Maybe you’re a college freshman thinking about majors. Maybe you’re a middle-aged professional who’s tiring of the cubicle. Whatever your reasons for wanting to choose or switch careers, here are just a few things to consider as you contemplate your future.
1. Make a List of Your Strengths and Weaknesses
Are you chronically late? Do you crumble during high-pressure situations? How important to you is making a lot of money? Do you want to be in charge of other people, or do you thrive when working alone? Write down these strengths and weaknesses on a sheet of paper and be honest about them. No one is going to see your list but you and accurate self-reflection can help you nail down the perfect career path.
2. Do Your Research
A lot of people look at things like “average salary” and “required education” and make their career decisions right away. Before you commit to something based on how quickly you can get out of school, however, do some research about the job’s long-term prospects. How much is the industry projected to grow in the next 10 years? How much will your salary increase over time? What kind of technology will you need to keep up with, and do you honestly think that you’ll do so?
3. Become a Shadow
You can’t know what a career is truly like until you’ve experienced it for yourself. Thankfully, you don’t have to wait for job openings to get a behind-the-scenes look at certain employment opportunities. You can enjoy the same experience by interning, interviewing or just “shadowing” people who work in your chosen industry. They’ll show you what their workday is really like, and you can make an informed decision about whether that’s something that interests you. If it’s not, you can pick a new career and try again.
These are just a few tips for figuring out what you really want to do. Whether you’re interested in a humble retail job or a big, splashy career with civil engineering consultants Seattle, use these suggestions to build a foundation for future success.