Choosing the right career can be difficult. While some people are aware of their dream career from a very early age – others find it hard to determine exactly what they want to do and bounce from industry to industry until they find the right fit. After all, if we are going to spend most of our adult life working, we should at least find something we enjoy doing, right?
However, that is often much easier said than done, and you must always do your homework ahead of a career change. With that in mind, here are some tips that you can use to find your dream career.
Think about what excites you. No matter what job you have or which industry you work in, your job will not be fun 100% of the time. There will be days where you wish you could turn off your alarm and stay in bed for a few more hours or times when you consider calling in sick to give yourself a break. However, that does not mean that you cannot find a job you’ll enjoy most of the time. The easiest way to do this is to think about your passions and goals – what kind of work would excite you the most? Or give you the drive you need to get up each morning?
Take an online personality test. Sometimes, it can be hard to find a career that encompasses your personality traits, skills, and interests all at once. However, a personality test, such as the Strong Interest Inventory test, could help point you in the right direction. Established in 1927, the Strong Interest Inventory uses questions about your educational qualifications, skills, and hobbies to provide you with an insight into which kind of career would best suit you.
Keep an eye out for volunteer opportunities or internships. If you are unsure whether or not a specific career is right for you, keep an eye out for voluntary positions or internships. As they generally do not require a long-term commitment on your end, they can be a great way to ‘trial’ a certain career or industry, providing you with invaluable insight that you would struggle to gain elsewhere. They can also help you form valuable industry connections with working professionals, who will be able to impart useful advice and guidance on how to take the next steps in your career.
Many companies require employees to complete a probationary period when starting in a new position, while they provide you with the appropriate training and resources you need to do the job to the best of your ability. However, you must use this time to test out the job itself – if it does not feel right after a few weeks/months, then chances are it’s not a great fit for you in the long term.
Think about your long-term goals. To decide whether or not a certain position is right for you, you should consider your long-term goals. Will your current role help you get to where you need to be? For example, if you are planning on early retirement, will you build up sufficient savings in this position? Alternatively, if you wish to launch your own company in the future, will this position allow you to gain the skills you need to make it a success? Understanding your long-term goals can help you decide whether or not a particular career is right for you.
Remember that it’s okay to make mistakes or change your mind. Sometimes, a job will look perfect on paper – whether that means the job description sounds as though it was written just for you, or you have heard good things about the company previously. However, this could all change quickly once you have accepted the role. It’s important to understand that if a position or industry isn’t the right fit for you – there is no shame in stepping down and starting up the job search again. While you’ll never know if something works for you until you try it out, changing your mind is perfectly acceptable – so long as you provide the employer with sufficient notice.
Speak to a careers advisor. If you are still unsure of which kind of career you wish to seek, it is definitely worthwhile to speak to a careers advisor. After all, their entire job centers around helping people find their dream jobs. They will also provide you with invaluable industry knowledge that can help you stand out from the crowd in job applications.