How To Figure Out What Career You Want In 2024 (10 Steps)

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Choosing the right career is a momentous decision that shapes the course of our lives. 

Yet, amidst the vast array of possibilities, it can be challenging to discern the path that truly resonates with our passions, strengths, and ambitions. 

If you find yourself grappling with the question, “What career do I want?” then fear not. 

This article will guide you on a transformative journey of self-discovery and help you uncover the career that aligns perfectly with your unique essence.

We will embark on an exploration of your interests, values, and aspirations, unraveling the mysteries that lie within. 

By engaging in this process, you will gain clarity, confidence, and a sense of purpose as you move closer to discovering the career that resonates with your true self.

So, let’s quickly embark on this transformative journey and unlock the secrets of discovering the career path that ignites your passion and fulfills your potential.

TLDR:

  • The most crucial step to choosing a suitable career for you is self-assessment. Make a proper list of careers that match your skills and interests.
  • Research your list of careers and narrow down the list by considering every aspect, like key responsibilities, pay scale, and future opportunities.
  • Once your “short-list” is ready, pick a career field, determine your goals, and build an action plan to follow those goals. 

How To Choose A Right Career: 10 Easy Steps

The career path you choose often ends up defining who you are as an individual.

It is seen that an average person spends over one-third of their life working, so no wonder that many individuals seek the right career path that is the best for them.

Choosing a career ultimately means knowing and learning about yourself, your interests, and your goals.

Following are the steps that will help you to follow and choose your career path.

1. Self Assessment

The first and most important step is to assess yourself. 

Well, choosing a career is no different. It is important that you must learn about yourself first.

By examining your interests, you can make it easy to list potential career paths to pursue.

 How To Figure Out What Career You Want - Overview

You can simply identify the strong skills and key interests you have and move further to choose a career path. 

For instance, if communication is the key skill you have, then you can consider careers in public relations or marketing. Similarly, if you are interested in computing and coding, then there are a wide range of career paths to choose from, including software development, web development, etc. 

So yes, considering a career that aligns with your strengths and skills can maximize your potential in the workplace.

Here are some of the questions that you can ask yourself to assess yourself:

  • What do you enjoy learning about?
  • What are your priorities in life?
  • What does success mean to you?
  • What are your strength and weaknesses?
  • Which of your skills are you most proud of?

2. Research

By researching each field, you can have detailed knowledge about the career you want to pursue.

Once you have a good understanding of your interests and strengths, start researching various careers that match your profile. 

Research

Look for information on job responsibilities, required qualifications, salary prospects, work environments, and growth opportunities. 

Make a list of careers that pique your interest and align with your skills and values.

3. Seek Guidance And Information

Speak with professionals who are already working in the fields that interest you. 

They can offer valuable insights and firsthand knowledge about the day-to-day realities of those careers. 

Additionally, consult career counselors, mentors, or advisors who can provide guidance and help you explore your options further. Utilize online resources, attend career fairs, and consider informational interviews to gather more information.

4. Explore Industries

Try exploring the industries related to your career. Researching different industries may help you find out if that career is a good fit or not.

This will help you to understand the trends in these industries, major roles, projected growth, and career trajectories. 

This research might also help you to build your professional network and connections with industry experts.

5. Consider Education and Training

Evaluate the educational requirements and training programs associated with the careers you are considering. 

Determine if you must pursue a specific degree, certification, or specialized training to enter those fields. 

Consider Education and Training

Research reputable institutions or training providers that offer programs relevant to your chosen career path.

6. Test The Waters

Sometimes, gaining practical experience in a field can help you make an informed decision. Consider internships, part-time jobs, or volunteer opportunities in industries or organizations related to your potential career choices. 

Such experiences can provide valuable insights into the day-to-day work, challenges, and rewards of a particular profession.

7. Determine Your Goals

Based on your research, self-assessment, and practical experiences, narrow down your list of potential careers. 

Set clear and realistic goals for your career path, including short-term and long-term objectives. Prioritize your options based on factors such as personal satisfaction, growth opportunities, and alignment with your values and goals.

8. Create A Career Action Plan

With a refined list of potential careers and a clear set of goals, it’s time to take action. 

Create a plan of action that outlines the necessary steps to achieve your chosen career. 

Create A Career Action Plan

This may include pursuing further education, gaining relevant work experience, networking, or attending industry events. Break down your plan into manageable tasks and timelines to stay focused and motivated.

9. Continue Learning And Growing

Remember that career choices are not set in stone. As you gain more experience and explore different opportunities, you may discover new interests or realize that your initial choice needs adjustment. 

Remain open to change, adapt to evolving circumstances, and continue refining your career path as you grow personally and professionally.

