This article was written by John Stuart.
If you’re unsure about the career path you should be choosing, you’re not alone. The vast majority of people have been through this at one point or another in their life.
Figuring out what you want to do can be difficult. Especially if you feel you don’t excel in any particular field or you don’t have any hobbies you want to pursue any further.
To help you shed some light on your priorities, we’ve compiled a list of hand-picked suggestions that will enable you to pinpoint or at least narrow down the search for the career that will make you happy.
1. Get to Know Yourself.
This might sound corny or cliché, but it’s very important to learn as much as possible about yourself if you want to make a wise career choice. We hear this everywhere but we never stop and truly think about its meaning.
In the end, what does it really mean to know yourself? It means knowing your strong suits and weaknesses. It also means having the ability to figure out what type of environment makes you feel comfortable and productive.
Knowing yourself means you know whether you’re an introvert or extrovert.
While the former thrives in jobs that require working on their own, the latter is better suited in dynamic environments where they interact with other people constantly.
Try to find out what information you remember easier – is it details and specifics or possibilities and the big picture?
2. Experiment with Projects and Hobbies.
Whether you’re in high school, college or you’re already working, you have to experiment with as many things as possible in order to determine what makes you happy.
Reading countless self-help books and taking career quizzes can only take you so far. You will be able to decipher and interpret things easier once you work on a wide variety of projects or hobbies.
Think about the activities you really enjoyed doing and were good at as a small kid. Was it painting, writing, dancing, reading or solving math problems? Do any of these still appeal to you?
If you’re unsure about pursuing a career, try going to classes or workshops to see if the field really suits you and makes you happy.
For instance, if you’ve been toying with the idea of becoming a professional photographer, you can attend a photography course and learn new skills while engaging with other photographers. This will not only help you hone your skills, it will also offer a glimpse of the lifestyle and daily activities of a professional photographer.
3. Be Practical.
In discovering what career will make you happy you should, of course, trust your gut and follow your heart. However, you should also be practical and honest with yourself.
Your dream career should not only be dreamy but also sustainable. It should allow you to do the things you love while enabling you to pay the rent and bills each month. With this in mind, take the time to write down your most important job criteria.
This list is very important as it will guide your search and narrow down the possibilities. You should be focusing your attention on aspects such as the working style you’re looking for (part-time, full-time, on-site, remote) and the objectives that matter to you (making money, helping other people, making a difference, creating a new product).
4. Consider Freelancing if You’re Still Unsure.
Committing to a 9-5 full-time job can be scary, especially when you’re unsure if you’re making the right decision.
Should you keep looking or take this once in a lifetime job opportunity? The answer could be somewhere in the middle.
If you’re uncertain about your career path, you might find freelancing very enlightening. Being self-employed can be rewarding from a wide array of perspectives. Not only are your days morning-alarm free, you also make your own schedule and have no boss.
Freelancing will give you the opportunity to work with many different people on various projects.
You will get the chance to identify your strengths and weaknesses. Discipline, time-management and organizational skills will be easy to spot when you are working as a freelancer.
Being self-employed will also give you the freedom to take on projects that differ in length, scope and objective. This has the potential to broaden your horizons and make it easier for you to see what you enjoy doing, what keeps you motivated and what makes you jump out of the bed in the morning.