Not Knowing What Career To Pursue


Tip : Evaluate Your Strengths And Skills

Don’t Know What Career You Want? Watch This! – Study Motivation

Once you have a general idea of your career path, take some time to figure out what skills you have and what skills you need. Remember, you’re not completely starting from scratchyou already have some skills to start. These skills are called transferable skills, and they can be applied to almost any field. Some examples include:

  • management and leadership experience
  • research and program planning

Tip #: Learn As Much As You Can

One mistake that people make when choosing a career path is planning out the perfect career without learning things that may be relevant.

Instead of just reading about new careers and the paths you could take, try out as many things as you can. Sign up for a class at your local college, or audit an online class, or follow a few tutorials in some fields of interest. By doing so, youll be able to get hands-on experience with different fields, which will help you better understand what to expect going forward.

You may realize, for example, that data science, while an interesting career path, involves too much mathematics for you. But, youll only be able to realize that if you spend some time learning about data science. Its much better to explore many options and fail at a few than to invest in one before you are ready.

The Career Planning Process


STEP 1: Self-Assessment

What you will do for a living depends a lot on who you are. This may sound obvious, but many people neglect considering this important side of selecting a career. You can avoid joining the ranks of people who are dissatisfied with their work by making a conscious effort to assess yourself. There is no way you can be absolutely certain that a career will meet all of your needs, but there are things you can do very easily that will help you learn more about who you are. Once mastered, techniques of self-assessment can be repeated throughout your life.

What is self-assessment? Essentially, it is a way to enhance self-understanding. It is being able to describe your unique characteristics clearly and accurately regarding what you do well , what is important to you , and what you like to do .

Since there is no better source of information about you than yourself, the easiest method of increasing self-understanding is to review and analyze your past and present experiences with a career counselor. Increasing your knowledge of your skills, values and interests will help determine the type of work which fits you best.


STEP 2: Career Exploration


STEP 3: Targeting

STEP 4: Career Preparation

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Tip #: Reflect On Your Old Jobs

Look forward to starting a new career instead of wondering why your last job didnt work out. Reflecting on your old jobs can give an idea of what it was that made you like or dislike the path you were on. This will give you more information about what you want in a new job.

Consider asking questions like the following:

  • What did you like most about your last employer?
  • What did you like least about your last employer?
  • What moments made you feel happiest at your last job?
  • What task made you excited to wake up in the morning?
  • What responsibilities did you enjoy taking on?
  • Which responsibilities did you feel were dragging your progress?

Reflecting on these questions will help you gain a better sense of what your current career is lacking. If you cant come up with good points from your last job, then that is a strong signal that you need to move on. But, if you can find a few good points, then you can use that information. This can help you decide what roles or responsibilities you may want to take on next in your career.

A Responsibility To Both Yourself And The World

Im a high school junior and I still dont know what major/career I ...

Its worth mentioning again that not everyone is fortunate enough to be able to pursue a career they love. There are real economic and social reasons why certain individuals do not have the same opportunities, and its important to be aware of this. Especially with respect to those in poverty, or who have grave health or psychological issues, the idea of finding their element often must be sacrificed to taking care of their material and physical needs.

However, there are some who do have the opportunity to find a career they love but dont do so for reasons that have to do with fear, peer pressure, a lack of willingness to take healthy risks, or complacency. Although not everyone may have the ability to stop working in their current role, many do have the time and capacity to begin transitioning incrementally. This might require going back to school, having less free time, getting up earlier in the morning, and losing weekends, but if finding a career you love is important and for many it is then these sacrifices are usually worth it.

Wolf made a career change himself after 15 years of working in executive recruiting because he felt there was something else that was a better fit for him.

Rios is highlighting the reality of circumstances that can make career transition hard, but still urging the need to consider ways of transitioning slowly over time.

Rios points to the need to be aware of the dangers of feeling like your current career isnt a good fit as well.

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Occupation Categories And Job Examples

The BLS views occupation in terms of 23 categories that are used to determine data about the occupational outlook and career growth in America. Those categories are listed on their website as follows. In the next section, well look at the categories and provide an example of a job and salary for each. All salary projections are based on a 40-hour workweek:

Essential Questions To Ask Yourself When Choosing A Career

Your career has a big impact on your future. It will shape your identity, personal fulfilment, lifestyle, income, family and retirement. Dont let the opinions or expectations of others sway your decision making. Ultimately, your career choice is solely yours. In this article we explain how to decide on a future job and what factors to consider when weighing up the options so that you make the best informed decision for your future.

