How can I narrow down my interests to find the career I want to pursue?
Choosing the career you want to pursue is no easy task. Unless you are one of those lucky individuals who knows exactly what you want to be when you grow up (and have since you were 5), you might need to do a little research. There are thousands of career options available to you, so how do you choose? To follow are a few steps and guidelines designed to help you make a wise career choice:
- Get to know yourself through a self assessment. Make a list of your interests, strengths, weaknesses, personality traits and more. You can search free career tests online that can help lead you through a professional self assessment.
- Create a list of occupations – By using a career test or self assessment tool, you will have several career options generated based on your responses. Review this list and highlight any options that appeal to you. Create your preferred “short list” based on your interests.
- Research your short list – For each of the career choices you’ve narrowed your list to, research the job descriptions, outlook, advancement opportunities and pay scale so you know what you are up against. Find people in these fields who might provide insight into the industry, discipline and benefits of the work.
- Narrow your list – Further narrow your list based on your research analysis. Perhaps one of the occupations requires more school than you can afford, or another occupation doesn’t pay enough. This research can help you shorten your list further to a manageable number of options.
- Action plan – Once you’ve narrowed your list to a couple of career choices, create an action plan with step-by-step goals for how you can achieve success in each. These goals might include school, additional training, internship opportunities and more.
- Put your plan to work – Begin activating your plan by starting your career training, school, or other action items that will get to your ultimate achievement of obtaining the job in your career of choice.
By outlining your career choices and thoroughly researching all of your career possibilities, you will be one step closer to achieving your career goal!
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