A lot of people, including many who are already employed, find themselves thinking "I need help deciding what career to choose." From young people just starting out to experienced individuals who are looking for a career change, picking the right path is crucial to a successful career. Even many retirees are looking to break into new and interesting fields.
Start the Career Path Process
Choosing a career is a difficult decision for many people. People who have trouble deciding what career to choose have plenty of options available. Although finding a job that pays the bills is important, it's even more important to find a career that will bring lifelong happiness in the workplace.
To get started planning a career path, you can identify your skills and interests by taking a career aptitude test. These kinds of tests can help identify abilities and natural talents, and may even match your profile to a particular career.
If you do not have a lot of skills but know what you are interested in, getting further training can help you get started in your career. Those who have a lot of skills but are unsure how they can be applied to a particular job might want to talk to a career expert.
Key Skills and Interests Career Examples
People who often take the lead in projects and do not mind long hours may want to look into business management or entrepreneurial ventures. Or, those with some payroll experience and who enjoy working with numbers might want to consider a career in financial planning or accounting.
Individuals who are interested in medicine but lack skills specific to the medical field may be able to apply their secretarial skills in a job in the healthcare industry. For example, a person with these interests might enjoy working in the administrative department of a large health insurance company or even go back to school for a nursing degree.
Test Waters With a Part Time Job
Finding a part time job in the industry you want a career in can be incredibly helpful. Part time jobs can give you glimpses into the daily environment of a career that interests you, so you can decide if it is something you want to do long term.
Teenagers and college students often have summer jobs or internships in areas that interest them. Adults who are considering a midlife career change can do the same thing. For example, a corporate manager who is thinking about going back to school to get a teaching degree might take a part time job at an evening daycare center first.
Having the opportunity to work part time can help narrow career paths while building a larger skill base. It is better to work as a legal assistant and find out you hate the long hours lawyers put in before you spend thousands of dollars on law school. Instead, you may find being a paralegal a more promising career choice. Or, you may find out you loathe all things related to law and search for different career. Both positive and negative experiences with a part time job can result in better job satisfaction in a future career.
I Need Help Deciding What Career to Choose
If you have all ready taken career aptitude tests, identified skills and interests, and tried out a few part time jobs and had no luck, you may need further help choosing a career. Luckily, there are plenty of resources available to help. Places to look for more information include:
- Career Counselors/Life Coaches: These are people who often function in a similar fashion to a regular counselor, but focus on job goals and growth. They can help identify your talents and assist with job searches.
- Government Resources: The federal government provides helpful information regarding careers and vocations. Visit the sites Ed.gov's Get a Job, Skill or Trade, and Choosing a Career or Vocational School for some direction regarding choosing a career.
- Books: A trip to the local bookstore will tell you that you are not alone in thinking "I need help deciding what career to choose." Advice from experts fills the shelves; you may want to start by asking the clerk for personal recommendations or the top five bestsellers in the area of career development.
- Organizations: Certain organizations provide assistance in deciding on a career. The AARP has occupational information, assessment, and training information for older Americans choosing a career.
Although deciding what career to choose can seem like a daunting task, the work will be worth it when you find the path that suits your abilities.