What Do I Want to Do?
Figuring out what you want to do for a living can be either the easiest or most difficult choice you make.
For those who are lucky enough to have a passion, there are books and websites that can guide you
toward careers that utilize that passion. For those who are more "jack of all trades, master of none,"
starting can be the hardest part.
Finding Your Passion
To try and come up with your career path, it may help to first look at your interests. If you have a couple of hours to yourself, what do you do?
What do you spend your money on? What do you look forward to? If money were no object, what would you want to do with it?
While you may not want to turn your hobbies into your career, knowing what appeals to you can help guide you toward an industry that would be appealing to you as well:
- Like to play video games? Try designing them.
- Like to read? Try teaching literature or writing.
- Like to paint? Try graphic design.
- Like playing a sport? Try physical therapy or sports medicine. Or look into coaching.
- Like to travel? Try being a travel agent or concierge.
Try a web graph (you can also find a template above under tools): take a blank piece of paper, write your hobby in the center, draw a circle around your hobby,
and draw lines from your hobby to any ideas you come up with. They don't have to make sense or be careers in
and of themselves, but they'll get you thinking and may help you come up with new ideas. As the web expands,
ideas that are only remotely related may guide you to new and interesting options.
Career Assessment Tests
Career assessment tests can also be a good starting point. By answering a bunch of questions, you come
up with a list of careers that may be a good fit. Your answers to the questions generate the list.
Even if the specific careers aren't appealing, going through the list can help focus your thoughts
and lead you in the right direction. Often the way you answer questions draws out your initial, gut
reaction, and this can be your truest self. Free and fee-based tests can be found online and elsewhere:
Local continuing education offices or colleges may also offer career assessment tests, such as the Myers-Briggs assessment.
Different careers will appeal to different personality types. Knowing your personality type, then, can lead you to an appealing career path for you. To find out your personality type,
you can take a personality test online. Here are a couple of sites to get you started:
Once you find your personality type, read the description. See if it accurately reflects your personality.
If so, check out the career ideas listed. Do they appeal to you? Does something related appeal to you?
Try It Out
These are all just starting points. Once you've narrowed down your options, learning more about the different
career ideas will help you figure out if it is, in fact, right for you. How do you do this?
- Take a class
- Get an internship
- Shadow someone in the field
- Interview others in the field
- Read books, articles, or interviews with others in the field
- Volunteer in a related area
- Join clubs or organizations affiliated with the profession
The more you learn before taking the leap, the better the chance that your chosen career will be a good fit.
Only you will know if the career path you choose is right for you.