career path

How to Choose a Career Path You’ll Enjoy

Did you know that 50 percent of people don’t like their job? When you spend most of your waking hours in a job you don’t like, life can quickly become unpleasant.

There will always be days you just don’t want to work. But, how do you find a job you actually like to do when you’re there?

Part of that answer comes down to choosing a career path that you love. If you want to learn how to choose a career path so that you actually like your job (most days), keep reading.

Take a Career Assessment

Maybe you have no clue what you want to do with your life. Or, you have an idea of what field you want to go into, but you’re not positive if it’s the right path.

Taking a career assessment can help to point you in the right direction. However, keep in mind just because your assessment results may say you should look at a job in a particular field, you still have the power to choose.

A career assessment is simply a tool that can point you in a general direction to get the ball rolling.

Define Your Career Goals

What do you want from your career? Do you want to go to work and still have time to travel and exist outside the four walls of an office?

Do you want to help people? Defining your goals for your career will help lead you towards the right path.

For example, it’s worth noting that some jobs are more time-consuming. For example, while teachers may get holidays off during the school year, once students leave, their day is not over.

They still need to do prep and grade papers. If you genuinely want to leave your work at work, then you need to consider factors like that.

It’s highly likely that if you choose a career as a teacher, you will be taking papers home at the end of the day to grade.

Consider Values

Your values are essential. Finding a career path that is in line with your values will help you to love your job.

For example, if one of your values is family, you might consider going into a field where you can work with families. Not only that, but 9 out of 10 millennials are willing to take a pay cut to work for a company that has a mission and values that align with their own.

The ability to define your values will help you to determine what career field is right for you. Not sure how to define your core values?

There are free assessments online you can take online to help you get a closer look.

Job Shadow

If you have an idea of what career you want, look for opportunities to job shadow. It’s very easy to idolize certain careers when you are looking from the outside in.

For example, maybe you want to be a social worker. From the outside, the job looks great; you spend your days helping people and providing resources.

However, the social work field has a lifetime burnout rate of 75 percent. Jobs in this field have a lot of stressors, and it’s hard to leave the job at work at the end of the day.

Yes, social workers are heroes in their own right, but the job isn’t all rainbows and butterflies.

Conduct a Job Interview

Do you have questions about the job you’re looking into? Find someone who has been in that field for a long time and interview them.

You can ask questions such as:

“What do you like about your job? ”

“What’s the hardest part of your job?”

“What do you dislike about your job?”

“How did you know this was the right field for you?”

Be sure to make a list of all the questions you want to ask before you go to the interview. This will give you an in-depth look at a job from someone who does that job every day, so make sure you take the time to think about what you want to ask.

In addition, send a thank you note afterward for job interviews and shadowing experiences; if you decide to pursue that career path and apply there in the future, they will remember you if you make a good impression.

Start in a Related Field

If you want to work in a job that requires a degree, take the time to find a job in that field you can do without a degree or with a lesser degree.

This can give you exposure to that career field and allow you to find out if you like it before you invest in an advanced degree. For example, maybe you want to look at healthcare careers.

Working in healthcare can be very rewarding; however, it’s another field with a high burnout rate. If you want to be a nurse, consider getting a job as a nursing assistant first.

You can get certified as a nursing assistant in just two months, and this will help you get an authentic look at what nurses do. It will help you know if investing in a more advanced degree as a nurse is right for you and give you real-world experience.

Learn How to Choose a Career Path and Be Happy

Learning how to choose a career path can help increase your happiness in life. Whether you choose the best healthcare jobs, jobs in marketing, or something else, taking the steps above will help you determine what’s right for you.

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