Most people don’t know what they want to be when they grow up, even ones who have successful careers. We’re supposed to choose a career path by the time we graduate high school or go to college, but in reality, sometimes we just aren’t sure what to do with our lives. If you find yourself having this dilemma, then these tips might help you in the search to find a career that suits and fulfills you.
Ask your friends and family.
Your friends and family probably know you better than you know yourself. Take the time to ask them how they see you. Ask them what seems to make you happiest in their opinion, and what your best skill is. While you don’t have to take their opinions as fact, it’s important to get an objective view of yourself from people who love you and have good intentions. For example, your aunt might tell you how much you love helping people, which might be the switch that spurs you to pursue human services roles.
Take a personality test.
Career prediction tests can be somewhat shallow, and not always helpful. But understanding your personality and how it fits with others can help you choose what roles you would want to play in a team setting. Assessments like the Myers Briggs personality test or the DiSK assessment are simple but effective ways to compare your personality style to others. They can also let you know what roles you may be suited for, without limiting you to a specific industry or career. Always take results with a grain of salt, of course — but you might find some surprising insight into tests like these.
Examine your role models.
Who do you naturally admire? What kinds of successes do you put the most stock in? Chances are you’ve already laid out your interests and passions simply by the people chosen as role models and mentors. If you have a close personal mentor, ask them to give you honest feedback about what you’d be good at doing. Mentors can tend to be less biased and more practical than family when it comes to life advice. They have watched you grow professionally, and can help you find a career that’s truly fulfilling.
Measure your talents and skills.
What are you good at naturally? What skills have you developed that make you a valuable addition to a team? These are good questions to ask, because many people become passionate about the things they’re naturally gifted at doing. It feels good to contribute your unique skills and expertise in a way that helps a team, organization or society. Many people use their talents as a way to judge what they’re “meant” to do.
Stick to your instincts.
Sometimes, we doubt our career choices not because they were wrong, but because they’re more difficult than expected or we struggle to succeed in them. However, it’s not about choosing a career that you’re good at, but rather improving upon the skills you need for the career you’re passionate about. You may not have the dream job you envisioned in college, but you can always find a reason to love what you do. And the job you have right now can help build your skills for that dream job in the future.
With these five steps, you’ll hopefully be able to start figuring out what you want to do with your life. The perfect career for you is one that combines your interests, skills and natural talent to create a fulfilling and rewarding experience. To find that, you need to know who you are and what you want!