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It Motivates You To Gain Knowledge And Experience

While you explore your options, make the most of every opportunity to talk to friends or family members who already do the jobs youre interested in.

If you dont know anyone, forge a few relevant connections on LinkedIn, follow companies youd like to work for on social media, network with their employees and join industry Facebook groups where you can ask for tips and advice.

Once you have some idea of the direction youre heading in, its also worth gaining practical experience.

Short internships and volunteering opportunities here or abroad could help to narrow down your choices, as well as looking great on your CV.

Reasons Why You Can’t Decide On A Career Path

How Do I Know What Career to Pursue?
  • Careers, Professionalism & U

Cant decide on a career path? Register for our free webinar How To Choose A Career Path When You Have No Idea What To Do on Thursday, April 6th at 1pm to find out how to get a jump start on your career.

Whether youre a senior in college or youve been out of school for a few years now, choosing a career path can be challenging if you go about it the wrong way. If youre having trouble figuring out what you want to do with your life, chances are, one of these things is holding you back. Here are some reasons why you cant decide on a career path:

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What Are My Interests

The activities you enjoy doing in your free time can give you insights into the careers that would be satisfying and fulfilling for you. To figure out your interests, ask yourself:

  • What hobbies do I enjoy?
  • Do I prefer spending time indoors or outdoors?
  • Do I enjoy working with people, animals, data or books?
  • What activities would I miss the most if I could no longer do them?

What Is An Occupation

Jennifer Herrity is a seasoned career services professional with 12+ years of experience in career coaching, recruiting and leadership roles with the purpose of helping others to find their best-fit jobs. She helps people navigate the job search process through one-on-one career coaching, webinars, workshops, articles and career advice videos on Indeed’s YouTube channel.

This article has been approved by an Indeed Career Coach

There are several terms employers use when talking about someones professional experience. With so many ways to talk about experience, its important to clearly understand the word “occupation” so you can speak about yours clearly and accurately.

In this article, we discuss what an occupation is and how it differs from other forms of professional experience. We also provide examples of occupations and associated jobs.

Also Check: The Highest Paid Career In The World

Tips For Choosing Which Career Is Right For You

Making big decisions about your career may influence your life for many years, so it’s important to take them seriously. If you’re still hearing yourself say ‘I don’t know what job I want’, see these ten tips below that might help you narrow down your career options and figure out which job could be just right for your personality and skills:

Prioritize Your Wants And Needs

Should I Go to College if I Dont Know What Career to Pursue?

Your wants and needs represent your professional and personal ideals for your work and life. Your future career will provide you with compensation and certain benefits, and it’s likely to take up a considerable portion of your time. Make a list of things like salary, benefits, personal contentment, the ability to affect change and the opportunity for internal or professional growth.

Look at that list and write down what you need in terms of each item and what your ideal is for each. Then rearrange the list so that the elements are in order from most to least important. Compare this list with the research that you conducted for each of the potential career options you are considering.

Related: How to Prioritize Tasks in the Workplace

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Ask Your Friends And Family

Trusted friends and family members can help you identify what you’re naturally good at and which careers they consider a good match for you. The ideas and assumptions you have about yourself may be quite different from their interpretations. They may also have perspectives and ideas you hadn’t considered.

Consider A Wide Range Of Careers

Although many people gravitate toward professions like lawyer, doctor, accountant or teacher, you might benefit from considering less common opportunities. For instance, if you’re interested in healing or animals, you could consider a career in hippotherapy, which involves using horses in the treatment of patients with physical or neurological disabilities. Or you could look at becoming a veterinary acupuncturist, which involves the use of acupuncture in the treatment of animals.

To find out what options exist, browse online career databases for occupations in fields that sustain your interest. You can also chat with people who are working in those fields to ask them what they enjoy about their work and how they came to the profession.

Related:60 Alternative Jobs for Lawyers

Also Check: Free Printable Career Interest Inventory

Dog Walker And Animal Care Specialist

The closest thing weve found on salary information for this one is $22,070 source: Readers Digest but if you live in a bigger city of 300,000 or more people, the job can be very lucrative thanks again to the all-cash nature of the business. It also gives you a chance to handle and care for pets, and if youre an animal lover, thats a dream come true. Plus, for dog walkers especially, you get to exercise while you work. How cool is that?

