How to find the best career path for you? It is a question that many people struggle with.
Weather forecasters can’t reliably predict the weather three days from now. How is a 22-year old supposed to pick the right career for the next 40-plus years? How about a 45-year-old who finds himself in an unfulfilling career and wants a change, but feels held back by indecision.
Most of us will contemplate a change in our career path at some point. It might be a conscious decision or an unexpected job loss that might be the genesis of a change. Either way, the thought of a new career path can be both exciting and daunting.
The major challenge that many people face, is deciding on a career path. We spend so much of our lives working. In fact, the average worker will spend 90,000 hours working over the course of his or her life. 90,000 hours! That is a lot of time to devote to a job you don’t love.
“Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
Heed his advice, and you’ll make those 90,000 hours of your life so much more enjoyable and rewarding!
Discover Your Dream Career
Have you ever been involved with an activity and found that the time just flew by — that you “lost time” because you became so engrossed in the task at hand?
How about an activity that made your energy level soar?
Do you have a hobby or some other activity that you do that you find deeply fulfilling because you feel like the work you are doing really “matters” and makes a positive difference in some way?
If you have experienced any or all of the above, you know what it would be like to find work aligned with your life purpose — work that you might define as your “calling” or the profession for which you are uniquely and ideally suited. While some people just “know” their ideal profession and calling, most people struggle to identify their best career path, often under the pressure to just make a living.
Certainly, your career goals need to be filtered through the business and economic realities of your life, but with some introspection and analysis, it is very possible to not only make a comfortable living but to do so in work that is aligned with your true professional calling and life purpose: following your ideal career path.
12 Questions to Help You Identify Your Ideal Career Path
The career coaching process to assist people in identifying a calling and developing a career plan is usually a multi-stage process that involves looking at your values, motivators, interests, knowledge, skills, abilities, experience, and more. While there are validated assessments to help you understand many of these factors, the vast majority of the career design process involves deep thought and introspection. The following 12 questions will get you started:
- What activities, subjects, causes, and/or hobbies am I passionate about?
- What activities, subjects, and hobbies did I enjoy doing as a child?
- When I was a child, what did I imagine I might want to do as a job someday?
- What activities am I doing when time just seems to fly by for me?
- What subjects do I enjoy reading about in my spare time?
- What types of things do I love doing in my spare time?
- Is there some activity or subject at which I am a “natural”?
- If I knew there was no way I would fail at it, what activity would I try (or do more of)?
- What activities, subjects, causes, and/or hobbies do I daydream about?
- What types of people do I want to be around?
- In what type of environment do I feel most comfortable?
- Is there a vision or a cause that you would devote your life to?
Did any themes emerge in your answers to these questions? Even if you haven’t precisely identified your calling and defined your dream career from this exercise, many people find important clues that help lead them on a path that eventually leads to an ideal profession.
Don’t give up on your pursuit. The feeling of fulfillment and contentment that comes from working in and making a living from a job that is your “calling” is well worth the time and effort.
If you need further support, consider working with a career coach through the interactive process of career design. The best career coaches can help you to connect to your passion and purpose and empower you to manage your own career in a job you love, while still making a comfortable income and living a balanced life.