5 Steps to Take When You Can’t Decide on a Career

Don’t know what career is right for you? You’re not alone.

For entry level employees, the world of work can seem like a scary place when you don’t know what career is right for you. Lots of people choose a career path related to what they studied in school, but just as many people do something completely different and completely unrelated as well. It can definitely be stressful to finish school and not know the next steps to take, however these tips should help point you in the right direction of the best career for you.

  1. Make a list of your strengths
    Before thinking about any kind of job, sit down and make a list of all your strengths. When making this list, consider all the skills you have. Whether it’s creative skills (soft skills), practical skills (hard skills), your ability to work with kids or animals, making a list of what you’re good at is a good way to see what kind of job you will excel at.

  2. Make a list of your values
    Making a list of your values is something incredibly useful. Spend some time alone and think about what really matters to you when it comes to work. Are you someone who prioritizes money over other things? Maybe you want a sense of work-life balance or want a more flexible schedule. Sitting down and reflecting on everything important to you when it comes to your career is something that will help you understand career paths that are a good fit for you.

  3. Pinpoint your hobbies and fields of interest
    While it’s good to make a list of your strengths and your values, don’t stop there. What you’re good at is not necessarily what you like. There are plenty of people who are great at math, but do they actually want to become a math teacher or an actuary? Not necessarily. Find a calm space and make a list of all the things you like doing in your free time, whether it’s spending time with people, being inside or outside, playing on the computer or playing with your pet. All these things can help you decide in the end when searching for a career that’s right for you.

  4. Research jobs
    After reflecting on your strengths, values, and interests, start researching jobs where you can apply this information. Look online to see where your skills might be needed and appreciated. Keep an eye out for companies and jobs that ask for your skills yet offer the things you value. Anyone can find their ideal job, it just takes some time and research. Consider several different career paths based on the items in your lists. If you’re someone who likes to be around other people, has a creative personality and you like art, consider something like graphic design. If you are a person who enjoys working with people of all ages , like helping people, and talking about issues and feelings, then look into taking the steps to become a therapist or psychologist. If you are a person who’s really good with technology and you enjoy all aspects of computer science, consider the career as a software developer, database engineer, or infrastructure engineer.

  5. Be open to change
    Lots of people choose a different career path than what they originally intended. People’s interests change and the job market does too. A position that didn’t exist years ago might be open for you now. Take a risk and explore different jobs. You might find something you like that you didn’t expect.
    No matter what stage of life you’re in, finding a job you love isn’t an impossible feat. While there are some people that have always known what they want to do, most people do not, and they take these steps to figure it out.

This article was written by Nicholas Long.
Nicholas Long is a writer and a student at the American University in Bulgaria. He enjoys creating content and traveling to new countries.

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