How Do I Know What Career Is Right For Me? 4 Key Considerations
Whether you’re entering the workforce for the first time or making a long-anticipated change, deciding what career is a good fit for you can be an overwhelming task.
Choosing a career is ultimately a balancing act between multiple decisions, all of which must be carefully made to ensure your long-term happiness and success at work. In this post, the experts at Inova Staffing have compiled a list of four key considerations to help you determine what career is right for you.
1. Your Professional Interests
Identifying your professional interests is an excellent place to start when seeking a new career path—and understanding your likes and dislikes can give you greater insight into a solid career match.
To help you recognize your professional interests, consider the following questions:
- What are you good at?
- What are your passions?
- What is your dream career?
- What have you enjoyed about previous positions? What did you wish you could change?
While your answers to these questions may not directly overlap with what’s currently feasible for your career, they’ll certainly be helpful in informing the path you take. If you enjoy active work, for example, you could easily eliminate working in an office setting. Instead, you may choose to pursue an opportunity in delivery driving. Conversely, if you don’t like dealing with traffic and navigating around town, a role as a delivery driver may not be fulfilling.
Understanding how your interests can align with your career is also important to avoiding burnout at work. Choosing a job that is interesting, fulfilling, and appropriately challenging can go a long way in helping your daily motivation and enthusiasm at work.
For this reason, it’s also important to avoid using financial considerations as the sole deciding factor in your career choice.
2. Your Job Skills
Once you’ve identified your professional interests, brainstorm your current job skills to identify your strengths and weaknesses. How do they align?
For example, if you’re interested in outdoor work and have a demonstrated background in teamwork, you may be a great candidate for a construction position. Similarly, if you enjoy learning new technology but prefer to work individually, you may not be the best fit for a customer service position.
It’s also necessary to consider how your acquired soft skills may qualify you for more positions than you’d expect. You may not anticipate your restaurant experience to qualify you for an administrative position, but your attention to detail and ability to work efficiently could be incredibly useful to tout.
Work with a friend, mentor, or other trusted advisor to ensure you’re making the most of your job skills. Even if you're not relying on a resume in applications and interviews, having these talking points in mind can help you present yourself in the best possible light.
3. Your Workplace Values
Once you’ve identified the career values that are most important to you, consider how they might appear in a given industry. Teamwork and responsibility, for example, may be of high importance in a manufacturing job, while opportunities for career growth, however, may be a larger part of an office position.
Other important values could include:
It may also be beneficial to determine the trade-offs you’d be willing to make for your values. Would you compromise on paid time off for a higher hourly wage, or do you prefer more benefits in exchange for less schedule flexibility?
4. Your Ideal Work Environment
In today’s hybrid-dominant work culture, there’s no single definition of a work environment. That being said, there are now plenty of opportunities to identify a workplace that is the best fit for you.
Those interested in working outside of a typical office setting may consider industrial, warehouse, or manufacturing work, while clerical or administrative positions may offer opportunities for hybrid or remote work.
In any in-person work environment, it’s important to consider your willingness to commute: What would make a position commute-worthy for you? How far are you willing to commute and for what pay rate?
Carefully weighing each factor of your career selection is key to making the best decision for yourself. And while it may be tempting to rush into the first opportunity that presents itself, be sure you’re taking the necessary steps to guarantee you’re following the right career path for you.
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