How to Choose the Perfect Career When You Have No Idea What to Do

by Marianne Stenger
Posted: October 21, 2015

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Whether you’re new to the workforce or are looking for a new challenge, choosing a career is no easy task. But here are a few tips for choosing a career path that will suit your unique personality, skills and preferences.

1. Narrow down your options

Even if you don’t know exactly you want to do, you probably already have an idea of what you like or dislike, and this can help you narrow down your options.

Perhaps you enjoy travelling but dislike working in heavily structured environments, or maybe you don’t like big cities and the idea of working remotely appeals to you. All these little personal preferences can help lead you toward your perfect career.

Start by making a list of likes and dislikes; do you like working with others or on your own? Do you value structure or flexibility? Is working outdoors something you’d enjoy? Once you’ve written down as many things as you can think of in both categories you’ll already have a clearer picture of which careers you’d be best suited to.

2. Research career prospects and trajectory

A girl is on laptop and wondering how to choose the perfect career, but she has no idea what to do

Even if a certain career would be a good fit for you based on your personality and preferences, you need to consider all the facts before making a decision, such as how easy it will be to find a job in your chosen area and what sort of compensation you can expect.

You should also consider the career trajectory and what your role might look like five or ten years down the line. Ask yourself if you would still enjoy the job if you ended up managing people and had less time to create and produce things or work directly with customers. Also look at what sort of promotions you can expect over the coming years and whether you’ll have a chance to grow and expand your skill set.

3. Get some practical experience

Experiencing a career firsthand is the quickest way to determine whether or not it’s a good fit, and having some practical experience can also make you more employable once you begin your job search.

If you’re still in school, work experience placements and internships will give you a chance to try out certain jobs and industries, but even if you’re already working you can gain practical experience by volunteering or taking a course that allows you to develop new skills and make valuable contacts in the industry you’re interested in.

4. Take a career personality quiz

If you’re having a hard time narrowing down your options, taking our career personality quiz can help you figure out which career areas would best suit your unique skills and personal preferences.

Keep in mind that there are no right or wrong answers, as everyone is different and has their own strengths. The main point of the quiz is to help you get inspired about potential new career opportunities and make a well-informed decision about your future.

 

Marianne Stenger

Marianne Stenger

Marianne Stenger is a London-based freelance writer and journalist with extensive experience covering all things learning and development. She’s particularly interested in the psychology of learning and how technology is changing the way we learn. Her articles have been featured by the likes of ABC Education, The Huffington Post, Lifehacker, and Psych Central. Follow her on Twitter @MarianneStenger.

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