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How to Choose a Career

If you are just out of college or considering a career change, it can be difficult to decide how to choose a career. People want to make the right decision but this can be hard. Below we will provide tips and advice on how to make the best decision when it comes to choosing the right career.

Recent college graduates

As students near the end of their education, people will often ask them what their plans are when they graduate. Leaving many asking, what should I do with my life? Luckily, there are many tools out there to help you decide what career path you should take. Many websites offer career quizzes to help determine careers that would fit a candidate's personality and background. Most colleges and universities offer their students a career counselor. Take advantage of all the career services offered to you.

Internships are great ways to see if you are interested in types of certain careers or a particular work environment. Students can apply for internships and get a feel for a career without too much commitment. There are so many professions out there that trying a couple of different ones throughout your school years can help carve out the right career for you. Some schools offer training programs that can provide guidance as well.

Your degree can also help shape the type of career you choose. For example, education majors will most likely end up in the school system. While a business school graduate will potentially end up in an office environment. Keep in mind, within every industry there are numerous options when it comes to landing a job. Depending on your personality type and your interests will drive your decision making.

If you are saying to yourself, I don't know how to choose a career, you are not alone. Spend some time researching the resources available to you. Family, friends, and professors can be great to discuss potential careers with. Bounce ideas around and ask for guidance. It's a big decision and you shouldn't feel bad asking for advice.

What job is right for you?

The reality is most people do not end up in their dream job. But how to find and do work you love is certainly possible for just about anyone who's willing and capable of putting in the work to get themselves there.

With thousands of careers to choose from, chances are you will have a few different jobs throughout your career. Before you start interviewing or sending out resumes, think about what makes you happy. Making lists can help organize your thoughts when making a career choice. Here are some things to think about and do while brainstorming on what job should I do?

  • Take a career advice quiz
  • Look into training programs in the field you are interested in
  • Set up exploratory interviews to get a feel for different types of careers
  • Make a list of what your passions are
  • Think of occupations your background would work with
  • Do you have an ideal work environment?
  • Make a short list of your dream career path
  • What are your strengths?
  • Are things like travel and your living situation priorities?
  • Is there a salary or pay requirement you have to have?
  • What requirements are you looking for in a job?
  • Are there positions and roles you are unwilling to take?
  • Would you take anything to get a foot in the door?

As you work through these questions, your ideal career path should start to take shape. People have different personality types and certain careers are better for others. Taking a career quiz is one of the ways you can narrow down your options. One thing you should avoid is getting hung up on job titles when you are first starting out.

How to choose a career I can grow with

Most people want their career paths to lead to a long sustainable career. One thing you should do during your job search is research and ask about growth opportunities. Let the hiring manager or recruiter know that it's a goal of yours to have a long career. Pay attention to the job description. Does your experience match what they are looking for? During the interview process gather as much information as you can. This will help you make decisions with confidence.

As you search for a job, think about your goals. There is more that goes into how to choose a career than simply income. The more questions you ask potential employers the more knowledge you will gain to make an informed decision.

  • What does success look like for you?
  • Does the company have the same values as you?
  • Are you driven by money or passion?
  • Do you want flexibility?
  • Will this job fit in with your lifestyle?
  • Do you enjoy working in a group or are you better alone?
  • What kind of relationships do you want to have at your job?

Take time to network and talk to people during your job search. Ask a question or two to someone who has a similar job title to the role you are interested in. This can help give you a sense of what your day to day would be like. Read reviews from employees on sites like Linkedin and Glassdoor. If something doesn't feel right, follow your heart. There are millions of jobs and you have the ability to find the right one.

Final thoughts on choosing a career

One of the biggest mistakes people make when searching for a career is focusing on the wrong details. Job titles and job descriptions don't always tell the full story. Think about personality types and the people you will be spending your days working with it. If you enjoy what you are doing, the job title you have is nothing. Remember you always have the option to look for a new job.

A lot can change over time and you will make many career choices in your lifetime. The first job you have will not be your last. One tip we can provide is to take each step as it comes and you will be on your way to a long and prosperous career.

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