How to choose the right job

how to choose the right job
How do you know which career is right for you, or indeed if you are in the right job? Whether you are in the right or wrong job, it will be plainly obvious which is which.

If you are passionate about what you do, wake up feeling energised and motivated and look forward to the day ahead, there is no doubt that you are in a job that is most fitting to your personality and style.

If on the other hand, you hate your job, you feel de-motivated and dread waking up in the morning because you have to go to work, then you have definitely picked the wrong career and should think about making a change. Doing a job that you despise, day in day out, can negatively affect you health, well-being, work and home life.
Maybe you want a career change or are just taking your first steps in the world of work and are unsure of the direction to take.

Here we outline the process to carry out in order to help you determine which job is right for you.

Everybody is different and has different skills, interests, personalities and working styles. Therefore, each person is suited to a specific career(s) that is right for them, and what may be the idea of heaven for one, could be the worst job on earth for another.

Identify your interests

The first thing that you need to do if you want to establish what kind of job would best suit you is to have a think about and then make a list of all the things that you generally enjoy doing, activities that you have always dreamed of doing and are passionate about or that you think you may be interested in.

It doesn't have to be a very long list but make sure that you note down everything that you can think of. Your list could include tasks such as working outdoors, working on the computer, being creative or artistic, entertaining the public, managing large numbers of people, organising events, building houses and the list goes on.

At this stage do not think about wages, location, job prospects, as these points will be tackled later on.

Assess your skills

The next points to consider are your strengths and skills. Make a separate list of what you are good at and where your strengths lie. Think of your accomplishments and achievements inside and outside of work to help you write your list. Ask family, friends and co-workers what they consider to be your best qualities if you are stuck. Your list could include specific skills such as speaking a foreign language, writing creative stories and experience in IT or transferable skills such as thriving under pressure, working to tight deadlines, leadership qualities, ability to motivate people and customer care techniques.

Consolidate your lists

Now return to the first list of activities that you enjoy and start to consider the type of jobs that match this list. You may already have an idea. Then you will then have to research these jobs in more detail and find out exactly which skills are necessary to carry out these professions and then whether you have them or not. If you do not have all of the specific skills required for that career path, don't despair, as there are plenty of options available to gain the skills that you need.

Online research

Use the Internet as a tool to help you research your chosen fields of work in more depth. Once you have gleaned more information about each chosen profession, some of them may seem more appealing than others and you can start to eliminate a number of your choices.

The Internet can give you a wealth of extra information including an idea of the expected salary, working hours, future prospects and tasks involved. Once you have a better idea of what the jobs entails, then you can work out whether they are for you or not. Maybe the salary is not what you expected, you are not prepared to do so much travelling or you didn't realise that working weekends was part of the deal.

Talk to people

As well as online research you should also try to talk to someone who already works in the profession that you have opted for. They will be able to tell you exactly what the job is like and entails and it will be far easier to see whether what you are told matches up to your expectations. This is where networking comes in handy.

Online tools and careers advisors

As well as making your own lists and evaluating your professional situation yourself, you can also get outside help.

Visit your careers office and they will be able to guide you and offer you advice. They may even throw in a few ideas that you hadn't thought of and give you different things to consider.

At the careers office they tend to have online programmes similar to the RIASEC / Holland Interest Scale, whereby you answer determined questions about your interests in certain work-related activities and situations in order to help you find a career that is right for you. After completing the questions, which could take up to 25 minutes, the computer gives you a list of suitable jobs according to your answers.

After much organisation and self-reflection you should end up knowing which career is right for you. The next stage is to go get that job!

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