If you’re working on choosing a career, you’re probably confronting the question of “how do I find the right career for me”. Here are 5 things to think about that will help you through the career planning process of finding the right career.
1) Your Hobbies
Think about what you like to do in your free time and what you’re good at. Do you like working with your hands? With your mind? Are you good with people? Do you prefer being alone? Do you coach a team or tutor kids? Spend time outdoors in nature? Do you like numbers? Puzzles? Writing? Particular kinds of video games? There are careers out there that make use of your skills and interests…and sometimes they’re not obvious. As an example, just because you’re a great little league coach doesn’t mean you should be a professional coach. But you do embrace leadership skills, which apply to a variety of careers and can guide you in your career search. Maybe you love music – you can work for an ad agency, or a theater, represent musicians, open a music club, work for a non-profit to get instruments into schools…Or maybe you love sports statistics – you can become an accountant or a mortgage banker or work for a sports team….You just need to do some research to connect the dots.
2) Your Values
What’s important to you? Is it having lots of free time? Lots of money? Having a big family? Following a dream? Living in the city? The country? The suburbs? Living overseas? All of these things play a role in the career opportunities that will fit you and be available to you. For example, if you’re obsessed with the auto industry but are set on living near your ranch in Wyoming, you probably have to choose one or the other. If you want to live in New York City and have five kids, you’re probably going to have to choose a career where you can make a lot of money. To find the right career, it’s important to be in touch with your values.
3) The Type of Life You Want
Do you want a conventional life where you stay on one path, live in one city and settle down young to start a family? Or do you want an adventurous life where you take big risks, chase big ideas, and frequently change cities? The adventurous path may be more likely to blur job and life together. For example, if you’re a war photographer or a rock musician, your career and life kind of become one. If you know you want a conventional life, you can generally rule out careers like these. At the same time, if you know you want an adventurous life, you can probably rule out most office jobs. It’s always possible to be a librarian by day and a traveling cliff diver on weekends, but it really comes down to where you want to find your adventure every day.