We all want to choose a career that will make us happy, but how can we know what that will be? Human beings are apparently bad at predicting how they will feel when doing something in the future. It’s not hard to find someone who started out thinking that they would love their chosen profession, only to wind up hating it. So if passion and expected happiness can’t be your guides, what can be? Well, you can begin by choosing a career that fits well by taking into account the following 10 ways to finding the right career for yourself.
1. What excites you
While passion isn’t the only requirement for being content in your career, many would say it’s still essential, if only because passion is what keeps you going even through the tough times. Is there a job you would do for free?
2. What are you good at
Maybe you don’t feel that passionate about any specific career—or you love multiple areas and can’t decide on just one. Then it’s time to think about your personality and focus on the skills you have. “Don’t do what you love. Do what you are.”
3. Consider an internship
If you have flexibility when it comes to salary, an internship could be a great way to test out an industry or type of career—and eventually get a full-time job (especially if you have no prior experience). Even if it doesn’t turn into a job or you find out it’s the wrong career for you, an internship can help build your network—from which you can get career and job advice.
4. Find a mentor
A mentor could help you take your career to the next level and give you the insider insight to help you make sure you’re on the right path. Here’s how to ask someone to be your mentor.
5. Explore Unconventional Careers
We all know the popular careers available to us—doctor, lawyer, teacher, computer engineer, police officer, store owner, etc. If you feel uninspired by the typical choices, know that there are thousands of unusual jobs you might not have heard about, hidden, perhaps, in the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Handbook.
6. Make a Career Plan
As with most things, your career will benefit if you have goals and a plan for it. Maybe you think you want to be a writer, but the next step after that, is editing. (Do you really want to do that?) Or maybe you want to transition from being an editor to a restaurant owner. (How are you going to get there?) Map out where you want to go, with concrete milestones, as if it were a four-phase project.
7. Consider your dream career
There is an old saying that if you’re trying to choose a career, you should think about what you would do if you didn’t have to work. If you had a million dollars and you could do anything, what would you do? Your answer to that question, while maybe not literally the best career choice for you, may give you insight into what you should do.
8. Consider your hobbies
It is very easy to turn your hobbies or something you love doing into a future career. Many hobbies correspond to real world needs and positions. Consider what you like to do and how that might fit into a career.
9. Consider what skills you excel in
If you are particularly good at certain skills, such as fixing things or making things, this can provide you with a great future career. Schooling may or may not be necessary, but skilled labor is often in demand and you will find it fairly easy to find work.
10. Consider your interpersonal skills
If your skills lie more in helping and communicating with other people, there are jobs for you as well. People who communicate and interact with others well can easily get careers as social workers or in marketing and similar business positions.