How to Choose a Career Path that Suits You

Due to continuous development and globalization, there are thousands of new career path opening up with numerous job opportunities. So how to choose the right career for you? If you are still undecided, we are here to help you with your journey to choosing a career. By following the steps below, you will learn more about yourself and be able to figure out which career path fits best for you.

Focusing on a specific career path at an early stage can help inform your professional growth decisions and keep you focused. You will need to do some personal reflections on your skills, interests, and career goals. Sticking with a career makes your life choices easier like, what university to attend, which job is ideal for you, and what city to buy a house.

This article will focus on identifying your essential skills and interests, matching those qualities to a potential job field, and starting a career.

How to Define “Career Path”?

A career path is defined as the education stages, job pathway, and adult-type you want to become. For Example, your career path helps you decide hat Degree to select, which then leads to deciding what jobs are ideal for you. It doesn’t mean that you cannot make life changes; many people change careers after a while.

You can Choose a Career Path with the following steps:

  • Self-reflection to learn about yourself
  • Make a list of possible careers
  • Choose your Top 5
  • Make your choice
  • Outline your goals
  • Create a career action plan
  • Start with your application
  • Continue further development and growth

Figuring out which career you should choose is not a sprint, rather than a marathon. It can take weeks or months to decide which way you would like to go, but it is essential to take your time to figure out what you truly want. However, with personal development changes, it is also common to reconsider your career path. The decision of a study field, a career path, a promotion, or downshifting – none of them need to be forever; the worst to happen is you will lose time and perhaps money. At least with these steps below, you can figure out your perfect career choice earlier.

Self-reflection to Learn About Yourself

Self-reflection refers to the active process of thinking about yourself, and it’s that simple. That is to say, you should analyze your thoughts, feelings, and actions deeply and question your personal goal behind them.

Time to ask these questions, What are your values and interests? Which soft skills define your traits? You can also review previous experience during your high school, university, internship, or part-time jobs. Where you happy back then? Which tasks were easy for you, and which did you like? What didn’t you like? Another great question you should ask yourself would be: If money or other practical limitations weren’t essential, what would you love to do in your life? With this question, you should never forget that it is not about skills or money if you are genuinely interested in one career path. Getting life satisfaction is important than chasing money.

If you feel like you are struggling with your journey to discovering your true career, you can seek professional help from career counselors or take some career tests first.

Make a List of Possible Career Choices

After you figured out your desires, interests, and skills, it is time to start your research on possible jobs. Write down all kinds of jobs that sound interesting to you. Be aware that the job title alone doesn’t always say much about the job. It is essential to get deeper into the search once you found something interesting. Some suggestions on how and where to identify careers are:

  • Through your Network:  You might have some friends or family members that work in these jobs? Engage them in a conversation about what it feels like working in these jobs.
  • Through industries: You have a keen interest in one particular industry? Search the industry and related jobs.
  • Through study programs: You want to study a specific program or already did? You can check which are possible careers or industries after graduation.
  • Through career fairs: Is there a career fair next by soon? Go! Here you have the ultimate chance to identify new companies and new careers add on. Furthermore, you can directly gather information through persons.

If you have finalized your list, make sure you checked all the requirements, qualifications and know about the key responsibilities in this job and promotion opportunities.

Choose your Top 5 Career Paths

By researching all your possible careers, you will identify one that sticks with you. That is why you should now cut down your list to your Top 5 careers. If there is any reason why this career is not desirable for you, cross it out. The career choices that do not match your expectations, experiences, and skills can easily cross out. Also, review your choices based on career growth and promotion opportunities. Those without promotion opportunities or those who offer lower salary rates will not make it to the list.

To prepare yourself for “the choice,” you can further research your Top 5 by talking with experts. Here you can use your given networks or even try to connect with people in your desired position on LinkedIn.

career path on a sign board

Make Your A Career Choice

Now it is time to make the final decision! You have researched a lot, and it should be clear by now which career is the best pick. Always choose the one that matches your desires, requirements, skills, and qualification the best. That Career path is the one that will make you happy and stay motivated. However, it is still acceptable if you reconsider your choices in your life again. Today, many people change their careers a few times during their life, and that is fine.

Outline Your Career Goals

Once you made that Career decision, you can think about long and short-term goals. What do you have to do in the next weeks, months, or five years to reach your career goal? In general, a long-term goal needs about 3 to 5 years to fulfill, while a short-term goal should be reachable between 6 months to 3 years. Think about which educational or practical training you need to attain to get promoted. Accumulate all information needed and then have a plan. Feel free to use an excel career tracker to be on top of issues. 

Create a Career Action Plan

Through mapping your goals in a spreadsheet, you create a career action plan. This plan can guide you and help you reach your goals and manage your time the most efficient way without getting lost. For instance, you should include application deadlines for workshops, requirements for training, or barriers that could step in your way. Investing your time into this career action plan can generate significant advantages later on and will save you a lot of time in the long run.

Start With a Job Application.

Finally, you can set the first step in your new career – the first application. By figuring out which career path you want to climb up, you can now start to search for your first job in this journey. For more detailed information on how to find a job, you can visit our job page.

Continue Further Development and Growth.

Keep up with the developments and changes in the work world and keep up. Your career action plan fixed your primary goals; however, strategies to reach them can change over the years, so keep your plan updated. Moreover, your own desired goals can change too, and this is normal. During the training, work, and also through external factors, personalities can change. Always be open to those changes. In today’s century, career paths aren’t linear anymore, like they were 20 years ago. Some people start their own business while working full time or part-time. 

We know making a career choice isn’t easy, but you should get over your fear and do it! There is only one way to success, and that is willpower. Keep in mind, if you have a keen interest in one specific career, skills and qualifications can be built up and that there is more than one right way to reach your career goals!