It does not matter if you are soon to graduate college or if the major is right around the corner. It can be incredibly scary to not know what you will end up doing in life. People all around you will try to influence you and force you to choose specific careers. Being overwhelmed is quite common.
While there are great career development training programs for youngsters (like National Youth Leadership Forum), at the end of the day, the ultimate choice is yours. You need to take a step back, breathe and fully understand your options. Here are some tips to help you make a great career choice.
What Is Your Work Style?
This will instantly influence if you can thrive in some careers or not. As an example, if you naturally tend to procrastinate from time to time, the career that sees you directly reporting to other people will be better than when you end up doing everything on your own. If you had some jobs in the past, think where you thrived and where you struggled. Did you enjoy setting up a personal work schedule or did you want someone else to do that for you? Being involved in a career that suits your natural work style is always better.
What Skills Do You Have?
Every single career out there will require various skill sets. For instance, the sales managers always need strong leadership skills while teachers need to be able to communicate in a highly efficient way with parents and students.
If you do not know what career to choose, think about what you are really good at. List the skills and talents that you have. This can easily help you to find the careers that will be enjoyed since you will be quite good at your work.
What Are Your Goals?
Do you want to make a lot of money? Do you want to travel? Are you interested in helping people? All these questions help you to understand what goals you have from your job. Knowing your goals will make it so much easier to choose the best possible career path to take. When pursuing a career that does not properly align with the long-term goals you surely have, it is highly unlikely you will be satisfied and be good at it.
At the same time, do take your values into account. Never sacrifice them, no matter what. Sacrificing values when doing a job automatically means there is absolutely no desire to climb the career ladder.
Always Do The Math
This is something that is often not done and it can be quite a mistake. Some math will be necessary. You need to be aware of how much money and time will be needed to get to the level you are interested in. For instance, think about how much education will be needed to reach the dream career. Do you have the finances needed to cover associated expenses? Can you put in the time needed? If not, you need to choose another career or make some other choices that would offer you the money and time needed.