Determining Your Career Path

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There are some people who practically fall out of the womb knowing exactly what they want to do with their lives, people who from a very young age know what career path they want to take. For some, this path changes and for others, the dream becomes a reality. For many others, figuring out which career path is the right path is easier said than done. These individuals tend to drift through life, trying to grasp onto anything that could be a clue or a sign for what their true calling really is.

Tests exist for the purpose of determining the fields that match your personality and/or interests. To an extent, these tests can help. But I’ve personally known students who were still clueless as to what they wanted to do with their lives after taking these tests. While the tests can help, they aren’t always enough.

When it comes to deciding your future, it is best to start with your hobbies. Many jobs come with freebies and discounts, and what good is a discount or freebie you’d never use? For the most enriching career path, make a list of the things you already like to do, the things you would do without being paid for it.

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Once you have this list, make a list of known jobs relating to your hobbies. This list can expand out as far as you want – there is no right or wrong when it comes to a list like this. After you’ve completed your list, review the jobs you listed. Picture yourself doing those jobs and put an asterisk next to any jobs that stick out to you. If none of the jobs particularly stand out to you, check for the jobs that combine more than one of the hobbies you’ve listed. In the example notesheets I’ve included, hobbies listed include: watching movies and writing. In the different jobs listed, there are jobs that combine both of those hobbies, just as there are jobs that combine both working out and writing. Even if the job doesn’t stand out to you, put an asterisk next to it anyway, because the job is relating to more than one of your hobbies.

You can continue to do this for every hobby that you have, until there is a job that you truly feel that you want to do. When there are jobs you’re interested in, start a fresh sheet of notepaper and write down the steps that would get you that job. For instance, if I wanted to be a filmmaker or movie director, there are a few different ways to get to that path. I could go to an arts college and study the art of making film, graduate, and network. Or I could self-teach myself the art of film by researching, buying textbooks, and really studying the subject. There are professors who have released film school via video, which is also a great place to start.

Deciding your future doesn’t have to be hard. It’s often immediately less difficult once you take the pressure off of yourself. There are some who didn’t know what they wanted to do until they were middle-aged. Don’t pressure yourself. Spend time getting to know yourself, what you like, and what you want to do. After all, it is your life. Take control of it.

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