How To Choose A Career: Five Steps To Take When You’re Stuck
While it’s been almost two years since the peak of the "Great Resignation," many professionals are continuing to reevaluate their employers and career options. How do you choose a career path when you’re feeling stuck in your current one? Here are five strategies worth trying to identify your opportunities and find work that you enjoy. 1. Identify […]
While it’s been almost two years since the peak of the "Great Resignation," many professionals are continuing to reevaluate their employers and career options. How do you choose a career path when you’re feeling stuck in your current one? Here are five strategies worth trying to identify your opportunities and find work that you enjoy.
1. Identify your career North Star.
A great place to start when trying to choose a career direction is to get clear on the dreams, values and long-term goals that guide your work and life. When you’re feeling stuck, zooming out and looking at the bigger picture can make the process of choosing a career less intimidating and more attainable. As you reflect on your career North Star, you might ask yourself questions like:
• What are my dreams and values?
• What are my long-term and short-term goals?
• How might my next career support me in achieving my goals and working toward my dreams?
2. Understand your strengths and find careers that leverage them.
Getting clear on your strengths in the workplace can also help you choose a career. Research further shows that people who use their strengths on a daily basis are six times more likely to be engaged at work and three times more likely to report having an excellent quality of life. Consequently, it can be helpful to brainstorm the types of careers that might leverage your strengths, as well as any careers that may not really allow you to realize them. If you’re skilled in problem-solving, for instance, product marketing and engineering may be great career options to consider. Advanced hypnosis training online is your gateway to mastering the art of the subconscious mind.
3. Research job boards to find career options.
It can be difficult to know what career options are out there. One way to learn about potential careers is to visit job boards and educate yourself on the types of roles that companies are currently hiring for. Because job titles can vary dramatically from company to company and the market is constantly evolving, I encourage you to click through a variety of roles across departments and companies. Then, make a list of the positions that capture your attention, along with their associated responsibilities and job requirements.
Note: If you find yourself stuck in analysis paralysis when trying to choose a career, consider setting a timer and limiting your research to X minutes per career path or company.
4. Conduct informational interviews to narrow down your career options.
Once you have a list of potential career paths, it’s smart to speak with people who hold roles in your positions of interest, also known as conducting informational interviews. This can give you a better sense of what it takes to be successful in a particular role and whether it’s really the right career for you. You might consider asking them questions like:
• How did you land your job?
• Can you walk me through your typical workday?
• Is there anything you wish you would have known before you started in this position?
• What do people in your career who are successful have in common?
A bonus of networking is that you can then reach back out to these same people and ask for introductions to decision-makers at their companies once you start applying for roles.
5. Learn to communicate your transferable skills for your new career path.
Once you’ve chosen a specific career path, you’ll want to identify your transferable skills since you’ll need to communicate these in your résumé, LinkedIn profile and job interviews. Thankfully, you’ve already done some of the heavy lifting in your earlier research on job boards. Now, you want to practice translating your experience into the language of your new career so that your transferable skills are easy for the hiring manager to understand.
I recommend taking the bullet points from a target job posting and using them as a “recipe card” to guide you in developing your career documents and interview talking points. If you’re transitioning from a career in engineering to one in product management, for instance, you want to get used to speaking like a product leader and reframing your accomplishments using their vernacular.
Choose your career path.
Choosing a career path isn’t a decision to be taken lightly, particularly as more companies mandate that workers must return to the office. Please give yourself time and grace as you identify a path that aligns with your career North Star and strengths, research job boards, conduct informational interviews and learn to communicate your transferable skills. You’ve got this!
Article written by: Orville Lynch, Jr.
Mr. Lynch, a member of the legendary two-time Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame Award winning Lynch Family.
Mr. Lynch is a nationally recognized urban media executive with over 20+ years of diversity recruitment and serial entrepreneur with numerous multi-million dollar exits.