When your alarm rings to tell you to get ready for work in the morning, how do you feel? If you’re like more than half of Americans, then you might not feel great. Studies have shown that 44% of workers consider their jobs to be average, while 16% consider them to be bad. 

Whether you’re about to enter the workforce or are looking for a career change, many people are unclear on how to choose a career path they’ll enjoy that pays the bills. 

If you’re wondering, “how do you choose a career?” keep reading to learn about some different tips that will make the process easier. 

Play to Your Strengths 

When you were a student, what classes did you excel at? What subjects did you do well in without trying having to try?

When choosing a career path, it’s a good idea to play to your strengths. Think about what comes easy to you, and look for jobs in that field. If you’re a math wiz, why not consider a job as an accountant? If you’re a natural leader, a job in politics might be up your alley. 

You can also ask friends or coworkers what they think your strong points are. Asking people to help identify your interpersonal, technical, and management skills can be a great way to point you in the right direction. 

Remember Your Interests

As mentioned, too many people spend time working at jobs they don’t like. At the very least, make sure that you don’t mind doing the job that you choose. In the best-case scenario, you’ll enjoy going to work each day.

Try to think of hobbies that you enjoy, as well as past volunteer and work experiences. Which tasks did you find enjoyable? Which subjects have you studied that made you eager to learn more?

Do you find a subject interesting, but don’t know how to learn more about it? Try taking a course at a local university. You can also take an online course from a site such as Udemy. This can help give you a better sense of whether or not you could see yourself working in a particular field. 

Take a Personality Test

If you don’t know which career path to gravitate towards, consider taking a personality test. These tests assess which type of person you are, then provide you with recommendations for career paths that you might enjoy doing and be good at.

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is one popular quiz that many businesses and individuals use. It features a set of introspective questions that help classify you based on four dichotomies. Taking it will allow you to better understand your personality, as well as suitable jobs. 

You can also try the Keirsey Temperament Sorter. This is similar to the Myers-Briggs Indicator, but focuses more on temperaments and behaviors as opposed to personal preferences. Once you finish taking it, it’ll identify jobs that correlate with your temperament type. 

Understand the Education Requirements 

From PhDs to Bachelor’s degrees, most careers require some form of advanced education. It’s important to have a clear understanding of what those requirements are before applying to jobs, otherwise, you’ll end up wasting your time.

Most experts agree that today, your college major doesn’t matter that much. However, choosing a major that’s in line with your goals can help give you the skills you need to develop a solid foundation in that field.

Other jobs might not need any degree, but instead, require you to have some sort of certificate. Again, do your research beforehand to ensure that you’re a competitive candidate. 

Have a Career Plan

Once you have a career path in mind, it’s time to start laying out different career goals. These will help provide clarity, giving you something to work towards.

Look at other people who work in the field you want to get into. How many years did it take them to get where they are? Do you think getting there is a realistic goal to set for yourself? Can you go even further? 

Make sure that your goals are both ambitious and realistic. It’s no sense setting a goal that you can achieve without any difficulty, but you should also make sure that it’s doable. Once you set it, make a detailed plan on how you can get there. 

Consider Your Salary Goals

Money is unfortunately a thing, which means that you need to factor it into any career goals you make. 

Check out the average salary that companies offer for the position you’re after. Will that be enough to pay the bills? Will furthering your education allow you to make more? Asking yourself these sorts of common questions will help you get a job that pays enough.

If the job you want doesn’t pay as much as you’d like, see if you can find a balance between your interests and reality. Maybe it doesn’t make sense financially to try and become an artist, but what if you taught art out of your own studio?

Combining different fields can help you take home more money, while also letting you do what you enjoy. 

Wondering How to Choose a Career Path? Keep These Things in Mind

Like it or not, working is something that you can’t escape. Because of that, it’s important to work in a field that you’re passionate about. If you’re struggling to figure out how to choose a career path, consider the factors laid out in this guide to help make the process easier. 

Do you now have a better understanding of how to choose a career? Before you go and start making a five-year career plan, take a moment to check out some of our other blog posts for more guides and tips.