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Helpful Tips on How to Choose a New Career

Updated on July 25, 2012

Choosing or Changing a Career?

We all choose or change careers at some point.

Are you young and trying to figure out what you're going to do with your life?

Have you been working "dead-end" jobs and now want to choose a real career that will satisfy you for the rest of your life?

Have you been successful in a career but now want to do something different and change careers?

When I was in high school, I knew right away what I wanted to do with my life. I wanted to become a therapist. So, I went to college (for 12 years, part-time) to obtain this goal. Some people know what they want to do, and some people don't. That's okay. There are many different types of occupations out there, so it can get overwhelming. For some folks, there are tons of jobs that sound interesting, but narrowing it down is the hard part. Some people are interested in jobs that they might not even be a "good fit" for.......and i don't mean in skills, but in personality traits. We all think some jobs sound interesting or "perfect", but could we really do them? Would we even want to?

I hope this information helps you find a career path that suits you best!!

Ask Your Friends & Family

Ask your friends and family what jobs they think you would be good for. You might be surprised what they say. Your friends and family pick up on personality traits, skills, and strengths you have that you might not realize you have or you either deny/down-play them. If someone suggests a career-type that seems far-fetched to you, ask them why they suggest it. Hearing the explanation might help you see yourself in their eyes.

You don't need to follow through with your friend's and families' suggestions, but you might get some good ideas and it's a good starting point.

Visit a Career Resource Center

Career Resource Centers have tons of valuable information on choosing careers, finding jobs, getting training, etc. They usually supply computers that you can use, and you can set-up a meeting with a staff person who can help you with any questions you may have. Career Resource Centers vary by state (and country), but you can usually find one in your area or at a local college/university.

Informational Interviewing

Informational Interviewing is a great way to get tons of valuable information about a job/career that you're interested in, while also being able to market yourself at the same time. It entails calling a company and asking to set-up an interview with an employee or manager who has a specific job that you want. The interview is for your benefit and allows you to ask them whatever questions you have about the job and/or company. Some people I know have actually gotten jobs this way.

Take an Assessment

There are a handful of reputable assessments out there that are designed to help you find a career path that is suitable for your aptitudes/skills, interests, and personality.

Career Ability Placement Survey (CAPS): This assessment is designed to test you on a multitude of aptitudes such as verbal reasoning, language usage, word knowledge, numerical ability, mechanical reasoning, spatial relations, perceptual speed and accuracy, and manual speed and dexterity. Based on your scores, there are lists of career options supplied to you in the assessment score-guide.

The Harrington - O'Shea: This assessment helps you figure out your abilities, your work values, your favorite school subjects, and your favorite career choices. After a short interest quiz, the assessment helps you determine occupations that fit your highest-rated interest clusters.

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI): This assessment is my favorite. Choosing words that seem appealing, and picking answers to questions that are closest to how we would feel or act, this assessment calculates a 4-letter code for your personality. You score under Extraversion or Introversion, Sensing or INtuition, Thinking or Feeling, and Judging or Perceiving. Each 4-letter code has a description of your basic personality. And each 4-letter code has occupations/careers that are best suited for them.

** These assessments usually cost money, and you should be able to find them on google. **

One of my Favorite Websites!

Google This: Occupational Outlook Handbook.

I am obsessed with this website. You can get information about any type of occupation, such as amount/type of schooling or training needed, average salary, what a typical day is like, etc. This website has saved my life numerous times.


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