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How Can I Choose The Best Career For Me?

Looking to change careers? Here's what to do.

By Priya Florence ShahPublished 3 years ago 7 min read

If you feel stuck in your career and are looking to change careers, here are some steps you can take to find your ideal career.

Have you ever felt stuck in your career? Employee stress and burnout can account for a lot of dissatisfaction in your life.

After all, you are at work some 8 hours a day or more. That’s 1/3 of your day if you don’t count sleep. That’s a long time to be dissatisfied!

If you feel stuck in your career and are looking to change careers, here are some steps you can take to find your ideal career.

1. Brainstorm on a sheet of paper

Take a pad of paper and write down at the top your objective in question form. Then, simply list out 20 answers to your question. For example, you could write “What should I be doing with my time and life?”

Then stay seated for a half-hour to an hour coming up with answers to that question. The key to this exercise is coming up with 20 answers — don’t quit until you have 20 answers. You can repeat this exercise every day until you get the answer you seek.

2. Ask your close friends

Sometimes our friends know us better than ourselves. While meeting with one of your friends, mention you are at a crossroads in your life and looking to make a career transition.

Ask them what they think you’d enjoy doing. You might be surprised at how easily they can zero into your strengths and abilities and recommend a dream job for you.

3. Ask your boss and coworkers

Much like your friends in the example above, your boss and coworkers most likely see you in a way you do not see yourself.

In fact, they are likely most familiar with your strengths and weaknesses in the work environment. Compile all the answers you get from them and see if there are any common threads you can explore.

4. Speak to a headhunter

If you’re a job seeker, it’s likely you have a resume. You can call a headhunter or recruiter during their slow times or meet with them to pick through what you might be good at.

Women can get free career counselling online from a professional career coach on the SHEROES app for women.

5. Take a career assessment test

There are several websites on the Internet where you can take a career assessment free or for a fee. Many headhunters have this software and don’t mind you taking the test in their office

They will ask you to answer a series of questions about what you are good at, what you like to do, what you prefer doing over what you don’t. If you take one, you’ll likely see some new exciting areas to explore in your life.

6. Keep a journal

Do you keep a journal? If so, read through, looking for common threads in your writing. Keep your eyes peeled for trends and activities you like as well as don’t like.

Finding examples of what you don’t like and what frustrates you is almost as important as finding what you do like.

For example, if you hate an overwhelming or bully boss, you’d probably like a self-directed position. If you hate nosy coworkers you’d probably prefer your own office.

Discovering what you really want to do with your life is the most important decision you can make. We spend 1/3 or more of our lives at work, so you need to find out what activities or tasks give you true happiness when you’re doing them.

Figuring out the right career is important to make sure that 1/3 of our lives are happy and productive. Learn what activities give you a sense of purpose and you’ll figure out how to find your passion.

Which Is The Best Career Test For You?

One of the best ways to get clear on your future career is to complete a career assessment test. Yet, there are literally hundreds of career tests out there.

Is a career test the same as a career aptitude test? What about a career personality test? What is a psychometric test? This article will help you understand the differences decide which career test is best for you.

1. Career test vs. personality test

Is the career assessment quiz specifically designed to provide career guidance? Personality tests only tell you about your character traits whereas a career assessment gives specific career advice.

Of course, it helps to know whether you’re an extrovert or an introvert and perceives by sensing or intuition. For instance, finding out that you’re an introvert might help you decide to choose a data analyst job, which is a good career for introverts.

On the other hand, cabin crew jobs would require a more extroverted personality type. Personality tests such as the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and the Enneagram are quite useful as background information.

Making the leap from simple awareness of your personality type to specific career strategies is very difficult, however. If you want a new job or career, it’s better to take an assessment that is specifically geared to providing career guidance.

You can also do a psychometric test before you apply for a job, as employers use these psychological assessment tools to screen job applicants for suitability.

2. Specific vs. general

Does the career assessment give concrete recommendations that you can use immediately rather than vague observations that are open to interpretation and not actionable?

Aside from the change itself, the hardest part of changing careers is narrowing down your choices. But if you don’t get specific, you won’t be able to take action. A good assessment should not be general like the astrological horoscopes in the newspaper.

3. Motivation rules

Do the tests for career assessment also measure motivation? Motivation is a far better career indicator than skill or personality because what you like to do is what you WILL do and what you will get very good at (if you aren’t already).

Why force a square peg into a round hole? When you base your decisions on what motivates you, you’ll probably feel much more fulfilled, and be much more successful, too.

4. Is it reliable?

A good career assessment quiz should include hard data, as well as sufficient detail and explanation to help you interpret the results.

Is the career assessment scientifically valid? An effective career assessment should have high predictive reliability. Such things can be measured statistically. Anything over 95% is quite good.

Statistical validity is important for a number of reasons. Obviously, you want to feel that the assessment provides an accurate picture of what motivates you and you don’t want to be misled by grossly inaccurate results.

But another point is that when the results of your career assessment are believable this provides a boost to your self-confidence.

Remember that ultimately it’s up to you to decide whether a set of results makes sense or not. However, it helps to use a highly reliable assessment.

5. Will it help you achieve your career aspirations?

Are additional tools available to help you take your results and develop a clear career roadmap for yourself? A lot of people take a free career quiz and get brilliant insights.

Unfortunately, many of them are never able to turn their insights into results. What’s needed is a support infrastructure of materials and people to help you apply your results over time so you can achieve your career aspirations.

6. Does it give quick results?

Even in the internet age, there still are a lot of tests that you can only take on paper. It takes 30 minutes or even over an hour to take the test. Then you have to wait while the test is scored and processed.

You may only get your results after several days or weeks. Personally, I prefer a free career test that I can take online and that give me my results immediately. A career test is just a tool and just one step on your career change journey.

Nonetheless, it’s worth spending some time to understand what types of tests are available and which is best for you. Just remember that even the best career quiz is only a tool to offer guidance. Ultimately, it’s up to you to take charge of your own career.

So where can you find an online career aptitude test free? This 60-question free career quiz will give you a career report with tips to help you find your dream job.


About the Creator

Priya Florence Shah

Priya Florence Shah is a bestselling author, award-winning publisher and online branding consultant.

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