choosing careers

Written by Jim McNerney Coaching Team

Choosing a career is a major decision, but it’s not always a final one. Whether you are just starting out, in transition or making your way back into the professional world, there is one important fact to keep in mind – there is no one single formula that will lead anyone to their ideal career. The search for the right career is a deeply personal one, but a few tips can help guide you toward a rewarding and satisfying career that’s right for you.

Make an Honest Assessment of Yourself

Everyone has heard that the key to happiness in a career is to do something you love. Job satisfaction in the US is quite high, with about 85% of Americans reporting they are happy with their jobs. However, not everyone can instantly step into their dream jobs. Many people secure their dream jobs only to discover the reality is very different from the dream. What happens when someone finds a career doing something they love, but the working environment itself is anything but loveable?

Take a look at your strengths and weaknesses and honestly assess your personality. Instead of thinking about what type of work you imagine yourself doing for a living, start thinking about the type of working environment you want to have. Some jobs are inherently demanding while others are more flexible. One of the best ways to find the right career for you is to not necessarily look at what you love, but instead look at what you’re good at doing.

Align Your Interests with Your Skills

Remember, there is no single formula to finding the right career for you. For example, you might love animals and want to help them, but if you can’t stand the sight of blood, then the veterinarian track probably isn’t for you. You may not think that working in a pet store or animal rescue would be the most lucrative job in the world, and it probably isn’t, but it would provide you with the chance to help animals find good homes, assist pet owners in making responsible choices for their pets, and would likely offer a distinct sense of satisfaction.

How Much Work Do You Plan to Put Into Your Career?

Are you the type of person who wants to find a stable job and stick with it until retirement, or do you have designs of climbing a corporate ladder or advancing your career to its absolute apex? Certain fields are suited to different personality types. If you’re the type of person who thrives on competition and considers a deadline a challenge rather than an obstacle, fast-paced work environments that reward your ambition will ultimately be the most suitable for your personality.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution for finding the right career. Determining which career path you should take requires a great deal of thought, introspection, and a bit of research so you know what you’re getting into before making a serious commitment. However, never forget that once you decide on a career it is never too late to change your mind and go for something else. This will require hard work and sacrifice, but excelling in any career will require those things.