The career you settle on is one of the most important determining factors in your life. Sure, it’s never too late to change career paths and try something new, but the sooner you figure out the right path for you, the better your results will be.
Unfortunately, a lot of people struggle when it comes to how to choose a career path that they’ll truly love and find fulfillment from.
Today, we want to run you through the basics of how to choose a career that will meet your needs and add value to your life experience. Then, we’ll provide some resources to help you get on the right track going forward.
1: Determining Your Interests
First and foremost, the key to finding fulfillment in your job is to determine what it is you truly love regardless of whether money is attached to it or not. This will be the core foundation of every other step you take in this process.
At first glance, this seems simple. You just figure out what it is that truly motivates you. Is competition and meeting goals something that attracts you, or are you fascinated by the human body and driven by the desire to help others reach peak fitness? Maybe you’re a talented word weaver who likes to escape onto a page and create something with nothing more than a keyboard and your mind. Whether you are analytical, artistic, or business-minded, there are many different types of jobs that may work well for your personality. The trick to finding fulfillment and happiness lies in matching your interests, needs and desires, with the type of work that you will find most fulfilling and engaging. Our career match quiz figures that out by understanding your personality traits and how they fit with the Big Five Personality traits used by Colleges, Universities and Companies to assess people’s fit with various types of careers.
Finding a career that sparks your interests and passions, and is also aligned with your innate personality and how you approach life – your internal wiring – is the KEY to finding the career that will be the most fulfilling and rewarding to you.
2: Look at Necessary Factors
By looking at your personality traits, we can understand that while you may have an interest in a specific field, it may or may not provide a fulfilling work experience for you.
For example, let’s say you’re very passionate about helping others and making a difference, and you’re drawn to the medical field. You think that being an ER nurse or an EMT is a great choice, but you’re also family oriented and don’t do well under extreme pressure. Those are two factors that would make a job on the front lines of medicine difficult or unenjoyable for you.
When considering a career you will be dedicating significant time and energy to, you need to consider things such as the work environment, average schedule, the types of situations you’ll find yourself in, and the behavioral traits required to succeed.
The best way to do this is to come up with a “must-have” list. What are the features of the job, beyond the type of work itself, that you absolutely need to stay at it long term?
3: Assess Your Own Traits
This isn’t a one-sided endeavor. You can’t just look for jobs that meet your needs. You need to be honest with yourself and determine if you can meet the needs of a job.
Assess your own life. Determine your strengths, weaknesses, preferences, and lifestyle choices to determine if you’re going to be a good candidate for the jobs you’ll potentially apply to.
You might need to reassess your options and choose something that better matches your personality, or you can end up with a short-lived career when your hardwired personality traits simply don’t mesh well with the employer’s needs.
4: Research a Broad Field for Specific Jobs
Once you’ve figured out all the stuff we’ve mentioned thus far, you will have an idea of which general field you’ll be happiest in. However, fields are broken into dozens, if not hundreds, of various career paths. Take the military for example. It’s a diverse field with jobs related to everything from tech to construction.
At this point, you need to start looking at the jobs that you can potentially get the qualifications for and eventually apply to.
For example, we’ll use the game industry. Researching positions will show you 3D modeling, animation artists, coding specialists, concept artists, and more that the industry relies on, and you can start zoning in on a specialty other than “game developer”.
From there, you’ll want an understanding of which companies there are to apply to, what their pros and cons are, what’s expected of employees who hold positions in those companies, and more.
Really develop an understanding of a specific job within an industry related to your passions and interests, and you’ll have an easier time working toward getting that job in the future.
5: Plan Your Mid and Long-Term Goals
Now, you’re starting to get a game plan together. You know a bit more about yourself, what you want to do, and what you’ll need to do to land that job. However, you still need to write out a plan for both your mid-term and long-term goals. We like to break this into 5 and 10-year goal plans.
Your 5-year plan should cover what you’re going to do to become qualified and start pursuing your dream job. Are you going to college, building a portfolio, getting an apprenticeship, or anything else? What are going to be your first steps to getting a foot in the door?
Then, you have your 10-year plan. This will typically include the moves you need to make to excel in your field and move at an upward trajectory. Of course, you might need to adjust the time expectations due to various factors.
Having a plan in place will help you keep from growing stagnant and burning out on what was once your dream job, and it’ll keep you moving toward the top.
Put It All Into Action
Finally, it’s all about putting it into action. You CAN pull it off and end up on the career path of your dreams. You just have to go in with a solid plan, common sense, and the willingness to follow through.
However, this process is complicated, and sometimes, you need a little help.
Get a head start on figuring this out by taking Innate’s career match quiz to help streamline the process and get you on the right track. With a series of targeted questions, we can help you determine the right career path for you and avoid many of the mistakes most professionals make.
Explore our site and you’ll find a variety of free quizzes that will help you better understand your fit as an entrepreneur, your level of grit, and how well you would do in a remote work environment.
Once you ‘ve had time to review your results and make some decisions about the best career path for you to pursue, take the resume quiz to find your top 5 strengths to promote in your job application.