Choosing a career is at times a daunting challenge, especially if you are not sure what job to switch to next. Since most employees nowadays change careers several times during the course of their career, here are 15 ways to help you pick a career path.
Talk about it
You should discuss your professional interests with people such as your friends, family, and school guidance counsellors. They can offer helpful insight or advice. If you are already an employee but on a lookout for your dream job, speak to a business mentor or life coach for career advice. You can even move up and talk to experts in your field to pick a career path.
Placement services and employment agencies usually provide tests to help job seekers discover a position that fits their skill set. Sites such as Myers-Briggs Assessment and Myplan are examples of companies offering career planning tests for new graduates, ex-military personnel, and parents returning to work after raising children. Simply register online, take their surveys, and the results and career recommendations will be sent to you via email.
Try a new job first
Several educational programs offer internships for students in particular specializations. This is an excellent way to get your toes wet on a career path to before deciding whether you to make a living out of it. If an internship is unavailable, you can try volunteering. Volunteers get to learn more about the companies where they spend time with. If they perform an admirable job, they may be offered full-time employment by their employers.
Consider getting certified
If you are interested in industry that requires specific skills like design or programming, try getting certified in your areas of interest. There are multiple online courses available for you to sign up and get proper certification. If you have the skills already, getting the proper certification is still an excellent idea because it allows employers know your proficiency, and reflects your dedication to your dream career.
Come to terms with taking a backward step
This is especially true if you are already several years into your career progression. Understand that there is nothing wrong with a midlife career switch. You should also understand that in order to get started in your dream job, it is very likely that you need to take a pay cut and a drop from your current rank position.
Update your resume
Take this opportunity to brush up your resume. Remove items that are cluttering up your resume and add in new job descriptions and experience that you have gathered since your last job hunt. Sometimes, in the process of going through your past job experiences, you can get inspirations for your next dream job. Think about how you can adapt your skills for your next career. Skills like sales, project management, customer service are usually interchangeable between jobs, be sure to add these to your new resume.
Build your professional network
Spend some time to build a solid professional network. Take part in your local networking events and get to know professionals from other industries. Networking events are great because you’ll never know whom you run into. Ask the people you meet about their careers, the challenges they face in their jobs, as well as the perks. Sometimes you
Connect with technology
Complete your LinkedIn profile so you can use it to showcase your working experience and education background. Linkedin is also an excellent source of job opportunities. Other than job listings, you can sometimes find prospective jobs hidden in sub-groups. Join groups that belong to industries that interest you so you can immerse yourself in the culture.
Understand your motivations
If you find yourself dreading at the thought of your job, it’s a telltale sign that you aren’t that passionate about it. Although passion alone isn’t required for a sense of job fulfillment, most would argue that it is a crucial factor. Having a genuine love for your job is what drives you through the hard times. Think about what sort of jobs out there you would for free in a heartbeat.
Know your strengths & weaknesses
If you decide that you don’t have passion towards any specific career—or you are undecided, then it is time to rethink your strengths and weaknesses. From there, filter out jobs that you are particularly interested in and find out more.
Formulate a plan
Once you have shortlisted your list of jobs, you should plan how to proceed to achieve the career path of your dreams.This can be a long-standing strategy that takes years (like pursuing a degree) or a short-term goal that can be achieved in months (such as going for interviews). Just like most things in life, having a roadmap in mind can give you direction. People who have a plan know the steps required to achieve the end goal.
Get a Mentor
Seek out somebody who is more experienced than yourself. This mentor should ideally be someone who has traveled a similar career path. A mentor can provide guidance and advice for you to be successful. He or she will also have valuable experience and feedback to share. Find a reliable mentor, stay humble and you will realize your path to career success has become an easier journey.
Explore Unconventional Careers
If you are feeling uninspired by the typical career choices, you will be glad to know that there are thousands of awesome jobs hidden away that is mostly unheard of. You can also learn about unusual jobs online by browsing through Quora and Glassdoor. Try running a Google search of “unusual careers with [your interest],” and you might be surprised at what you can find.
Stand out from the rest
You need to seek out new ways to stick out of the competition. Execute tasks beyond expectations, take the demanding projects, and even undertake the occasional task that is outside of your comfort zone. Demonstrate your aptitude to step out of your comfort zone, continue to perform beyond expectations, and soon you will separate yourself above the rest of the pack.
Understand that nothing is set in stone
Your career not a race to the finish line. Getting there early doesn’t mean you have achieved total success. You will need to be flexible with your career plans because just like everything else, you need to adapt to changes according to the changes in your life.Take things at your own stride and gather experience as you go, and hopefully, you will achieve your dream career.