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How to find the right career path for me

How To Find The Right Career Path For Me In 3 Simple Steps

You should never think you are trapped. If your job seems routine and you’re wondering if your career is really right for you, there are lots of things you can do. It doesn’t matter how old you are, or how long you’ve been in your job. Life is too short to be miserable and a full-time job consumes quite a bit of your life. Remember, you aren’t alone. 

 

Recently, a report suggested one out of four workers plan to look for a new job in 2021. Just before the COVID-19 pandemic, Indeed surveyed almost 700 full-time U.S. workers. The survey found that almost half had made a dramatic career shift at least once. The average age for the switch was 39. I was a bit younger ––  in my early 20s –– when I made the change from counterterrorism expert to career coach.  It was difficult but looking back it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life. I think the key is to be patient and methodical. That’s the best way to answer the question of how to find the right career path for me. Here’s what to do.

Assess

 

There are two types of assessments and before you switch careers you should do them both. The first is a self assessment. Get out some paper and a pen. List everything you like about your present career. Be honest. Sometimes there may be aspects you enjoy that you haven’t thought of for a while. Perhaps there are things you used to do but now don’t do as often. On a different sheet of paper, list all the things you enjoy. This could be everything from a course you took in school to hobbies or even unexplored interests. There’s a good chance your career doesn’t offer too many of the things you enjoy.

 

Then take a career assessment. There are a ton of tests available online. Some, like the  Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) look more at your core personality. Others like the The Princeton Review Career Test are focused on your future occupation. This test presents 24 choices as you consider possible careers with a color code. When you are done it can help with the question of how to find the right career path for me. Another fun one, MyNextMove relies on easy-to-use icons as it examines your interests in a variety of jobs without taking into account experience or education.

Sort

 

Like Marie Kondo helping a hoarder, your next task is to sort through what could be a huge number of options. It’s okay if different tests tell you different things –– it means you have lots of choices. Chances are they have a few common elements or even common career paths. Ask yourself if the careers they mention are something you’d truly be interested in. Don’t talk yourself out of something but be honest about your feelings. 

 

Once you’ve narrowed your quest, begin researching. Find out what’s involved with a particular career like what training is required and how you can gain experience. Read up on the day-to-day of a particular career. You should also do a deep dive into what your job prospects will look like. The Bureau of Labor Statistics offers an outstanding research tool for this: The Occupational Outlook Handbook.  That doesn’t mean you should be dissuaded if you truly want to pursue a career that doesn’t have the best future. It does mean that you should prepare yourself for competing for positions with laid off career veterans which can be challenging.

Explore

 

Work your network to find people who are working in your ideal career. See if you can set up informational interviews or even shadow them. Experiencing a career first hand can be a real eye opener. You should also look into adult internships, which can be a great way to explore a field even if your graduation was decades ago.

 

I wish you all the success in this. It won’t be easy and it may require extensive training. Yet pursuing your dream career can be one of the most fulfilling things you’ll ever do.

 

Ready to discover your career purpose? Click HERE for a FREE course to discover your most authentic career!

 

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