Career Path Step Worksheet

I Don’t Know How To Choose A Career

As a high school senior, choosing a career may seem like a monumental task it is one which many people dont even begin to address until their late 20s or 30s. Given the considerable expense of a four-year college education today, however, it is an important decision to try to make before embarking on your post-high school journey.

What does a career pursuit look like? A student identifies a passion or skill set to be developed, or an end game in terms of a future job, and then determines the steps needed to be successful on this path . Banker, welder, small business owner, electrician, lawyer, machinist, consultant, automotive tech, carpenter. These are all obviously careers, with different paths associated with them.

What, on the other hand, does it look like to simply get a degree? A student is undecided about a future career path, believes that a bachelors degree is a requirement for future success, and enters a four-year institution with the hope that a career will be discovered prior to graduation and a decent job not long after.

Many high school seniors know they wish to pursue a career in advertising, banking, or law, all of which typically require a bachelors degree before obtaining ones first job in these fields. For these students, it is a wise career decision to go directly from high school to a traditional four-year college to obtain a bachelors or equivalent degree.

Minnesota graduation rates: U.S. Department of Education

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I Feel Overwhelmed With Career Options And Don’t Know What I Want To Do

Many students and new graduates feel the same way its very common! The job market for new graduates is very open, with around 70-80% of graduate level jobs open to any degree background. Whilst thats great, it doesnt help you decide. Its useful to consider the following:

  • Theres no wrong answer, this isnt a test. Its about finding what fits for you
  • Your first job after university is just a first step, not a 20 year plan. Most peoples careers evolve over time.
  • Many graduates change jobs in the first year after leaving university. So making a choice now doesn’t mean you are closing down all your options.
  • Its perfectly ok to try something out that sounds interesting, then change direction as you learn whats out there and what you enjoy

Practical steps you can take

Try these resources:

Tip : Manage Your Career Transition

Pace yourself and don’t take on too much at once. Career change doesn’t happen overnight, and it is easy to get overwhelmed with all the steps to successfully make the transition. However, you will get there with commitment and motivation. Break down large goals into smaller ones, and try to accomplish at least one small thing a day to keep the momentum going.

Ease slowly into your new career. Take time to network, volunteer, and even work part-time in your new field before committing fully. It will not only make for an easier transition, but you will have time to ensure that you are on the right path and make any necessary changes before working full-time in your new field.

Take care of yourself. You might be feeling so busy with the career transition that you barely have time to sleep or eat. However, managing stress, eating right, and taking time for sleep, exercise, and loved ones will ensure you have the stamina for the big changes ahead.

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Explore Career Options On Your List

Once youâve come up with some career ideas that sound interesting, follow the next steps to help you explore each option.

1. Use job search sites. LinkedIn, Indeed, and Monster are just a few sites dedicated to posting job openings. As you peruse roles available in your area, read more about the responsibilities for each one. Highlight the job titles that sound like a good fit.

Helpful questions:

  • Does the job meet my needs and many of my preferences?

  • Does this career align with my values?

  • Will I accomplish one of my short-term or long-term goals with it?

  • What does it feel like to think about these career options?

2. Cross-reference company reviews. Use Glassdoor or other sites to learn more about a particular company youâre considering, or conduct more general research on the industry in which theyâre situated. Pay attention to any current issues being discussed in that industry.

3. Set up informational interviews. If youâve found a role at a specific company that sounds interesting, look to see if you have any connections you can ask for an informational interview. If you want to find more general information about a role, look for any connections you haveâor connections of connectionsâwho are currently doing that work. Asking about a career before you pursue one can help you gather useful information.

What Is The Best Major To Choose If I Dont Know What Career I Want To Pursue Yet

Now I know what I want to pursue for my career

Its easy to get caught up in the anxiety of the unknown. Most people are more comfortable when major life decisions are settled, and when things are up in the air, it can feel worrisome. Our suggestion? Relax. College is about the whole experience, and you have your entire life to decide what you want to be when you grow up!

Many students enter school undeclared, and at most colleges, you dont have to declare your major until youre in your junior year. If youre ready for the college experience, but you dont know what you want to study, you can get a head start by getting core requirements out of the way first. If you absolutely must choose a major, the following options are broad enough so you can begin exploring:

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