Choosing a fulfilling career is one of the most important decisions you’ll make in your life. With so many options and factors to weigh, it can feel overwhelming trying to determine the right career path for you.
I know it’s tough and requires a lot of careful assessment of your personality, ability, and interest. But with the right guidance and proper planning, you can choose the right career path.
Below I have mentioned 10 points which you can consider while planning your career and I’m damn sure that these points can help you and make your career planning a lot easier. I have also added an IKIGAI career strategy where you can align your career with what the world needs and what you are good at.
“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” —Confucius
A Simple Formula To Choose The Right Career
Yes, you heard it right, Here is your only career formula which can help you choose the right career.
Whenever you feel confused about your career choice or don’t know how to choose the career come back to this and apply this formula.
Your Personality + Ability + Interest = Right Career
The key is to understand your innate interests and abilities and then explore potential career paths that align with them. Your personality type can help guide you but don’t limit yourself to just one option.
Here is a table with 10 personality types aligned with proper careers
|Mechanical, physical, technical
|Machines, tools, how things are made
|Engineer, pilot, plumber
|Analytical, scientific, observant
|How things work, research
|Scientist, detective, researcher
|Creative, imaginative, expressive
|Art, culture, ideas
|Artist, writer, designer
|Communicative, empathetic, helpful
|Working with people
|Teacher, counselor, public relations
|Business executive, sales manager
|Accountant, administrator, banker
|Firefighter, police officer, athlete
|Compassionate, cooperative, caring
|Helping people in need
|Social worker, healthcare worker, therapist
|Confident, optimistic, motivating
|Politician, activist, marketer
|Analytical, objective, reasoned
|Solving complex problems
|Scientist, engineer, programmer
10 Key Points To Know How To Choose A Career
As a career expert with 3 years of experience, I’ve guided 100s of clients through this process. Here are my top 10 tips for choosing a career you’ll love.
1. Get to know yourself
Start by reflecting on your innate strengths, interests, values, and personality traits. What talents come naturally to you? What subjects fascinate you? What environments allow you to thrive? What work modes (independent vs collaborative, predictable vs spontaneous, etc.) suit you best?
Self-assessment exercises like Myers-Briggs can provide useful insight. The more you understand what makes you tick, the better you’ll identify well-matched careers.
2. Research career options
Based on what you learn about yourself, dive deeper into potential career paths. For each option, investigate typical job duties, necessary education and skills, salary ranges, growth projections, and day-to-day work realities.
Resources like the Occupational Outlook Handbook and job boards can help in this research. Avoid ruling out or limiting options too early in this exploration phase. Cast a wide net initially.
3. Talk to people in the field
There’s no substitute for inside knowledge on what a career is actually like. Reach out through your personal and professional network to set up short informational interviews with people currently in roles/fields that interest you.
Come prepared with thoughtful questions about their experiences. This can give you a realistic preview to inform your decisions.
4. Consider work environments
Beyond the core job itself, think about preferences for things like office vs remote work, large vs small organizations, non-profit vs for-profit sectors, corporate vs entrepreneurial cultures, stability vs flexibility, travel requirements, and so on. These factors can significantly impact your day-to-day job satisfaction.
5. Identify your must-haves
On paper, a career may check all the right boxes based on your skills and interests. But you also need to look at the lifestyle it enables. Determine your non-negotiable requirements for things like work-life balance, income potential, level of social impact, recognition, variety of tasks, ethical alignment, and more. This will help narrow your focus.
6. Envision your future work/life
Picture yourself 5, 10, or 20 years down the road in this career. Consider potential advancement opportunities. But also reflect on how satisfied you would feel with the day-to-day realities over the long haul.
Would you still find the work stimulating and fulfilling years from now? Use your imagination to envision your ideal future to backtrack and identify well-suited career directions.
7. Assess pros and cons
Create a simple pros and cons list for your top career choices under consideration. Looking at the key upsides and downsides side-by-side can help crystallize what matters most to you.
Pay special attention to any cons that could be long-term dealbreakers or risks such as heavy travel, high stress, expensive education requirements, etc.
8. Determine next steps
Once you’ve narrowed down your options, identify any gaps between your current abilities and qualifications and what would be required to pursue them. This could involve getting a relevant certification, taking prerequisite courses, learning specialized software, obtaining a degree, building related skills, or seeking specific experiences. Outline the next practical steps to position yourself competitively.
9. Gain exposure through shadowing or internships
Through formal internships or simply asking to shadow professionals on the job for a day, gain first-hand exposure to your fields of interest before fully committing. This will give you a feel for the actual work environment and tasks. Internships/shadowing opportunities also build your network and resume.
10. Trust your intuition
In the end, listen to your heart. Reflect on which career path truly feels aligned with who you are, gets you excited, and stirs your passion. If it checks all the boxes rationally but doesn’t feel quite right intuitively, pay attention to that instinct. You’ll perform best and thrive in work you find genuinely meaningful.
Choosing The Right Career with Ikigai Strategy
Believe me, if you have already made up your mind to select some career path or not or you are planning your career for the first or fifth time, the IKIGAI Carer strategy is really helpful while making a career decision.
Let me show you how you can apply this to your career planning to choose the right career.
- First thing first – examine what you love, Make a complete list of what you love, what you like and what your hobbies are. Finding a job closely related to what intrinsically motivates you will make it feel less like “work.”
- Look at what you are good at – list out your natural talents, skills, strengths and abilities.
- Consider the world around you – Look what the world needs and how you can contribute. Research growing companies on this.
- Think About how you can get paid for – Find the overlap between what you’re passionate about and the skills needed in lucrative careers. Your passion may point the way to new skills to develop.
- Balance passion with practicality – You may need to compromise to pay the bills. But keep pursuing what lights you up as side projects or ultimate career goals.
Choosing a fulfilling career takes time, effort, and self-reflection. Following these guidelines will help ensure you land on a rewarding career path tailored to who you are and what matters most to you. Don’t rush this important process. Thoughtfully evaluating your options from all angles sets you up for long-term job satisfaction and success.