The age-old question that plagues us all at some point in our life – ‘what do I want to be when I grow up?’ or ‘what is the right job for me?’ Whether you are starting out in the working world or you are changing careers later in life, it is time to get serious about finding the right job.
After all, when you land a job that suits your personality, skills and hobbies, Mondays go from being a dreaded ordeal to being your favourite day of the week. Read ahead to learn more about finding the right job for you.
Think About Your Personality
When it comes to finding the right job that plays to your strengths and minimises your weaknesses, your individual personality plays a big role. We all have areas in life that come naturally, and other areas that make us feel overwhelmed and unsure of ourselves.
Start by writing down a list of your own character traits (and make sure that someone else takes a look at the list – we tend to have blind spots about our own personalities!). Are you creative, or do you like to follow a set plan? Do you like to organise things extensively, or do you prefer to throw things together at the last minute? Is crunching a long list of numbers your idea of a good time, or would you do anything to avoid maths?
Once you have this list compiled, start to think about jobs that are well suited to these individual traits. If you are stumped, input the traits into Google followed by the search terms “best career” and see what results are returned. You might come across some careers that you have never thought about, but that suit your personality to a tee.
What Are Your Hobbies?
An old adage says to find the things you love to do and make them your career. Can you imagine going to work only to spend the hours engaging in your hobby? Compile a list of all of the things you love to do, and then start thinking about how you can earn a living doing them.
Of course, not all of us have a saleable hobby like home carpentry, cupcake baking, or creative writing that we can transform into a home business. You might have to look for a career that includes elements of your hobbies. For instance, if you love to draw, you could consider graphic design or marketing jobs. If you enjoy spending time with animals, a career in veterinary clinics or pet grooming could be just the thing.
What Qualifications Do You Already Have?
It goes without saying that you should also assess your existing qualifications before you start deciding what career is best suited to your skills. While you might choose to go down a different path than what you trained to do, your skills are likely still transferable. For instance, if you trained to be a school teacher, your skill set will be in high demand in any educational setting, including heritage, museums, cultural organisations and even television.
Take this thinking a bit further and drill down deeper into the aspects of your education that you enjoyed the most. For instance, if you did a History degree, maybe you loved giving presentations, but you hated writing long reports. You can start looking for specific jobs and roles that involve your favourite parts of what you learned at Uni or in an educational setting.
What Hours Do You Want To Work?
You might default into the idea that your working life will be organised around a 9 to 5 schedule, but there are plenty of jobs that do not follow this pattern. Depending on your personality and preferences, you might enjoy the graveyard shift, unorthodox working hours, or midweek days off. There are some great careers for the night owls out there, including paramedic, after hours plumber/electrician, and nursing.
Options To Help You Decide Which Career Is Right For You
There are many options out there that can help you try to decide what career you are best suited for, but not all of them are equally effective. Let’s start with 2 that are often mentioned, but that have low success rates: career tests, and self-
You have likely had career testing recommended to you at some point in your journey. From the 1950s to the ‘90s, career tests were all the rage. Inspired by personality testing, these tests claimed to be able to help you narrow down your perfect job.
- What are they?
Career assessments aim to help individuals understand how their own unique personal attributes could impact their success in different work environments.
- How are they supposed to work?
Most career tests are based on disproved personality tests that classify you into a specific ‘type.’ The test then recommends a career based on your type.
You may have heard this a time or two – that you should always ‘go with your gut’ and use your own self-reflection and instincts to determine the best career for you as an individual. There is just one problem – this very rarely works! It can certainly help you to determine how you feel about someone you just met or if you are unhappy in a relationship, but ‘gut instincts’ are not a good indicator of career success.
So, after reading this, you might be thinking, ‘ok, so now what? If career tests and intuition are flawed, how can I get some guidance?’ Well while these options might not work very well, there is something that does – trying things out. Yes, trying a few jobs on for size is really the best way to determine what it is you’d like to do, and what you would be good at doing over the long run. Taking courses and enrolling in work experience/internship programmes is the way to
Take a Few Courses On Topics That Interest You
This is why taking courses in person or online can be a great way to dabble in a new field, gain valuable skills, and find out if you want to commit your time to a career. Find providers of online courses with solid reviews and positive testimonials and take a few classes on topics that interest you. This process can help weed out the subject areas that you don’t want to further engage
Work Experience / Internship
If you want to really get your feet wet and find out if a career is right for you, If it make good sense to engage in a work experience programme or internship scheme. By enrolling in these programmes you can gain real world experience on the job, walking the walk and talking the talk. This can enable you to learn exactly how you would feel about any job, and provide you with valuable networking opportunities along the way.
Few aspects of your life can affect your happiness as much as your career. We go to our jobs on a daily basis, spending more than 40 hours a week in our roles at work. This time commitment alone means that it is important to do what you enjoy, rather than what simply earns you a paycheque. Think about your own personality, hobbies and existing education in order to make a smart and informed choice about what career is best for you, both now and in the long run.