If you’re currently thinking about taking your life in a new direction, chances are good that those closest to you have an opinion on the matter. Career advice is plentiful, and it often varies depending on the source. There really is no one correct way to decide on the best path to take. However, some guidelines and tips for choosing a career can at least get you started toward making a decision that is right for you.
Weigh Both Aptitudes and Passions
One of the first steps toward determining a career path is to determine what you are good at and what you love, also known as your aptitudes and your passions. Your first inclination might be to brainstorm jobs that fuel your passion, but there are some downsides to being led by only one guiding force. For example, if something is your passion and your hobby, it’s possible that you may no longer enjoy it quite as much if it becomes your source of income. Having to do something in order to earn a living is quite different than doing something purely out of enjoyment and the satisfaction it brings. Making your passion a career can add quite a bit of pressure to what you currently use as a stress reliever or escape.
This isn’t always the case. After all, the saying goes, “Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” It’s merely something to think about as you narrow down the possibilities. Another downfall of focusing solely on your passion is that sometimes we may not always excel at the things we love. In order to compete in a crowded job market, you need to be able to stand out from the crowd and excel at what you do. Being passionate about something doesn’t mean that we have to be the best at it. However, passion alone isn’t always sufficient when it comes to building a career.
Seek Out Tools
A good way to explore job fields you can both enjoy and excel at is to take a career inventory such as the Career Key Assessment or the Career Cluster Interest Survey. Tools such as these will not give you a definitive answer as to the exact career you should pursue. They will simply help you to assess your personality and passions in conjunction with your aptitudes in order to provide suggestions of jobs or majors that may be of interest to you. Such information will give you a place to start.
Discover Concrete Information
The idea of choosing a career path can be a bit daunting. You don’t need to let it overwhelm you, though. Unlike generations past, the career you choose today won’t necessarily be the one you will remain in for the rest of your life. You aren’t stuck in a dead-end, lackluster occupation for all of eternity. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t take some time to discover a path that will satisfy you. With a bit of research, combined with the knowledge gained through your career inventory, you can feel more confident that you are making an informed decision on which way to go.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics website provides some helpful information on careers based on a number of factors. Take a look at jobs by geographic region to get a picture of the kinds of gigs that are most available in the city you hope to live. If location isn’t as important to you as factors like salary or job growth, The Occupational Outlook Handbook can provide you with information on these things.
Consider the Work Environment
Just as we all have our own preferred styles of learning, we also thrive in various types of work settings. Consider whether you want to be on your feet or in a seat all day. Think about whether or not you want the option to work from home and what kind of hours you need. At Brighton, we have programs that can prepare you for several different work environments. Take some time and imagine yourself in each of them in order to get a sense for what will truly work best for you.
If you would like to learn more about in-demand careers you could pursue in a short amount of time, fill up our contact form or reach out to us at 1-800-354-1254 a Brighton College representative for more information.