Write down a list of moments in life when you’ve felt most satisfied with work — do you notice a pattern? Is there an underlying theme to the events where you’ve most been rewarded or congratulated for your time and effort? If so, you might already realize what your career would best be geared toward, although you might not be aware that you’ve realized it. Here are just a few questions to get you started down the path.
1. Have you ever been congratulated on your work with people?
Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you had to communicate with others, or quickly cooperate as a team? Maybe you were on a soccer team in high school, and led everyone toward a winning goal through your fast thinking and communication skills. Or maybe once in school you were able to explain a tough idea to a group of other students. Whatever the case may be, this might be a sign that you’d love a career that requires you to interact with others to solve problems. Jobs such as being an attorney or a teacher often involve crucial personality traits such as the ability to communicate and to bring people over to your side.
2. Does something you do for work not feel like work at all?
Sometimes in life work just feels like… well, work. We watch our clocks, we count the seconds until we’re done. This is true of many things in life that are necessary, and is not necessarily a bad thing. After all, no one likes cleaning the kitchen, but it’s best if we keep it clean.
But there might be other sources of effort that just come naturally, so that when you check the time you wonder where it’s all gone to. Maybe you were assigned a drawing project at school, and couldn’t wait to turn it in. Or maybe you were asked to participate in a school play and found the experience to be the highlight of your year.
3. What subjects did you enjoy in school?
Have you ever noticed in school that there are some subjects that just come naturally to you? Have math or science classes always seemed like a breeze? Perhaps A’s always seemed to be the de facto grade for you in English courses. Maybe you were on a softball team, and you found yourself smiling as you looked forward to tomorrow’s practice. This may mean that you have a passion for something, and passion, when it comes to careers, is often an essential trait. Maybe you loved healing a kitten when you were young, and you just found you were good at it — a job as a doctor or veterinarian may similarly satisfy you.
So you might ask:
4. Are you passionate about a subject?
It’s often said, “Find a job you love, and you’ll never work another day in your life.” For many, that’s not quite true — even things we love can be tedious at times — but there’s a good chance that if you’re happy, work will always be a breeze, and you’ll find yourself looking forward to the challenges. If you’re interested in engineering, do your research on educational sites like http://engineering.online.ohio.edu/civil/ to find out if you’re interested career or not.
5. What’s your personality like?
Are you a social butterfly? A bit on the shy side? The kinds of jobs your personality might be suited for could be worlds apart from what others think! A highly-social person might love the charged atmosphere of a New York law office, for example, while someone who is more of a wallflower at dances and parties might enjoy working from home or dealing with people on a quieter, one-on-one basis — in fields like psychiatry or teaching at a university, for example. If your passion is discovering new books off in your own little world, you might even consider a career as a librarian — where you’ll be paid to pick new books for people to read.
Whatever you choose, understand that the answer to the question of what career would be best for you is often just waiting for you to discover it — and it’s an answer that is often within us already.