Most In-Demand Careers

Many career paths are trending nowadays. Some careers are very new and are becoming popular among young students. For instance, careers in software engineering, Air-traffic controllers, etc.

Some of the most in-demand jobs include areas like: 

  1. Technology: The technology industry is increasing rapidly, with a high demand for highly skilled employees in fields like data science, software development, and cybersecurity. 

The average pay earned by employees working in the technological industry is around $131,490 for a master’s degree.

  1. E-commerce: Online shopping is the most emerging trend these days; it led to the growth in various trends and careers in e-commerce fields. 

The most trending jobs in the e-commerce field are web designing, digital marketing, social media marketing, and customer service.

The average pay for individuals in the e-commerce field is around $29,500 

  1. Education: Education is also gaining popularity among young applicants. There are many high-paying jobs available for teachers, education administrators, and instructional designers.
  1. Healthcare: The healthcare and IT sector has seen tremendous growth in recent years. This career requires skilled professionals in fields like medical assistants, healthcare administration, IT supporters, and nursing. 
  1. Renewable energy: Renewable energy is also getting crucial and important with a growing demand for professional employees in fields like wind turbine maintenance, energy efficiency consulting, and solar panel installation.

Career Aptitude Tests

To help you out, we have researched the best careers assessments tests and personality tests that you can take. These can help you to identify which occupational fields and career paths that might help you live your best professional life.

Free Career aptitude tests:

  1. What career is right for me?: career aptitude test
  2. CareerExplorer: career test
  3. Assessment.com: MAPP Career Test
  4. CareerFitter.com: work personality analysis
  5. MyPlan.com: various tests
  6. Self-Directed Search
  7. Truity: The Big Five Personality Test

Mistakes To Avoid When Choosing A Career Path

There might be a case that you make a mistake that can affect your decision and future while choosing a perfect career path.

Nobody wants to waste time and energy on a job that they really don’t care too much about. A lot of factors can lead to such a situation, including wrong career advice, lack of information, and bad decision-making.

So to overcome the odds, here I have mentioned some of the common mistakes to avoid when choosing a career path.

  1. Not considering your passions or interests: This is the biggest mistake you can make while choosing a career path. Not considering your interests and passions can lead to wrong decisions.  Ultimately, value is essential for job satisfaction and success. So it is necessary to consider your interest in the first place so that you can choose the right career that aligns with your personal goals.
  1. Focusing only on benefits and salary: Even though salary and benefits are important factors, they should not be the primary factors when choosing a career path. You should also consider growth opportunities, job satisfaction, and other factors to make the right decision.
  1. Not seeking advice or professional guidance: Not having proper knowledge about the career can be risky. So it is important to have guidance from mentors, professionals, and others who have experience in the field. With such a guide, you will be able to make an informed decision about your career.
  1. Being afraid to try new things: It is essential to explore and try new things related to your career before making a final decision. This can help you to get valuable experience and insight that can inform your decision.
  1. Not conducting thorough research: Another mistake to avoid is rushing while deciding. Avoiding thorough research on job markets and industries can be a huge mistake. 

So, make sure you perform detailed research regarding your career objective and goals.

How To Prepare For Career Switch

If you are planning to switch careers, then it is important to prepare yourself for the transition.  

Here are some tips to consider while preparing for a career change.

  1. Assess your experience and skills: The first step is to have a look at the skills and experience you have to identify the potential career paths that align with your abilities. 
  1. Conduct research: You can perform detailed research on various industries and job markets to identify the trending career paths and opportunities in the various fields.

You can talk to professionals in a particular field, attend job fairs and make use of online resources.

  1. Gain necessary skills: You can gain and work on essential skills for the career that you are planning to switch. There is a huge variety of online courses available on various online learning platforms like Coursera, Udemy, Codecademy, LinkedIn Learning, etc.

These courses will definitely help you to sharpen your skills and become industry ready with self-paced courses.

  1. Build your online presence: Creating your online presence is an effective way to step your toe into a different career path. It helps you to build a strong professional network and impression. 

With your impressive online profile, you can reflect your skills and stand out to potential employers.

With the above-mentioned tips and tricks, you can easily plan to consider switching your career and gaining skills.

Related Read:

Final Thoughts: How To Figure Out What Career You Want (2024)

The pursuit of finding a career that truly aligns with your passions, skills, and aspirations is a deeply personal and transformative journey. Throughout this article, we have explored the essential steps and strategies to help you figure out what career you want. 

From self-reflection exercises to practical exploration techniques, I have provided you with the tools to unlock your career potential.

You can take time to understand yourself, actively explore possibilities, and remain adaptable; you will be well-equipped to navigate the ever-changing landscape of career choices. 

So, go forth with determination, and may this journey lead you to a career that ignites your passion and fulfills your potential.

Adam Cheise
Latest posts by Adam Cheise (see all)

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