As a child, when someone asked you what you wanted to be when you grew up, they weren’t just asking you a question to get a response; they were asking you about your career path. While people don’t always choose their career paths and meet their goals in the right order, they do take a path to get to where they are. Choosing a career path gives you the necessary tools to help you build skills, get an education, and get the proper experience for a job that you love. Here’s how you can choose a career path.
- Outline Your Goals
Before you can find a career, you’ll need to reflect on your interests and passions to determine which path is right for you. For example, if you want to design websites, then you’ll need to start somewhere. This reflection can help you narrow your choices into a specific career path that you can follow. Ask yourself the following:
- What do I want out of my career?
- What do I value?
- What do I enjoy doing?
- What interests me?
- What are my skills?
Once you answer these questions, you can research potential paths. You can also take a skills assessment to help you determine which career path is right for your personality. Make sure that you review your career goals every few years so that you can grow professionally and ensure that you are achieving the goals that you’ve set yourself instead of remaining stuck in a job that you hate.
- Create a Plan
Creating a plan gives you something to work towards. For example, if you want to run your own eCommerce business, you’ll need to know where you see yourself in five and ten years. You can establish milestones for your career, which include skills building and education. For example, if you want to run a small business and make money online, you’ll need to take business or finance classes that can help you run your business easily.
You can do research to see where other people in your industry are after five or ten years into their career. For example, a bank teller might have a degree in accounting and a bank teller salary that commensurates with their experience. Other bank tellers might not have a degree at all, so you can determine which path is best for getting you where you want to be in the future.
- Review Previous Experience
If you’re a recent college graduate, you might not have very much job experience at all. However, you have experience in other things, such as charity work that you did throughout high school. You may have also been on the yearbook or newspaper staff. All of these things that you did as extracurricular activities can count as previous experience on your resume.
If you have a few years of working under your belt, you can also consider that job experience to identify the right career choices. For example, you may have found that you don’t want to work in retail or the food industry based on your experience. By determining what you don’t want, you can get closer to figuring out what you do want out of your career.
- Compare Job Requirements to Your Education
Once you’ve decided what career you’d like, take a look at job boards to read about the job requirements by doing a job search online. Many jobs have education and experience requirements, such as a high school diploma, bachelor’s degree, or a number of years of previous experience. If you find any gaps where your education and experience don’t match up with the job listing, then consider what you have to do to make your resume fit with what the company is looking for.
Finding the right career path for yourself can take a long time. But, by following these tips, you can more easily find a career path that makes you feel happy and fulfilled.