We often hear the phrase “Follow Your Passion” when it comes to choosing a career, but in reality that may or may not happen. This can make us feel frustrated and helpless, and stop us in our tracks to a career path. Good news – the key to making a career decision is to find your fit! So, how can you go about it?
Think of the process as trying on new clothes:
#1 – There are many styles to choose from.
There is not one specific job out there that you were meant to do for the rest of your life, but a variety of jobs and careers that you may enjoy. Have a few careers in mind already? Research each one, perform informational interviews , and apply for an internship with your top choices. You never know how hands-on experience can influence your “style”.
#2 – You can buy clothes off the rack or have them tailored.
Successful people aren’t limited to the elite jobs – doctors, lawyers, world-renowned musicians or FBI agents. We live in a constantly evolving world and there is a good chance that at one point you will hold a job that doesn’t even exist yet! Think of what your skills, values, and interests are. Perhaps make a list in order of what is most important to you. How does that fit with the careers you’re interested in?
#3 – Clothes go out of style.
Jobs change, careers change, people change. It is unusual for someone to have the same job/position through retirement. Whatever your skills, values and interests are now may change with time. And if they don’t, the environment may change. What are the prospects for you career choices and how might they (and you) change as you gain new experience or change roles?
#4 – Dress for the weather.
All industries and careers have their “rainy” days and it’s important to have a back-up plan. Stay up to date on industry trends, attend trainings, take new classes. This will expand your horizons and help you to stay flexible, the key to adapting to change. Being a life-long learner will pay off in multiple ways, especially when “stormy” days blow your way.
#5 – Accessorize, accessorize, accessorize
Sometimes outfits don’t feel complete without a swanky belt or a trendy necklace. Similarly, our careers aren’t the only thing that make us feel complete. In addition to our careers we can be a welder, a baker, or a stock guru. We are also friends, significant others, and sons or daughters. Take into consideration how all of these roles can help to fulfill your various needs outside of work.
All of these tips can help you to find your career fit long-term. Need help navigating the waters? Make an appointment with a career counselor today to devise a plan that fits with your interests, values, and skills.