Deciding on a future career is one of the biggest steps you get to make once you reach adulthood. Surely, babysitting when you were a teen and working part-time at your local grocery store while still in high school may have worked pretty well for you back in the day. But as soon as you graduate college, it is time to start thinking about something more permanent.

The question is, how do you decide on a career path if you have no idea what you want to do or who you want to be? For starters, you shouldn’t feel bad about it – it’s completely okay to feel confused and anxious. In those moments, all you need is a little bit of guidance. Here are a couple of tips that will help you get started and choose the perfect career path for yourself. 

Think about who you are as an individual

The first step to figuring out what’s the best career path for you is doing a little bit of self-assessment. You want to ask yourself who you are at this present moment and what are the activities that you enjoy the most. It’s a good idea to write down all of your skills and strengths and try to figure out a way how you can use them in your future career.

Also, you should think about the things and subjects you’ve always been good at. Try to figure out why you enjoyed certain subjects more than others. Finally, you can always work with a career counselor to get an idea of careers that are the most suitable for your preferences, skillset, and strengths.

Consider your interests, skills, and careers you’d like to learn more about

Is there something you’re particularly passionate about? If so, that can also be used as an indicator of what you should do career-wise. If you think you’d be happy working with other individuals and helping people, look into careers that require teamwork – careers such as consulting, marketing and communication, and human resource management.

If you have great problem-solving skills, consider becoming an accountant or a computer systems analyst. These careers are ideal if you can see yourself coming up with innovative solutions such as the ones we have now in the digital or information age, with technologies such as digital check information being one of those solutions that make our daily lives so much easier and more convenient. Creating a list of interests and skills can really help you figure out the role you’re qualified for – even if it has nothing to do with your college degree.

Narrow down your career options

All this self-assessment should have given you a rough idea of what you want to do, and you probably already have a list of careers you’re considering. Many of them can be great matches in terms of your skills and interests, but it’s important that you narrow down your career options even further.

If there’s a certain business area or sector that your top career choices fall into, consider exploring different types of jobs you could do within that sector. Whether it’s childcare and education, science, or creative careers, take some time to explore sectors you’re interested in and learn more about necessary qualifications and how to get started, ultimately coming up with two to five top career choices.

Determine your short-term and long-term goals

After doing all your research and deciding on a career path you want to take, you want to set your goals for the future, both short-term and long-term ones. Short-term goals usually take six months to three years to complete, while reaching long-term goals can take you anywhere from three to five years. Applying to college, apprenticeships, and training programs are good examples of short-term goals, while completing those training programs and your education are examples of long-term goals.

Setting goals is essential for your future progress as they provide some kind of direction, and having a vision of what you want to achieve is key to reaching success in a chosen field. Finally, don’t shy away from talking to people who are working in your industry of interest while you’re working towards your goals. They’ll get to share their experiences and you’ll get to gather some valuable first-hand information about your future career.

Wrapping up

It might be difficult to wrap your head around the fact that you’re ready to make the transition from college life to the real world and the workplace, especially when you’re feeling so out of touch with yourself that you don’t really see yourself doing anything in particular.

In those situations, it helps to have some clues to guide you. These couple of tips should help you get in touch with yourself, determine what you want from your life and your career, and finally find work you love.

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