If you’re still in high school or college, you are probably beginning to think about what your interests and passions are, and trying to determine what profession you would like to pursue.
But how does one find the right career?
Nowadays, many people in the States are stuck working something they don’t really enjoy, feeling stressed and burned out. Research has shown that more than 65% of females and nearly 86% of males in the US work over 40 hours a week. And considering the fact that the average person spends over 90k hours of their life at work, it’s impossible to ignore the fact that work has a significant influence on our personal life, health, and happiness.
Here are a few essential things that can help find the right career for your personality type.
1.0 Take Personality Tests
Personality tests can help you choose the right industry, especially if you are still in a learning or discovery phase.
If you are not familiar with the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, it is a personality test that results in a 4-letter representation of your character. Each of the letters corresponds to a personality aspect:
Introvert vs. Extravert (I vs. E)
Sensing vs. Intuition (S vs. N)
Thinking vs. Feeling (T vs. F)
Judging vs. Perceiving (J vs. P)
With 2 options for each of the 4 characters, there’s a total of 16 Myers-Briggs types.
Some employers ask candidates to take an MBTI test as part of the application process, but even if they don’t, it might be useful to take the test to determine your personality type and figure out the best industry fit.
Of course, keep in mind that the I in MBTI stands for ‘indicator’. Your MBTI personality type doesn’t define you, but it can serve as a guide in your next job search, helping you identify jobs that would be most rewarding for you.
2.0 Do Some Self-Reflection
Getting to know yourself is definitely one of the smartest (and easiest) ways to choose the right career. Think about what you have to offer in comparison to other applicants. What makes you stand out? We all have different talents, so don’t be afraid to emphasize those unique traits.
Spend some time shadowing various industries, try new experiences, and consider working with a mentor who could help you in defining your personal brand.
3.0 Consider Internships and Volunteering
Still don’t know where to start when it comes to choosing the right career? Then, you should consider interning and volunteering. This is a great way to work in different roles and gain valuable experiences without long-term commitments.
An internship can help you mention something notable in your resume and distinguish you from the masses. In addition, it gives you a glimpse of a real-work environment. Interns are commonly assigned to work on real projects and gain real job hierarchy, pressure, time-management, which can be an invaluable experience. Finally, during an internship, you’ll be able to widen your professional network.
Volunteering, on the other hand, isn’t something you’re required to do, so it allows you to gain valuable experience and knowledge without too much pressure. You can always change where you volunteer and manage your time the way it suits you while discovering new job opportunities. Not to mention, volunteering is a great way to help others and give back to society.
4.0 Work with a Mentor
Mentorship is crucial for developing and sustaining a satisfying career and improving your professional life. Finding a mentor is a vital part of any thriving career, at all stages.
A mentor can bring valuable guidance and boost by giving you both positive and constructive feedback, helping you to understand and focus on what it is you want, holding you to account, and letting you access a wider network. In addition, when working with a mentor, you get a chance to work with a role model and learn from someone else’s mistakes and successes.
If you decide to give mentorship a go, you’ll need to make sure you’ve chosen the right person. A mentor should be someone whose talent and advice you respect, but also someone you can trust so that you can be open about the things that concern you. Try meeting with several people to find out if you connect. You could also try LinkedIn Career Advice, a feature that helps connect members across the network for lightweight mentorship opportunities.
5.0 Networking Events and Hobbies
Finally, find some time for your hobbies and attend networking events.
People who have hobbies are more likely to meet people in the same field, which can lead to numerous opportunities. If you decide to take classes, you will find that besides new skills, learning can also connect you with the right people who could help you with your career.
When it comes to networking events, there are several types, both formal and informal, which will help you expand the number of contacts: career fairs, job club meetings, professional conferences, college alumni programs, etc. All of these events share the same goal of connecting you with people who can help you career-wise.
When you’re pursuing a career, it’s important to learn as much as possible and obtain various opinions. Besides the above-mentioned ideas, you should also consider speaking to a career counselor. Many career coaches and universities can offer guidance to assist you with the right career choice. Remember, 90k hours of your life is a long time, so you need to make sure you’ve chosen a profession where you will thrive.