I’ve always believed there was a difference between a job and a career. Jobs are those things you do to earn money to help you get started along your career path, such as working for A+ Staffing.
You may have a very specific career in mind and are working toward that goal right now or you may have no idea where you are headed. How do you figure out the career path you were destined for?
- What Are Your Passions?
This one is a bit tricky. You can’t just pick a passion and suddenly you’re on the right career path. If it was that easy, everybody would already be doing it. After all, you might be passionate about collecting ceramic cats, but that’s probably not going to lead anywhere career wise.
To find joy and purpose in your career, you should consider your passions. For me, I enjoy helping others, so this business works perfectly for me. Narrow down passions that could be careers. Remember to include your hobbies as well.
- What Are Your Natural Talents?
Now, we start narrowing things down even further. What are you talented at? You might be passionate about listening to music, but if you can’t sing a single note on key, it’s probably not the right career path for you.
For some, this is easy to do. You’ve already discovered what you’re good at. It’s probably a hobby or something you minored in at college. You just haven’t considered it as a career option before. For others, they’re still not sure. They have hidden talents that they’ve yet to explore. Finding those hidden talents often involves looking at what you’ve always been interested in but were afraid to try.
I also want to point out that sometimes your career chooses you. While you’re working various jobs, you uncover your natural talents. That then leads to careers you never even thought about before. For instance, I worked a variety of jobs that turned into very different careers. Thanks to the knowledge and experience I gained along the way, I was able to start this business. So, don’t worry. Sometimes the career you’re looking for just falls into place organically.
- How Do You Know You’ll Like It?
At this point, you might have a few career ideas in mind that sound incredible, but what’s involved in those careers? Internships are one of the best ways to explore career options without making long-term commitments. You get real experience and see if it’s something you want to pursue. Of course, this isn’t always an option, especially if there are financial restraints.
Alternately, talk to others in the field. Check out LinkedIn and strike up conversations with experts in the fields you’re most interested in.
- What Does Your Personality Tell You?
I must admit that some of those personality tests are scary accurate. No, you don’t have to take the results as law, but they can help guide you to choosing a career path you’ll love and enjoy. There are a wide variety of personality and career tests, but try these to see how the results align with your natural talents (you might even uncover hidden talents) and passions:
- MAPP Career Test
- Free Version of Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
- Visual DNA Who Am I
- Career Aptitude Test (series of puzzles to solve – kind of fun, even if you’re not searching for a new career path)
- Are You Willing to Put In The Work?
I know this is a hard question to answer but be honest with yourself. Are you willing to put in the work to go from a job to a new career path? Depending on what you choose, it may mean taking classes, starting all over as an entry-level employee and even moving to a new city.
But, ask yourself this. Do you want to go through life wishing for something better or do you want to make something better happen now? It all starts by finding the career path you were destined for. Everyone has one. Take the time to sit down and figure out what’s right for you. Even if it takes years of work to succeed, you’ll be proud of yourself when you’re done.