Throughout your entire life, you’ve been taught the significance of becoming a well-rounded individual. To achieve that, you’ve been through numerous activities, developed a broad range of interests, and studied different subjects. Time flies, and all of a sudden, you have to select a career path.      

Choosing a career path is one of those major life decisions that will set your professional life’s total direction. At once, it feels like you need to pick between your love of social studies, maths, or arts, and you need to decide what will be your professional occupation and what will be downgraded to your weekend hobby. And with the number of options available, it’s certainly not easy to decide which profession is the right for you.

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In case you’re choosing what career to pursue, but you don’t have any idea, you might find it as an unconquerable task. As a matter of fact, according to a survey by Business Wire, 51% of students aren’t confident about their career path when they enroll in college, so don’t stress it out. For most young adults who are about to graduate or are just beginning with their professional life, entering the workforce can be rough.

With thousands of options within your grasp, how will you decide on a career that’s appropriate for you? To make things a bit easier for you, we’ve compiled this guide with a few tips that you should seriously consider when choosing a career, especially if you’re pretty indecisive on the matter. Don’t be afraid or lazy to explore all the options and select an occupation that will match your profile and lifestyle perfectly. Without further ado, let’s dive in! 

Perform A Self-Assessment  

First things first, you must learn a great deal about yourself. Your interests, values, aptitudes, and skills, combined with your personality type, make some professions a natural fit for you and others completely unsuitable.    

When you’re trying to perform a self-assessment and learn about yourself, it’s for the best to write down some notes. Keeping them side-by-side with different career paths can help you analyze a career option effectively and find adequate occupations that match your skills and traits.

While at this stage, we strongly recommend you to use self-assessment tools and career tests to accumulate information about your skills and traits and, subsequently, generate a list of professions that are a natural fit based on them.

Photo from Medium

The Strong Interest Inventory assessment is the world’s most esteemed and extensively used career planning tool that can help you measure your genuine interests over many categories, including school subjects, leisure, and work activities. It’s used in various settings and can help a person select an educational direction, pick a suitable start to their career, encourage career development for people who are stagnant in their current situation, and change careers for those in transition.

Nowadays, you can take the Strong Interest Inventory assessment online, where you will have to answer various questions about your preferences regarding subject areas, occupations, people, and characteristics. 

This outstanding career planning tool includes 291 items, and it will take anywhere between 30 to 45 minutes to complete. It provides powerful insights and a wealth of information about how each individual should choose the career path that suits them the most.

Make A List Of Professions And Explore Them 

Once you’re finished with the self-assessment part, you’ll probably have various lists of professions generated by each of the self-assessment tools and techniques you used. Combine them into one masterlist and start exploring them.

Identify the career paths that made their way on multiple lists and copy them onto a blank sheet. Since your self-assessments indicated they are a good fit for you based on numerous traits, they are all worth exploring. You can even title the blank page “Professions to explore.”

Track down the professions on your lists that appeal to you. These professions might be career paths that you know a bit about and want to explore further. Include the disciplines you don’t know much about as well because you might learn something unexpected.  

At this stage, you’ll be delighted to narrow your professions list down to only ten to fifteen options. Get some necessary information about each of the professions on your “Professions to explore” list. Afterward, find the educational, training, and licensing requirements about the occupations that genuinely interest you and learn about their advancement opportunities. 

Come Up With A Shortlist

Now that you have more information on your chosen professions, it’s a good idea to narrow down the list even further. Begin by eliminating the careers you aren’t interested in pursuing any further, and you should end up with three to five professions on your shortlist.

If there’s a profession on your list that comes with unacceptable terms and conditions for you as a person, don’t waste time and cross it off your list. Remove all jobs that come with duties that don’t appeal to you and wipe out the careers with weak job outlooks. The same goes for the occupations where you are unwilling or unable to fulfill the educational or training requirements.

When you come to the point where you only have a few professions left on your list, you are now ready to do more in-depth research on each one of those. Try to arrange meetings with people who already work in the occupations that made your list and get firsthand knowledge about these careers and narrow down your list even more. 

Volunteer As An Intern 

In this stage, you should put each profession that made the final cut to the test by volunteering as a trainee to understand the job and position better. The idea behind this stage is simple, as you’ll give yourself the chance to try and test a potential occupation before you make a definitive decision about your career path.

Photo from Accenture 

Internships are highly beneficial and are usually arranged through educational counselors who can help match you to a company and training that fits your career goals. By volunteering as an intern, you will be exposed to all aspects of the particular occupation and get a better understanding if you want to pursue it full time.

You Are Now Ready To Make Your Career Choice 

At last, after doing all your research, performing a self-assessment session, coming up with a shortlist of occupations that you are genuinely interested in, and volunteering as an intern, you are perhaps ready to make your choice. Select the profession that you think will bring you the most satisfaction based on the data and information you have gathered during the process. Understand that you’re allowed do-overs if you change your mind over time as many people switch their careers at least a few times. We wish you nothing but success!

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