Sometimes there’s a real difference between what you’re good at and what you love to do. Sometimes there’s not and they are one and the same—these are the really lucky folks who don’t have to do much work trying to find a career path. For those who don’t know what to do next professionally or which direction you want to go in, here are some tips on how to find a career path.
Step 1: Quiet your rational mind. By this I mean, open up to the entire world of possibilities, regardless of how much you think a job pays, where you’d have to move to, how it would affect your partner and everything else your mind likes to break in and tell you as you’re daydreaming about your career goals. What would you do if you could do ANYTHING?
Step 2: Think about yourself. What do you ENJOY? What types of work environments would you thrive in? For example, do you get energized by putting on a suit in the morning and heading to a formal corporate environment or do you find more satisfaction in an edgier space where you can be casual and work in a shared, open floor plan workspace? Are you social or do you like to work solo? What do absolutely NOT like to do?
Step 3: Start down a path … even though it might not lead you to your forever career. There’s a certain amount of trial and error when it comes to finding a career. So figure out what you enjoy and try something in that vicinity. If it doesn’t work out, go back to the starting point of the core of what you love to do and try something different. Over time, you will refine your career goals and find the trail that works best for you. But you have to keep at it and follow your instincts.
And don’t beat yourself up about not finding the perfect thing immediately! That’s pretty rare.