Categories: Jobs & Jobs Hunting

Tips On Finding The Career Path That Is Right For You

Picking a career path is an intimidating task. We know that, and we are here to help! Whether you are a high school graduate, a young professional, or seeking a career change, this article is for you!

1. Set Goals

Before you embark on your career path, set goals for yourself! Goals are a great way to keep you on track. Make sure to write your goals down in a place you see often. You should also ask someone to hold you accountable for your goals. If you record your goals, communicate your goals, and execute your goals, you will be well on your way to finding the right career path.

Start by setting short-term goals. These can be daily, weekly, or monthly goals. When I started pursuing a career as a content writer, my goals were my best friend. I set weekly goals for myself so that I could see the tasks I needed to accomplish. After you establish your short-term goals, brainstorm some long-term goals. These goals are typically completed quarterly or yearly. This could involve achieving a position at work, publishing a certain amount of content, or meeting a certain number of people. Whatever career path you pursue, make sure to start by setting goals!

2. Talk To People

Talk to lots of people about their careers! Ask your barista, dentist, church family, teachers, and co-workers about their education. You may be surprised to hear what they studied! As you talk to various people, you may learn about “hidden” careers that are not well known. People love to talk about themselves and will be thrilled that you are interested in their occupation. Here is a list of questions to get you started:

What college degree did you pursue?

How did your schooling background prepare you for your job?

What first interested you in this career? 

 What is the most challenging part of your job?

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

How should I begin preparing myself for my future career?

3. Learn How To Network

Networking is a huge asset when it comes to pursuing a career! This tip goes along with talking to people. Networking interviews and meetings are formal ways to meet professionals in your potential career field. It can take time to build a networking base, but the effort is worth the rewards! Once you meet a professional in a specific career field, you will have access to all of their connections.

The best way to start a network is to talk to a successful person in your potential career field. If this person is successful and happy, they most likely know other successful and happy people in the same career field. Ask your connection for a formal introduction to someone in their network who may be able to offer you advice. This introduction can be over email or in person. At the end of each meeting, ask the person for an introduction to one of their contacts. Your network may start in one career field, but it will eventually span multiple occupations.

4. Take Notes

Take notes during formal interviews and casual conversations. During an interview, you will be nervous and won’t remember all the essential information. If you write down the information that stands out to you, it will take away some anxiety.

If you know you will take notes, always preface your conversation with an explanation. Politely tell the person you are talking to that you are taking notes. They may feel disrespected if you are typing on your phone or looking away from the screen without explanation. They will appreciate your effort to engage in the conversation.

5. Review Your Notes

After every conversation, review your notes and fill in the gaps. If your interviewee made a great point, but you did not have time to capture it, write it down as quickly as possible! This is the best way to ensure that you have all the notes you need because the information is fresh in your mind.

Once you have recorded all the necessary notes, put your notebook away for a few days. This gives your mind a chance to recharge and process all the information. After a short break, pull out your notes again. You may discover details you missed during the initial interview when you look at them with fresh eyes. Reviewing your notes is a great way to affirm or discourage your career pursuits. 

See Also

6. Know Your Strengths & Weaknesses

When you go in for a job interview, you will most likely be asked about your strengths and weaknesses. It is a good idea to prepare your answer ahead of time. Ask trusted friends and family to help if you have difficulty identifying them. The people that know you the best will lovingly point out your strengths and weaknesses.

Don’t be afraid to admit your character flaws. Companies appreciate honest candidates. If you are not selected for the position, there is a better job for you! Look for ways to improve yourself after each interview so that you are fully prepared for the right job.

7. Create A Resume

Your resume is your most powerful ally in finding the right career path. A resume compiles your experiences, skills, and education in one place for easy access. You will need a resume for every job application. This is a crucial tool in your job search! 

When you write your resume, make sure it is clear, crisp, and concise. Employers do not want to read a 5-page report that shows all your life experiences. You can find free resume templates online through Google Docs, Word, and other websites. You can also find free resume and cover letter tutorials on YouTube or Udemy. If you are in school, ask your teachers or professors to help you. They will provide great insight on creating an appealing resume that stands out to employers. 

8. Research Further Education

After you have a few conversations and learn basic information about your potential career path, research the education that career may require. Many companies will hire high school graduates without a college degree. Some career paths, such as dentistry, medical care, and law, will require a degree. However, you may be surprised how many jobs require very little beyond a high school diploma!

Did these career path tips help you? If you know a recent graduate who needs career tips, pass this on to them! Happy job hunting!

Featured Image Source:
Olivia Poettgen

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