How to Decide on a Career

Choosing a career is no easy feat. It can take years for some people to know what they want to do with the rest of their life. Unfortunately, most people don’t want to go from job to job for years searching for that perfect career. To help you get to the career you’ll be most happy with, here are some of the best questions to ask yourself.

Questions about Your Personality

  1. Do you enjoy working alone or with people?
  2. Do feel good about yourself when you help people?
  3. Are you an extrovert or introvert?
  4. Do you anger or become frustrated easily?
  5. Are you patient?
  6. Do you often have trouble seeing someone else’s point of view?
  7. Do you like to be a leader or a follower?
  8. Do you enjoy receiving feedback or does it aggravate you?
  9. Do you consider yourself a friendly person?
  10. Are you ambitious?

Questions about Work

  1. What type of setting would you like to work in?
  2. Do you like to work during the day, evening, or night?
  3. How many hours a week do you want to work?
  4. What would you like your workspace to look like?
  5. How much money would you realistically like to earn?
  6. Do you like light duty or laborious work?
  7. How do you want to feel while at work?
  8. What would make you excited about a job?
  9. How many years do you want to work at a job?
  10. Do you want to advance or stay in the same position?

Find a Career that’s Best for You

To figure out which career is best for you, match your personality and work desires to possible careers. You can find a list of 12,000 careers at CareerPlanner.com. Print the list out, and go through it with a pen to cross out the ones that do not appeal to you at all.

After you’ve gone through the list once, go through it again, and write the ones leftover on a separate piece of paper. Research each career on the Bureau of Labor Statistics website. You will find detailed information about the work setting, duties, and career outlook. This information can tell you a lot about whether the career matches your work desires.

Many of the careers on the Bureau of Labor Statistics have a section identifying the skills needed to be successful. Matching up your answers to the Questions about Your Personality section will help you decide if the career may be a good fit.

Try not to worry about skills that you can learn, especially if you’re interested in careers that require a college degree or other training program. Focus on the skills that are much more difficult to improve on because they are part of you such as people skills.

After matching up the answers to the questions above with the careers you’re interested in, make another list of the ones that seem to line up well with your personality and work desires. From this point, things start getting harder. Many people seek employees in the careers they’ve identified to ask if they can shadow them. Others will ask for an interview with someone in the career to learn more about it. The Internet provides a great resource for finding people in specific careers, so that’s another possibility in learning more about them.

After delving into each career, cross out the ones that end up not being as good of a fit as you had thought. The ones left over should be ones you can start preparing for because you’ll likely find that they have many qualities in common.

Career Discovery Success

If you follow these instructions, you will end up with a small list of career possibilities to start preparing for with higher education or training. Start preparing yourself as soon as possible because without taking that step, you may never end up with the career that will make you truly happy.