The Best Advice on Choosing a Career

The best advice on choosing a career depends on where you are in your life and career journey. You may have chosen a career path right out of school, thinking it was your dream job and it would be everything you want based on the research you did at the time. Once you choose a career, you don’t have to stay in that career forever.

Choosing a career should be based on where you are and what your situation currently is. If you think it is time to change or are just starting out, your research should involve informational interviews, personal interest assessments, and industry research. Those things will help you choose the next step. And for some people, that will be a long-term career choice, and for others, it might be a short-term decision that moves them towards their dream career.

The right age to choose a career is whenever you want. There is no right age. You’re going to be working for 30 to 40 more years in some cases. In choosing a career, the right age could happen at any point in time. Most of us have many things we’re trying to achieve in our professional lives. You may have multiple career paths and choose different careers at different points in your life because of those needs. There really isn’t one right age.

How To Choose A Career Path

Informational interviews, or conversations, are the best way to figure out how to choose a career path. Talk to people about what they’ve done in their careers and how that aligns with your goals and objectives, where you want to be at various points in your life, and whether there are short-term or long-term goals.

Also, understand what the job outlook is. Right now, we have many fields that weren’t even on the horizon five years ago that have significant opportunities in the future. Research is going to help you figure out a direction to go in. Nothing is written in stone. It doesn’t mean you can’t change it later on, but you do need to narrow it down and have a focused approach for career options. Otherwise, it will be too chaotic. If you are not matching what you’re motivated to do and what you value to what you are doing to make a living, you are not going to be happy. You will be changing that career path shortly. You want to try to get those narrowed down.

Why Is It Difficult To Choose A Career?

Sometimes it’s difficult to choose a career because we have many things we’re interested in. And they change so quickly. Half the occupations people do today didn’t even exist even ten years ago. It’s difficult because some people have the fear of missing out. They feel they picked the wrong career and then messed up for life. But there are so many different options out there and ways we can make an impact as individuals. Sometimes what you want to do doesn’t exist as an option and you have to create it. If you are finding it difficult to choose a career, you’re not unusual and you need to give yourself permission to breathe and work through it.

Personality And Aptitude Assessments

Personality type assessments can help make a career choice for a long-term dream career. All information is good information. These instruments will provide you information to help you coalesce around certain similarities or characteristics, or correlate information giving you clarity on where you want to go towards your dream job. They also tell you what you do now that reinforces what you don’t want to do. These assessments are just more information that you need to go through to assess what’s important.

Some needs may be prevalent or important now but may not be later. In choosing a career path there may need to be compromises early so in the long-term you end up in the career that makes you the most satisfied. There’s a path to get there. There aren’t assessments that say definitively, “Go be an accountant.” That doesn’t exist. But there are a number of tools that can be looked at collectively and will help you learn about yourself and how to translate that into a fulfilling career. That helps you decide that career path.

Using Informational Interviews To Look For Career Options

Informational interviews or conversations are some of the best tools to lead to your dream job. You can read job descriptions and get a list of career fields, but the informational interview to gather information on all aspects of a company’s or industry’s culture, individual contributions, capabilities, skills, education required, and so much more. It’s a process of diverging and converging. Utilize them because they can help you decide if this is the way to go.

The Best Career Advice I Can Offer

The best career advice to help identify a good career path fit is clarifying your focus process. Become very clear and understand what values, motivators, characteristics, and hard and soft skills you have to define your brand so you can go into the market and find the ideal role for you. If you don’t do that up front focused research on yourself and what’s important to you and what you bring to the table, then you’re looking for a job, not a career. Take the assessments, and work with a career advisor to help you see what your why is, how you make decisions, and what’s important to you in the marketplace. Then you’ll be able to write all your resumes, LinkedIn, et cetera, to that brand, and be very effective in the marketplace.