“The whole world is your oyster.”
“You can be anything you want to be, as long as you put your mind to it!”
“You will do great things when you grow up.”
This is just a selection of things that I am sure a lot of us heard when we were younger.
These days, there are seemingly limitless possibilities when it comes to choosing a career path. Compared to our ancestors, most of us will have a lot more opportunities available to us and access to resources that can help us find the right career. Hey, just like this article.
But let’s be honest, not everyone is lucky enough to know early on exactly what it is they would like to do with their life. With that being said, it is never too late to figure it out.
Whether you are thinking of a late-stage career switch or you are still at the start of your search to find your dream career path, we are here to help with these top tips and tricks.
1. Follow Your Passions
They say that if you do something you love then you will never work a day in your life. This isn’t necessarily true – even doing the things we love can be hard sometimes – but finding a career path that plays to your passions can be a great way to end up doing what you love.
For example, we are not trying to say that everyone grows up knowing that they want to be a website designer, but if you have a passion for creating flawless code and an investigative mind, then you could find that you become extremely successful in this role or a role like this.
On the other hand, if you know nothing about fashion or clothing, then it is probably not a good idea for you to look into a position in fashion merchandising or a career in this sector.
2. Know Your Strengths (and Weaknesses)
Similarly, knowing what your strengths are can seriously help you when trying to choose the right career path for you. Think about it – if you are not already good at something, you at least need to have the confidence that with time and effort you can become good at it.
Otherwise, you will find it pretty difficult to forge a career path out of it.
The good news is that a lot of skills are transferable (we will touch on this a bit more in point number 4) or can be built upon throughout your career. So, provided you have enough of a starting point of strength in your chosen sector, you will have a better chance in that career.
Think about what your biggest strengths are, as well as your biggest weaknesses so that you can stay away from any career that is based on the things you can’t do, and utilize them so that you can stand out from other candidates or employees and excel in your career.
3. Consider Your Life and Location
When you are thinking about changing or starting on a new career path, you should also stop to think about your current lifestyle and, arguably most importantly, your location.
Certain professions require a more dedicated approach to the work which may not leave much time leftover for leisure activities and down time. If these are important to you and improve your quality of life, then you should look for a career that allows flexibility for this.
If you are highly motivated and career driven, you may be more willing to sacrifice some of your free time in order to climb the corporate ladder, in which case you can look for something that will take up more of your time and energy but will pay off in the long run.
In terms of location, you will need to think about where your career will take you and whether or not you are based in the right place. Your dream job could end up being on the other side of town, meaning you have to commute for hours every day, so consider if this is worth it.
4. Reflect on Past Jobs and Careers
Transferable skills! Something that everybody in the job-hunting industry loves to talk about, but that few know how to correctly identify and utilize when it comes to finding a new career.
First, you will need to spend some time reflecting on your past jobs, careers, and work experiences. Try to identify where there has been any crossover between roles throughout your career thus far and write down things you liked as well as what you disliked about them.
This will also help you when you are thinking about your strengths and skills, as there may be things that you did in your previous roles that you can apply to your future career.
5. Determine Your Financial Goals
Different careers offer varying degrees of financial security. If you are the type of person who likes to live the high life, then you might want to choose a career that can support this.
You may also have a family to support or other dependents that you are responsible for (we are talking about your financial responsibility for your pets, people – don’t forget it!) which could end up influencing what type of career is going to be the right option for you.
For example, it will be much harder to start out at the bottom in an entry level position if you have spent the last 10 years climbing the ladder for another career whilst on a certain salary.
It is also worth noting the minimum wage in the US varies depending on your state, so make sure to check it for where you live as it could be the difference between being able to comfortably afford to take a pay cut while you start out and running into financial difficulties.
6. Do Your Research
Another aspect of career-hunting that is important but often procrastinated is research.
Before making any hasty decisions it is important to make sure that you know what you are getting yourself into and to properly prepare yourself so that you have the best chance at successfully entering a new sector where you can start on your new dream career path.
Although it can be hard to find out exactly what will be expected of you aside from what you can gather from job advertisements, there are still ways to research your chosen career.
You can speak to friends and family who already work in the industry you are interested in, for example, or they might be able to put you in touch with somebody that they know. You can also look online, check out YouTube videos on the subject, and read up on the sector.
As you can see, there are plenty of options available to you if you are trying to find out what the best career for you would be. We hope that you have found these tips useful.
Just remember that it is never too late for you to start thinking about changing your career. If you are doing something that doesn’t make you happy or if you are not earning enough money to financially support yourself in your current employment, it is worth looking into changing careers or at least trying to work out what other options you may have available.
And, most importantly, if you are already job hunting, then we wish you good luck!