Have you ever stopped to think for a moment that you may not be headed towards the right career path?
You’re not alone. Many people constantly change jobs to find a career that complements their education, skills, and previous work experience.
For example, take Generation X; they are among those individuals who struggled to make ends meet after graduating from college due to escalating debt from student loans. They have been considered rebels for their desire for freedom, responsibility, and hatred of being micromanaged. Many companies are faced with filling the gaps left behind with an influx of baby boomer retirements. Generation X has been the hardest working generation that values work-life balance and sought greater workplace flexibility, diversity, and autonomy.
It’s normal to find yourself hitting a brick wall, especially when you want to pursue your passion, but you need to keep your job to pay the rent. The truth is, the move to make a massive career shift isn’t easy, and there are many things to consider before taking a huge, giant leap.
There’s no one way to find your career path, but we’ll help you make it easier. From taking career assessment tests to finding the right mentors, learning a few tricks will go a long way in jumpstarting your journey towards the place, you’ve always wanted to be.
Ways to Find the Right Career Path
1. Take a Career Path Test
Tests are a dime a dozen on the internet. Psychometric tests, love language tests, knowing which partner is right for you tests…you name it, and there’s probably a test for it. So naturally, therefore, it isn’t surprising that there are career path tests.
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is one of the most popular career path tests. However, its analysis extends far beyond careers and can be applied to helping you understand your personality.
The indicator was initially developed in 1943 by Katherine Coke Briggs and Clarence Myers. It groups people into 16 types. These groupings provide valuable insight into the best careers for each personality. As a result, it is deemed one of the most accurate predictors of career matches.
Other career path tests exist. Some of the most popular include:
- Self-Directed Search
- The MAPP Career Assessment Test
- Career Strengths Test
- The Big Five Personality Test
2. Identify the Activities You Enjoy Doing Most
Finding the right career begins with you. There are specific tasks and activities that we naturally gravitate towards. For instance, you may find yourself writing poems on scraps of paper or picking up a pencil to draw a crazy idea that came into your mind.
Another example is you are always thinking about what to cook next, not because you view cooking as something that must be done, but because you genuinely enjoy preparing meals.
Each person has a naturally gifted ability. It’s harder for some people to discover it than others, but it’s there. Spend about 10 minutes writing down everything you genuinely enjoy doing. Then, narrow this list down to the top 3 activities you love doing.
The next step is asking yourself one of 2 questions for each activity:
- How can I transform my attributes into a successful career?
- Which company exists that would allow me to utilize these innate skills?
- How can I become a part of this company?
3. Create a Career Action Plan
The next thing is to identify possible careers you can see yourself doing. Then, imagine yourself a few years from now: are you happy fulfilling the job you always dreamt of having?
Listing down the possible careers you want is simply not enough. Goals are helpful because they keep you on track with what you envision for yourself. However, it’s time to get the work done to make your dream a reality.
Clearly outline the steps you should take to make the career change happen. Do your research–from learning the qualifications of the job to finding the perfect location.
You don’t have to burden yourself with big-picture to-do’s. Instead, you have to start with small, achievable goals for every huge goal so that you won’t miss any essential steps.
Also, don’t forget to record every failure just as you do with every achievement so you can correct past mistakes and learn from them.
When it comes to planning your career action plan, expect that you’re going to roll up your sleeves and get to work. Of course, there will be a lot of research and connecting with old acquaintances, but all efforts will account for the journey towards your dream career.
4. Ask a Mentor
Career coaches are here for a reason: to help identify the challenges that come with finding the job you want and fulfilling your life-long professional goals.
Most people who want to find clarity and confidence regarding their careers seek the help of a life coach. These professionals are trained to assist you in creating a systematized process of finding the right career or finding happiness in the job you already have–depending on your goals.
Career coaches have worked with many different types of people from different backgrounds and personalities. When you find the right career coach for your needs, you’ll be able to discover so many things–not just about your professional life but, more importantly, about yourself.
5. Be patient
It’s going to take a while before you arrive at your career destination, but nothing beats patience. Striving to do your best to get to where you want to be will drain your energy. Sometimes, it will even be confusing and frustrating.
But to achieve the career you want to have for yourself, you need to have a lot of courage and patience. Changes don’t happen overnight, and the time it takes to reach your destination is part of the overall journey.
Trust the process because, admittedly, you wouldn’t want to miss the opportunity to grow.
In case you want to start searching for the right career, here are 5 job search sites you can consider:
5 job sites to start searching for the right career
Jooble is an international job posting platform. It collects job postings from thousands of different sites to make it easier for candidates to find new opportunities. When doing a search, pay attention to the filter panel on the left side of the screen. It will help customize your search results and find the desired career.
Indeed is one of the job platforms launched in 2004 and available in over 60 countries and is currently the most visited job site in the United States. Globally, Indeed represents a 16.36% market share among job boards.
Glassdoor is different from other job platforms because of the prominent role that employee reviews play. Job seekers visited them to see written reviews, ratings, and salary information about companies before they apply.
LinkedIn is an American employment platform that operates via a website and mobile apps. It is mainly used for employer posting jobs and job seekers posting. As of May 2020, they had 706 million registered members.
ZipRecruiter is a leading online employment platform that supports AI (Artificial Intelligence)-powered smart matching technology that actively connects millions of employers and job seekers.
Reconsidering your career takes time, but it’s worth it
It’s normal for people to rethink their current careers, especially when their daily tasks have become mundane and repetitive.
Everyone wants to advance in their professional lives and achieve success in a career they feel most passionate about.
Whether you’re embarking on a new job or a new role in the same organization, remember to take baby steps to prevent being overwhelmed. Also, don’t forget to be patient along the way–your efforts will eventually pay off, more than you expect.
Did these inspire you to jumpstart your career shift? Let us know in the comments section below.
If you’re stuck or experiencing challenges in your quest for changing careers, click here to schedule a free Discovery session with Coach Margaret.
More About the Author
By Margaret Williams
Margaret is the CEO and founder of Intuitive Professional Coaching. She’s been coaching women by helping them discover their talents, develop these skills, and manage their stress levels to reach their fullest potential and live their dreams. She’s a Certified Associate Coach with the International Coach Federation and a Certified Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming. When she’s not coaching, Margaret reading, listening to music, or lounging at the beach.