Finding the right career isn’t easy. Whether you’re a high school student wondering about your future or considering a career change, your job is essential. Most people work at least 40 hours a week, and some work many more than that, depending on their chosen careers and fields. Your job takes up a significant amount of your time as an adult and can impact your happiness and health.
Working in a high-stress environment can impact your physical and mental health, resulting in more sick days and general unhappiness about your life, especially if you don’t have a work-life balance. Since finding the right career for you depends on many factors, we’re here to help. Here’s our guide for finding the right career:
Factors to Consider
Several factors can impact your happiness at work, and these factors can be used to help you determine which career is right for you.
- Interests: What are you passionate about, and how do you like to spend your time? Finding a career that’s associated with your interests can help you form a more positive relationship with your work. For example, if you like helping people, you might consider becoming a nurse or doctor. Meanwhile, if you enjoy being creative, you might want to be a writer or artist.
- Skills: Your talent and skills can also help you determine how to find a job you’ll excel at. Being good at your job is important because the better you are, the less stress you’ll have. In addition, the better you perform at work, the less likely it is to be unexpectedly terminated. Some people are naturally talented. For example, artists are naturally creative, which can help in career fields like graphic design or web design.
- Lifestyle: how you want to live your life as an adult should also be an important factor. Some people like working a 9-5 job, while others want more freedom and flexibility. Luckily, there are several ways to give yourself the lifestyle you desire. For example, you can choose your shifts as a PRN rather than working full-time. In addition, you can become a freelancer or contractor and decide your own working hours, how much to charge, and how often you’ll work.
- Personality: Everyone has a unique personality, so you must consider yours. For example, introverts might not enjoy jobs where they have to work with others or constantly present projects and ideas to clients or associates, so they may prefer a career where they do not have to be as extroverted and can instead work with a tax software, for example. In addition, some people are easily bored by repetitive tasks, so they may enjoy a fast-paced work environment.
- Financial goals: Money isn’t everything, but you don’t work for fun. Most people have to work to afford necessities like shelter and food. However, finding the right career can allow you to make more if you’re willing to compromise on some things. For example, some jobs offer overtime, allowing you to earn 1.5 times your hourly rate. At the same time, those with higher education levels can enter industries with a higher starting salary and earn more over time. Consider your financial needs and what you want your future to look like to find a job that will pay enough to ensure your happiness.
- Education: Some people love school; others don’t. Consider how much time you want to spend in school and the careers you can have. For example, website developers can get a two-year degree and a high-paying job. However, to become a doctor, you’ll need to spend four years at university and a minimum of four more at med school.
Determining What You Want in a Career
To find the right job for you, you must figure out what you want. Here are a few ways to help you determine what you want your career to be:
Everyone has non-negotiables when it comes to finding a job. For example, maybe you can’t work past five pm because you care for an elderly relative who needs you at night, or you simply don’t want to work weekends because you need some time to yourself. Whatever the case, you should have a list of features that you want in a job.
Take an Assessment Test
Most people are interested in a few different careers when they’re younger and even as they age. To determine which job is best for you, you can take a personality or aptitude test to identify which jobs align with your current skills and personality. Of course, personality tests aren’t perfect, but they can give you a way to gauge your interest and find the right career based on several different factors.
Research Potential Positions
Once you’ve narrowed down your options, you should learn as much as possible about different positions. Of course, you don’t have to choose a position immediately; instead, you can choose an industry. For example, if you love pets, you might research different pet-related jobs like veterinary, vet tech, or even working at a pet product company, depending on your unique interests.
You can create a chart to record information like education qualifications, workplace, salary, and opportunities for advancement over time. You should also always look at the job outlook of each career because if you have a high-demand career, you can earn more. Meanwhile, if no jobs are available for your chosen career, you may have to choose another job outside of your interests until you find an opportunity.
Finding the Right Career
Everyone’s needs and wants are different when they’re searching for the right career for them. What you decide may depend on external factors beyond your control, such as job outlook and expected growth. In addition, the older you are, the more challenging it can be to find the right career for you without the right education. Still, anyone can make a career change and do the necessary research to find the right job; just make sure you understand all the requirements before investing in more schooling.
Are you ready to take the next step and determine which career path is right for you? Continue researching different fields, careers, and potential opportunities until you find something you love.
About the Author
Ashley Nielsen earned a B.S. degree in Business Administration Marketing at Point Loma Nazarene University. She is a freelance writer who loves to share knowledge about general business, marketing, lifestyle, wellness, and financial tips. During her free time, she enjoys being outside, staying active, reading a book, or diving deep into her favorite music.