Even when it seems like there are so many options, choosing a career can be such a headache. However, fortunately, we no longer live in a world where you have to have it all figured out by the time you’re 18.
So here are five ideas to help you figure out what kind of career you want:
1. What are your values?
Think about any causes that you’re interested in or have been involved with. For example, you may have a strong interest in ethical food, healthy living, or environmental issues. What sort of industries are closely aligned with your core values?
2. What is your greatest weakness?
In an interview, there’s a very good chance you’ll be asked a question along the lines of ‘what’s your greatest weakness?’. This can be a tricky one to answer on the spot, and the worst mistake you can make (when answering the weakness question) is saying that you ‘work too hard’ or that you can’t think of any weaknesses.
Think about what kind of response you’d give to this question. Does the weakness matter in the industry you’ve chosen? Could it be a potential strength, perhaps? For example, if you admit that you like to chat a lot at work, this might be a problem in some sectors with a more conservative working culture. However, in other workplaces it may not such a big problem, as the working culture might be much more sociable and informal.
3. What’s your personality type?
Consider taking a free personality test online such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, which will assign you one of 16 personality types. This could help give you some clues as to which jobs/industries you might be best suited to.
As an example, if you scored ISTJ (Introversion + Sensing + Thinking + Judging), you could be a great match for jobs that require good analytical skills, detail-oriented thinking and conscientiousness, such as research-intensive jobs. However, an ENFP score (Extraversion + Intuition + Feeling + Perceiving) might mean you’re better suited to jobs requiring a lot of imagination, enthusiasm and spontaneity, such those in the creative industry.
4. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Do you prefer to spend your spare time socialising with friends or curling up with a good book? Or perhaps a bit of both? Have you always been interested in politics and business, or would you prefer to spend your free time researching the latest fashion or fitness trends?
5. What’s your favourite work style?
Would you feel more comfortable working on your own or within a team for most of the day? If you love to meet new people and prefer to work collectively to achieve goals, a career in hospitality management could be the perfect fit. Voluntary work and internships can also help you get a feel for different working environments so you can figure out what feels right for you.
Remember – you can always switch careers.
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