simply don’t think you’re suited for – or don’t want – you can then more easily consider the categories which are left to you.
Consider which categories are speaking out to the most, to then look more specifically into the areas within these categories.
Popular areas to consider might be roles within:
These are only broad suggestions, as there are of course many more categories, but it’s usually easy to know which category from these main examples you best fall into (for instance, are you more interested in a creative career compared to a career in science or finance?)
Understand the Demand for Your Chosen Area
It might be that you understand which category or job role you would like to go into, but you also need to know whether it’s a reliable career option with potential for steady work, growth and existing demand. If you career choice needs to be something you know you will find reliable work in – rather than something that may be a risk, for example, or something which there is currently no demand for – then you need to do thorough research into the demands of certain job roles in specific areas to know whether your chosen field is a popular or essential one.
For instance, if you have narrowed down your chosen career path into the realm of finance, there are many branches of this field you can consider – but some may be more reliable and in-demand than others. You can do your research into roles such as accountants, finance administrators, finance analyst or even a CFO – whichever role appeals to you in order to understand its demand. You may be asking are accountants in demand within a certain location or field, or what you need to do to become a CFO. Research is essential.
Get to Grips with Your Working Style
If one focus of choosing the right career for you is something that will enable you to work in a pattern which is best suited for your lifestyle and productivity levels, then you will need to understand which career options and roles will allow you to work as you should. Perhaps you have been working a structured 9-5 role all your life and are now deciding that you would rather avoid this routine at all costs; this then moves you into looking for roles which offer something more flexible than a 9-5 role, and it’s important to remember that certain roles you might consider appealing may not offer the kind of hours you are looking for.
With this in mind, you need to understand what your priorities are: are you open and flexible with the job role itself, as long as you can find the hours you need? Or is the job role itself more important than the style of hours you will be working? Can you suffer hours which you resent in order to have a role you love? Or are they just as equally as important?
These are questions you need to ask yourself.
Set Out Your Goals
All individuals will have different goals when it comes to their career choices. These may fall under the following categories:
- To have a career which you can grow within and rise to the top, with the opportunity for promotion and development
- To make as much money as possible combined with promotion opportunity
- To make as much money as possible without particularly having any promotion or development goals
- To have a job role you are passionate about without focus on salary
- To help others, regardless of salary or development
- To have the opportunity to travel
- To work hard with flexible hours
- To work hard with structured hours set in one location
- To grow your own business from scratch and fulfill entrepreneurial dreams
- To maintain a reliable source of income without risk for the rest of your life
You can only hope to find the right career for you if it is fully in line with your goals. You should put some time and research into understanding what your goals are before you proceed to search for the ideal career. You only run the risk of being miserable or dissatisfied if you are pursuing a career that doesn’t align with your long term goals. Reliability and a steady income stream is all well and good, but if you’re the kind of person who is harboring passion of working flexibly or building their own business, you’re never going to be satisfied with a standard, reliable job with structured hours when you crave a career you adore filled with a little risk and learning as you go.
Finding the right career is about being completely honest about your own wants and needs. Sure, you may need to make sacrifices or compromises along the way, but understanding your goals is the first step to achieving them.