How Do You Decide Which Career Path Is The Best For You?

By SMU Career Champions 

At some point in time, all (if not most) of us will ponder what career path to pursue upon graduation. And we can’t help but feel overwhelmed most of the time. Finding the perfect career certainly doesn’t happen overnight. However, with some self-exploration and research, you can definitely better choose a career that will bring you the most satisfaction!

For every individual, having your own respective set of likes and dislikes is what sets you apart from others. And this includes your own career pathing and how you pave that road for yourself. It is of utmost importance that one identifies their strengths and builds a foundation from there. Needless to say, a person with a strong liking and passion for something will subconsciously strive for excellence regardless of its payoff.

Ask yourself the following three questions to better find the pursuit towards your grail!

 

1. What Excites You?

Not many pay attention to their interests while choosing their career and end up having a job or career which they dislike. Hence, it is crucial to pick a career which suits your personality the best and interests you the most.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • “What makes me come alive?”
  • “What makes me jump out of bed in the morning?”
  • “What would I gladly do for free even if it costs me time, energy or money?

This may be challenging at first, but knowing your passion and deciding to work hard for it will more likely put you on the road to professional happiness!

 

2. What Are My Skills?

Your skills are cultivated over time and forms an important part of your identity. What you enjoy may change over time. Finding a career that matches your skillsets can give you a sense of competence and help you avoid burnouts.

Find out what you are good at by making a list of:

  • Things you do really well
  • Areas of development
  • Skills that you enjoy using 

You can do a simple skill audit here. Getting a sense of what you are good at allows you to put those skills to your advantage to achieve career and personal success.

 

3. What Motivates Me?

Identifying and understanding your values is a challenging yet important exercise. By becoming more aware of your values, you leverage on them as a guide to making the best career decisions. Some possible workplace values include:

  • Making a difference
  • Remuneration
  • Culture
  • Work-life balance
  • Company branding
  • Opportunity to promote and progress

Everyone has a set of unique attributes and qualities. The more you know about what you value, what interests you, and what you are good at, the more likely you will be able to make good choices in your education and career explorations.

Do bear in mind that your interests, skills and values may change over time. As such, it is important to continuously revisit this exercise to point you in the right direction.

 

Other Tips

There are many free career aptitude assessments available online. These tests analyses your interests, personality type, strengths and weaknesses to determine the careers that are best suited for you. Check out some of these sites:

 

Also, finding yourself a suitable mentor to guide you in your career exploration and support you in taking action to move toward your goal could be highly beneficial in setting yourself on the right path.

 


 

SMU Career Champions are student advisers who provide peer-to-peer support in professional career services such as resume vetting, mock interview skills, internship advice, and career advice. Our mission is to be the bridge between SMU students and the corporate world. 

How can you get in touch with SMU Career Champions for more advise? Feel free to make a consultation appointment with us via Ontrac II

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