At any stage in your professional journey, it can be a daunting task to try and find a role that suits you best. Whether you have recently left education and are looking for your first job or you have been in the same position for years and want a change of scenery, looking for work is difficult. Not only is the process of job hunting and applying for different roles lengthy and fraught with disappointment, but knowing what type of job would suit you best can be just as challenging.
To help you discover which path to take, ask yourself the following questions.
What Are Your Existing Skills?
A good starting point when thinking about which career path you want to take is to examine your skills and natural talents. These will offer clues as to what you would be most suited for. Your job isn’t about only earning a living; it’s also about finding fulfillment and meaning in your work. The best way to start this journey is to identify your strengths so you can enhance them and take advantage of them in the professional environment.
Where Would You Like to Work?
Another useful way to narrow down your choices for potential career paths is to consider where you would most like to work. This could mean anything from moving overseas to wanting to work in the countryside or the city. Knowing which environments inspire you most can be a surprisingly helpful way of determining which types of jobs you might be best at. Of course, you will need to be prepared to relocate if one of your top priorities is to work somewhere new.
What Are Your Priorities in Life?
Speaking of priorities, knowing what you care most about in your daily life and for your future can also help you decide on a career path that matches your needs and abilities. Create a list of priorities and rank them in order of significance. These could include important values you hold, such as nurturing a family or passing knowledge to the next generations. Maybe you want to lead a life of adventure and creativity, or perhaps you would prefer to challenge yourself and overcome thrilling obstacles. Use these priorities as a basis from which to outline your career path.
What Qualifications Will You Need?
Another important factor when it comes to deciding which job is right for you is what qualifications you may need in order to stand a chance of being recruited. Do you intend to use the qualifications you already have, or will you need to find ways of gaining new and relevant ones? For example, if you want to pursue a career as a nurse, then look for an accelerated BSN nursing program to make yourself more qualified for your desired roles. Keep an open mind when it comes to furthering your education so you can start a career you find fulfilling.
How Much Money Do You Want to Earn?
Your salary expectations will have a huge influence on what types of jobs you will want to apply for. If money is not much of a concern to you, whether that’s because you are already financially comfortable or you don’t see it as a top priority, then there are more jobs available to you. If, however, you want a job that pays highly, then you will need to research the careers that offer the level of salary you want. You will also have to ensure that you have the skills and experience necessary to be hired for these roles.
What Kind of Work Pattern Do You Want?
Do you want regular shifts that allow you to plan a steady routine? Or do you want the option of flexibility so you can vary your lifestyle? Keep this in mind when searching for jobs, as some types of roles lend themselves more to one side than the other. Find out before applying whether or not the job you’re interested in will match your work pattern criteria. If you know that you don’t operate at your best when working night shifts, for example, don’t be tempted to apply for jobs where late hours are expected of the successful candidate.
Do You Want to Stay in One Place?
Perhaps you like the idea of starting at the bottom of a ladder and working your way up. Maybe you enjoy a particular role and simply want to make the most of it for as long as possible. Some jobs offer more scope for progression and promotion than others. If this is an important deciding factor for you, make sure to ask hiring managers or the HR department whether this is something you can pursue if you accept their job.
How Do You See Your Future?
When you imagine yourself in a few years’ time, what do you see? What is the realistic future and what is the ideal one? What steps can you take to change your course of action and lead yourself toward achieving your dreams? By solidifying your image of your desired future, either by writing it down, creating a vision board, or telling your loved ones to keep you accountable, you make reaching it more possible. The more you remind yourself of your main objective, the more you can focus your everyday actions toward achieving that goal. It’s important to stay adaptable and flexible when it comes to choosing your career path, especially since it has such an impact on how you live the rest of your life. When making choices, ask yourself if your actions are helping push you in the direction you want to go in or are they distracting you from what you truly want?
The job where you can flourish and thrive is one that not only improves your life but also contributes more to the world. When you ask yourself the above questions and deeply consider each answer, you will come to see that a part of you already knows what career path you want to follow.