Step-by-Step Guide: How to Find The Right Career For You - This is the Life! - Build the Life of Your Dreams

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Find The Right Career For You

February 21, 2021

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Do you want to know what career would be the right one for you? 

Do you feel like you need a career change but aren't sure what you should do next?

Well, grab a notebook and read on!


In this step-by-step guide, I'm going to share with you what I think is the best method to find a career that is a great fit for you and that will allow you to be happy and feel fulfilled.

Why am I sharing this? Because I know that choosing a career path isn't always easy

Some people just knew what they wanted to do since they were little. But most of us - not so much!

Usually, we have to make a choice very early on, when we have no real experience of what the job market is like, what working is like and what people in different jobs actually do all day, let alone how much money they make and whether their career is fulfilling.

What most people do is take career aptitude tests. I remember taking those tests back in the day but I didn't find them all that revealing - the results are usually careers that you're already realizing you might have an interest in.

I don't think there is enough concrete information given about careers and a lot of people end up changing their masters or even making a career change at some point in their lives.

If that's your case, don't worry, it isn't that big of a deal! But you might want to avoid ending up in a job you hate and worrying about how you can get out of it...

Well, fast forward to today and having worked for a few years now, I have a better picture of what aspects might make a career right for you or not and what you should think about before choosing a direction.

So I would like to help you find something that is a great fit for you!

Now, let's get into it! Before you begin, remember to start with a clean slate and really focus on answering the questions honestly. 

Step 1: What are the things that bring you joy in life?

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Jot down a list of activities and tasks that bring you joy, subjects or areas of study (e.g. history, biology...) that you like or even discussions that you enjoy having.

List everything that you can think of, even if they feel like mundane tasks (like organizing or cooking) - most things can be made into a career!

Our career takes up most of our day and even our lives so it's best if we like what we're doing - it doesn't feel like work if it's enjoyable and you're more likely to excel at it because you enjoy and you're committed to learning more and developing those skills.

Here is an example:

List 1 - Singing, cooking, writing, decorating, watching TV shows, talking about TV shows, running, travelling, helping others, teaching others, giving advice, being outdoors, listening to music, reading, driving, finding great sales deals, making DIY crafts, researching, learning about the human mind, planning vacations, History...

Step 2: What are you good at? What skills do you have?

Now, make a second list of all the things that you can think of that you are good at (especially if people have told you so) and of skills that you have.

Below are a few examples: 

List 2 - Decorating, writing, spotting typos, sports, good at explaining things, quick-thinker, logical reasoning, social skills, researching, quick typer, languages, web design, fixing things, making/editing videos, baking, public-speaking skills...

Step 3: Analyze the lists and brainstorm careers 

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When you do this, start by checking if there are any matches between list one and two and circle or highlight them.

So, from my lists of examples, I can see that writing, decorating and researching match, as well as baking and cooking also match, even if one is more specific than the other. I would circle or highlight these examples.

Now, make a new list (list no. 3) and write down careers (even if only broad areas) or businesses that you can think of that are based around those activities. Looking at the previous examples, we could list careers like the following: 

List 3 - writer, blogger, interior designer, home decor retail, pastry chef, bakery business, History teacher, historical research, genealogist, web designer, videographer,...

If you need some ideas, you can try to Google something like this: "jobs/careers for people who like (activity)".

Then, you should check if there are things in both lists that aren't a direct match but that can be matched up together in a career (so match up two things from list 1 or one from each list together). 

Here are a few ideas we could get from the examples I gave for lists 1 and 2:

List 3 (add to it) - Youtuber (make a channel about a subject you wrote down on list 1 - e.g. youtube channel about TV shows), Blogger (about any of the subjects you wrote in list 1 as well), Proofreader, Editor, Recipe Writer, Psychology, Tour Guide, teacher (in any subject you mentioned you like), personal trainer, professional tutor, archeologist, website flipper, sell courses (e.g. cooking, web design, etc.),...  

Before the next step, you might want to Google careers related to those you listed (you might find some interesting options that you are not be aware of) and write them down as well.

Step 4: Think about your values and your dream lifestyle

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This part is something we often overlook, mostly because we don't think so far ahead.

However, it's really important to be clear on what your values are and to be honest with yourself regarding the lifestyle you want to have. 

If you privilege having a flexible schedule or shorter work days to be able to be more present in your personal life, that doesn't make you less of a hard-worker (and in my opinion, this mentality is often harmful).

So, now that you've reached this step, I highly suggest you consider the following questions and note down your answers (especially the choices you wouldn't sacrifice):

  • Would/do you prefer to work for someone else or to be your own boss?
  • Would/do you like to have a flexible schedule or work a normal fixed schedule (e.g. 9am-5pm)?
  • How important is it for you to have free/personal time? Would you mind or be able to work long hours?
  • Do you want to be able to work from home/remotely or would you like to work in an office with other people?
  • Do you like teamwork or do you prefer to work independently?
  • Do you like responsibility and decision-making or do you prefer to just be told what you need to do and carry out the task that is required?
  • How much money do you want to make? (Or think about your ideal lifestyle and how much you would need to earn to make that a reality).
  • What would define job satisfaction for you - chasing accomplishment and success and working towards climbing the career ladder or do you place more importance on doing work you enjoy with good working conditions (good environment, stability, adequate/good pay, etc.)?
  • Can you handle and would you be willing to deal with frequent stressful situations and strict deadlines in your career or would you prefer a job where you don't have to deal with that?
  • Do you like to have contact with the public (either face to face or on the phone) or would you rather not? If you answer yes, think about what kind of public (i.e. kids, adults, elderly,...)

Step 5: Research the careers you listed

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Now that you've done all that brainstorming and analysis of your lists and you have defined your values and your ideal lifestyle, you should do a deeper research into what the careers you listed are like.

Get on Google and try to find out what the day-to-day work and routines are like in each career/job. Is there anything unexpected that you really would not like to do?

Find out what the usual pay in those jobs is to see if it matches your expectations and search what kind of schedules people in those jobs usually have... 

You could also talk to people you know who have those careers and ask them what their jobs are like, what kind of work they do on a daily basis, what their routine looks like and what skills or even personality traits they think are required for it.

Really try to confront these careers or jobs with the values or lifestyle you wish to have. 

That way you will be able to narrow down the careers you wrote on list 3 to a few main options.

Step 6: Get some experience

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This final step is probably more for the younger people who are entering the job market. 

Having narrowed your options down (even if only to a broad area of work like History or Business, for example), you should look for internships or part-time jobs that you can apply to and that will allow you to assist or work with someone in that career. 

If you know someone who has that career or works with people in those roles, you can also ask to shadow someone for a few days or a couple of weeks.

This will help you learn more about that career and to really understand what it entails, what skills people actually need to have in that area of work and you will get a look into what someone with that job actually does during their work-day and to find out if it's compatible with your dream lifestyle and your values

Besides, having that experience is an added bonus - it will look good on any future applications and they might even pave the way for a long-term job at that company.

That's it!

If you followed these steps, I'm certain that you have found some great ideas of careers or jobs that would be a great fit for you.

You're ready to start building the life of your dreams!

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