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how do i know what job is meant for me


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Markus’s Answer

Hey Emily,

I think when you are unsure of your career ambitions or passions, simply being open to new experiences will get you to where you need to be. This can probably be applied to most areas in life. Try things out. If you don't like one thing, move on to the next. Keep going until you find something that you have a undeniable passion for. Honestly, I am still doing this and I am 30. I am not sure I will ever run into something that brings me to say, "I want to do that forever". Things come and go, including passions.

Now I think we can apply logic to that thought and this may just be a part of my personality. But look at your time as something you can invest. Invest in something that helps you achieve your goals. That can be money, freedom, or anything else. I chose to invest my time in an education that makes a decent living and gives me time for family, friends and travel. That is what I value. What do you value? Once you answer that questions, I would look at jobs that can help you achieve what is valuable to you.

Best of Luck,
Markus

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John’s Answer

Career selection is plagued by the same problem of bias. Career preferences are largely motivated by exogenous factors like parental influence, peer pressure, status, and media. Many people grow up thinking they want to be lawyers or doctors in part because our culture elevates those careers, in spite of the fact that real doctors and lawyers report some of the lowest career satisfaction scores. Making the right career choice depends on first developing a sense of who you are and what motivates you. Choosing the right career for you is about aligning the dimensions of who you are with a realistic set of opportunities.

PERSONALITY – What are the common behavioral patterns and preferences you exhibit? Are you more introverted or extraverted? Are you organized and dutiful or more free-flowing? Are you open to new experiences or prefer predictability? Do you prefer cooperation and social harmony or iconoclasm and disruption? Are you more steady tempered or passionate and chaotic? One thing we often take for granted in career choice is the actual work environment. This includes factors like hours we work, the kinds of people we work with, and the management structure embedded in a career.

ASSESS YOURSELF – Before you can choose the right career, you must learn about yourself. Your values, interests, soft skills, and aptitudes, in combination with your personality type, make some occupations a good fit for you and others completely inappropriate. Use self-assessment tools, and career tests to gather information about your traits and, subsequently, generate a list of occupations that are a good fit based on them. Some people choose to work with a career counselor or other career development professionals who can help them navigate this process.

EXPLORE OCCUPATIONS – Find occupations that appeal to you. They may be careers you know a bit about and want to explore further. Also, include professions about which you don't know much. You might learn something unexpected. Now you can get some basic information about each of the occupations on your list. Find job descriptions and educational, training, and licensing requirements in published sources. Learn about advancement opportunities. Use government-produced labor market information to get data about earnings and job outlook. Remove everything with duties that don't appeal to you. Eliminate careers that have weak job outlooks. Get rid of any occupation if you are unable or unwilling to fulfill the educational or other requirements, or if you lack some of the soft skills necessary to succeed in it.

Finally Emily, meet with people who work in the occupations in which you are interested in. They can provide firsthand knowledge about the careers on your short list. Access your network, including LinkedIn, to find people with whom to have these informational interviews.

Hope this was helpful

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Divya’s Answer

Great insights are already shared by many professionals here. I am going to keep it really simple by putting forth my take on this Q.
First & foremost Q that one has to ask themselves - "does this job excites me?". That comes with another Q - 'how will i know about that?'
It's pretty easy. Let's seek answers for the following Qs:
"Is this job of your interest area? if yes, is that exciting enough? If yes, will i get opportunities to learn new / learn more? if all of them are "yes" then you should opt for that job!

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mina’s Answer

In order to figure out what you want to do, being open to experiences is most important. If you have a general direction on where to go, start there. Is there an industry that excites you? If not, is there a general field you're interested in (marketing, finance, research, construction)? Volunteer experiences at a local shelter helped me realize I wanted to help promote the shelter through marketing.

Depending on where you are (high school, college, etc), the answer is also different. In high school, join clubs related to something you're interested in. In college, there are a plethora of both professional and social clubs. Both have similar scopes of work, but professional clubs typically work with people directly in an industry, which can increase your network.

If you are not in school, I highly recommend taking community college courses. Community college courses provide awesome curriculum that can increase your knowledge and skills. For example, I took graphic design courses because I am interested in marketing. It was awesome and something that my 4 year college did not offer. Community college is also an affordable way to continue your education. Education and experience can really help shape your interests.

Another tip is to try and reach out to local professionals using search or LinkedIn (a professional social media network), and ask them to talk about their experience. This can give you a better idea of what you want to do by listening to what they do. It may seem daunting at first, but all of the professionals have been in your position and most are willing to share their experience.

One last piece of advice is that a job is just a job. A job can be comfortable, but comfort in a particular job will cause boredom. It's always best to be challenged in order to feed your motivation. Good luck!

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Adam’s Answer

Hi Emily!

I know that there are already a lot of answers here and some very good advice, but I thought that I would throw my opinion into the ring as well. This is a question that can only be answered by you. When looking for a job, you need to decide what you like to do and if you could potentially turn that into a career. For example, if you like reading and writing, perhaps you could become an editor. If you are creative and have a flair for art/design, perhaps you could go into advertising.

There is no right or wrong way to decide what is the best job for you. My recommendation is trial and error. Try as many jobs/opportunities that you can. Finding a job/career is sometimes a journey. I started off in fast food (learned about customer service), worked at a movie theater (learned about management), worked the a Senator, adjusted workers' comp claims, worked in Training and now am a Medical Bill Reviewer. So, as you can see, there can be a long road to get where you want to be. I loved all of my jobs, but as I worked them and new opportunities came up, I tool advantage of them. Do you what you like and try many things. You will find what's right for you! Good luck!

