Unsure About Your Career Choice?
3 Ways to Know You're on the Right Track
By Helen Godfrey, MA, NCC, BCC, LPC
Deciding on a career can be difficult. After spending a few years studying a particular field, one would think that your career choice would be obvious. Sometimes, though, uncertainty looms because you aren't fully connected to the field.
Have you chosen a certain career direction because your parents want you to do it? Keep in mind that your ideal career should be something that still gives you regardless of how long you have been in the profession.
Use this guide to figure out if you’re on the right career path:
1. You have an innate skill set. Some individuals are just more naturally aligned with certain careers than others. Is that the case with you and your career choice?
· Think back to your childhood. Is your work related to something that you had a knack for growing up? Did related activities interest you? If yes, you're probably on the right track.
· How easy is it for you to understand the field's complex concepts? If you find yourself breezing through things that others find difficult, and reading about those topics in your free time because you find it interest, you probably have a natural ability for it.
· Do you feel "at home" finding solutions to challenges in your field? Do you find it fun? Energizing? Rewarding? If so, it is likely that you are doing what you're meant to be doing.
2. Your eyes light up when working. On the flip side of having natural abilities is the concept of being passionate. You're probably good at many things, but which ones are you passionate about?
· If your eyes light up and you feel enthused about your work, you are definitely doing something that aligns with skills, interests, talents, abilities, and values.
· Are there times when the hours pass by without you even realizing it? Being so engrossed in your work that very little else matters usually means that you love what you're doing!
· Once you find yourself talking about your career to family, friends, and even strangers, you're likely in the career of your dreams! Is your career constantly on the forefront of your mind? If someone asks you a question about your work can you go on and on?
3. Your earning power is irrelevant. You don’t want to tell your boss because he/she may take you up on your offer, but really, you would do this for free. Getting paid is a bonus. Careers that are in alignment with who you are offer fulfillment on their own. There's a sense of pride you get from producing something good, regardless of what your paycheck looks like.
· When you're doing something you love, you spend your time ensuring you do it well. The financial benefit that comes along with work is important, but it’s definitely secondary to doing something you love!
· Have you ever found that bonuses on the job feel less exciting to you than to your co-workers? It's probably because the income plays second fiddle in your life.
· Strangely enough, working in a fulfilling career negates the desire to seek material fulfillment elsewhere. You may even find that your earnings pile up because you really don’t have the desire to spend it!
The formula for assessing career suitability is really easy. For the most part, it just requires a little introspection. Give thought to what matters most to you
Take the time to listen to your heart as you choose your life’s work. Be thoughtful when it comes to determining your ideal career path.