If you're confused about which career path to follow, consider these 16 tips to help you find it.
1. Consider Your Hobbies: Before you do anything, consider what your hobbies are and write them down. Also think about why you enjoy these hobbies. If you like to bake, for example, perhaps the reason is because you like to create, and a creative career like cake design would be a good fit for you.
2. Visit a Career Resource Centre: If you are a student, visit your school's career resource center. If you are not a student, see if you can gain access to one at your local college or educational psychologist.
3. Speak to a Career Counsellor: A conversation with a career counsellor may help clear your mind and point you in the right direction. He or she can also tell you about careers you had no idea even existed.
4. Take a Test: A career counsellor may suggest you to take a test to help discern and guide you to areas of interest. It is best to take a test under the guidance of a career counsellor who can discuss the results with you.
5. Interview Professionals: If you are interested in several great careers, interview people already working in those fields. Call someone you already know in a field of interest or call local businesses and ask to do a quick phone interview. Most people are happy to discuss their day-to-day activities with a willing listener.
6. Shadow Someone: When you conduct your phone interview, ask if you can shadow someone for a day. That will give you a clear idea of what their day is like.
7. Get an Internship: If you've shadowed someone for a day or more and still like the position, get an internship or summer job. This will give you work experience and could open the door to a future job. If your education qualifies you for a broad range of positions (e.g. a business degree), an internship may allow you to narrow down your field of opportunity and acquire skills that could be useful in different tracks as well.
8. Volunteer: If you are not positive whether you want to commit to an internship of several months, consider volunteering. You'll still be exposed to the profession, but can easily leave it if you decide it's not for you.
9. Get a Broad Education: If you are a student struggling with what to major in, aim for a broad education instead of guessing at something specific. If a flash of inspiration later reveals your career path, you can specialize in it then.
10.Go to a Networking Group: Many groups may benefit you in your career hunt. Check out a career networking group and talk to people about careers they are interested in and ask them why or attend meetings that focus on particular careers.
11. Don't Be Afraid: If you really want to find the best career for you, don't be afraid to make phone calls and follow someone around for a day in spite of your fear. You may miss out on a great career opportunity if you don't. If certain careers intimidate you because you'd have to go back to school for them, consider what you have to gain from the investment, and look at funding options before concluding that it's not affordable.
12. Remember Your Values: If you like to be involved with your family, you will not want a career that requires heavy travel. Take an honest look at your priorities and understand how or if they'll be affected by the careers you consider. If a potential career will not allow you to live the way you want, check it off your list.
13. Don't Settle: If you have been searching hard and continue to stay confused, don't give up and settle for something dissatisfying. That said, most of us have to work, and you may need to push through a job you hate for a while. If that's the case, find aspects of your current job that you enjoy. See if you can move into positions that allow you to work more in those areas or gain skills to transfer to a new job.
14. Switch Careers: If you make a wrong turn, you are not stuck. You can change career paths at any time. Besides, it's normal to have several careers throughout a lifetime. Plus, many entrepreneurial people are creating independent careers out of their hobbies, education, and past work experience by starting a business.