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Tina’s Answer

You should look within yourself to find out what inspires you. What are you passionate about and what interests you and how can you make a career out of that? It takes some time and you can try different things out in your spare time and at school. Do you want to work for a company or start your own small business? It may take time and your career could evolve over time. You should find something you enjoy . If that changes over time, you can always make a change it's never too late. Just remember, it's a balance. You will face challenges that you may need to overcome in any job, but when you do overcome them, you come out a better person who can achieve more than they thought was possible.

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Victoria’s Answer

I don't think people ever truly know the answer to that question. Life is a journey where you try things out, evaluate if it is for you and then make decisions based on your experience. Another added level of complexity is that you yourself will also change and what your interests and values are at one point may change and the job that you thought was meant for you no longer is. The bottom line is the idea of something being meant for you is a goal that is unrealistic. Instead reserve time for introspection to figure out what you want in life, career, etc and figure out what your strengths and weaknesses are, tie those together and figure out what careers align with such - this will set you up with more alignment in what you want that may not be something you are conscious of and tie it to a career.

Victoria recommends the following next steps:

Figure out what your life goals are (ie. work to fund your hobbies, work as your hobby)
Figure out what you want to learn from a job, what you value in a job
Figure out what your strengths and weaknesses are
Figure out what jobs align with your personal abilities and your personal & professional goals
Figure out what opportunities are closely available to you (ie. school network, campus recruiting, personal connections, etc)

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Gloria’s Answer

Hi Emily,

That is hard to say. I would say that you need to consider what you would be interested in doing besides earning money. There are some jobs that will hire first time people and seem appealing. I always thought it would fun to work at Starbucks and really hard. I am someone who would not want to work with food. Just something that would not appeal to me. I would say that you should focus on a job that you feel like you could enjoy, either the work or the benefits of the work. Some people that I know work in retail during the holidays because of the discount, for example.

Good luck on your job hunt,
Gloria

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Kristine’s Answer

Follow your curiosity! Don't worry about finding the right thing or the one job you're meant for. In college I remember hearing that it takes 10 years to gain mastery in something, so in the course of your life it's possible for you to have 4 completely different careers.

As an example, my high school English teacher would regale us with stories about his past careers as an actor and then later as a chef. I have another friend who transitioned from working as a researcher in the sciences to working as a social media director for top beauty brands. I myself am reaching the 10-year point in my career and have started thinking about what new challenges or areas I want to get into next. I worked in retail and as a writer before I started working in digital marketing, and all of those experiences led me to where I am today.

Consider each job in your life, no matter how big or small, as a stepping stone. Life is a fluid experience and you'll experience many changes during the course of your life. There is no right or wrong way to do things, so give yourself permission to explore.

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Apurva’s Answer

This is a great question and something I think everyone has struggled with from time to time.

You will know what is meant for you through trial and error most likely. I would start by writing out what your core values, strengths, interests, passions are or what you find most interesting and what's important to you in a company (ie: culture, size, industry, location)

Then you can select/match with companies/occupations - just pick! Follow your instincts, be true to yourself and don't sacrifice what's important to you.

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Steve’s Answer

Great question, and starting the conversation is the most important part. Everyone has given such great advice here. From experience I can say, this is a question that you will always ask yourself along your career journey.

A lot of what I love about my current career, is not what drew me to the things I loved about my early career. Keep asking yourself questions like this, and you'll do well along your journey.

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Malisa’s Answer

What interests you? Where do you want to spend your time? Are you looking for a career or just a first job to gain some skills? Understand that you will change jobs in your lifetime so what you start with today will most likely change over time once you find a field of work that interests you.

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Dyon’s Answer

When I came out of college, I had no clue what I wanted to do. Sure I had all the normal, get-though-school jobs, but what did I want as a career. It actually took me a few years working in retail to help me understand what I wanted to do. Out of managing stores, I realized that I had a passion for project management and ended up getting a masters degree in that.

I'd say be open tot he experiences the world brings and don't stress over not knowing now. It can take a few years before that "ah-ha" moment hits. Lastly, if you start down a path and realize a few years in that you aren't happy, it's never to late to switch it up.

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Danya’s Answer

Hi Emily,

There's already a ton of great advice here, but I'll add what's helped me so far in my career:

1. Try a lot of things: When you're in high school or college, try as many things as you can! Join clubs, gain a wide range of skills, diversify your part time job or internship experience, etc. Don't limit yourself or get stuck into one track. As you try new things, make note of what you like and don't like. For example, did you join debate club and did you like public speaking and working in a team? Then look for jobs that have those skills. Do you love solving problems and building programs? Maybe engineering is for you.

2. Talk to people in jobs you're interested in: The best way to learn about different jobs and if they might be a fit for you is to talk to people currently in those jobs. Conduct "informational interviews" i.e. ask someone in an interesting job or who works at an interesting company to chat with you for 15-30 minutes and ask them to describe their day. This can be especially helpful to guide your job/internship search!

3. Know that your career is not linear: Everyone's career has ups, downs, and pivots. You may start out in one type of role when you're just starting out and may even have 2-3+ career changes. That's perfectly okay. In fact, it's the trend among most younger folks these days. The good news is that you don't have to be locked into any one career of job - you can always pivot into something new. Most skills like communication, project management, critical thinking, etc. are transferrable across a lot of job types and industries.

Best of luck and don't think you need to have everything figured out! I'd also recommend checking out mentorship opportunities through organizations like BUILT BY GIRLS, YearUp, Technovation, and others!

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