Which Career Field is Best for Me?
Are you not happy with your current career and want to make a change? You may be wondering: “which career field is best for me?”
If so, you’re not alone. According to a recent survey, 3 out of 4 Americans have changed careers at least one time; and one out of three workers are currently considering changing careers.
If you’re ready for a new career, then here are 6 tips from Empire Resume to help you find a career path you’ll love.
1. Take an Online Career Assessment Test
Career assessment tests may seem like a silly way to determine which career field to pursue, but don’t dismiss them outright. There are some excellent tests out there that can help spark some career ideas that you may have never considered.
Here are 3 that we like in particular:
This test is designed specifically for adults. It analyzes your areas of interest and life goals. It also asks questions about your personality in general and in the workplace. It takes just 20 minutes of your time and in return you’ll get specific career matches and insights about why those jobs are right for you.
The aptly named My Next Move is the only career assessment tool that’s sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor. What makes this tool unique is that it tells you not only which jobs are right for you based on your education and current experience, but it also tells you what additional education and experience you’ll need to get the job you want.
The title of this test leaves no room for misinterpretation. It’s a free and fun 10-minute assessment tool. When you’re done, you’ll find out, well, what career is right for you.
Take any or all of these tests. Or, do a Google search for “career assessment” and you’ll get countless other options—most of them free. Have fun trying them out.
2. Take Inventory
Take a few minutes to write down your current skills, your job experience, your education and training, and your passions. What you’re looking for is overlap in these categories to help you find the right career path.
Let’s say you’re doing data analysis for a financial company, you have advanced training in Excel, and you have a passion for cooking and healthy eating. You may look for data analysis positions at organic grocery store chains or at meal delivery services.
Also, think about what you liked and didn’t like about previous job experiences. For example, you may not have enjoyed being in the accounting department, but you loved the autonomy your boss gave you. You may have really enjoyed running a call center but didn’t like completing detailed reports every week. These are all clues to finding your optimal career path.
We are big believers in networking at Empire Resume. You don’t always have to network with the end goal of finding a new job. Networking is an excellent way to learn what jobs are out there, what skills are required, and what types of people are best suited for those careers.
Contact colleagues, friends, former classmates, and even family members to talk to them about their careers. You want to know what their day-to-day looks like, what they enjoy about the job, and what they dislike.
These conversations may give you some ideas about which career field to pursue. Plus, you’ll have made plenty of connections who can play a role in helping you land your next position.
LinkedIn is a great resource to use for networking along with an excellent source to see which jobs are available and the people working there.
4. Ask a Friend
Sometimes your friends know you better than you know yourself. Simply ask a friend or two: “I’m thinking of changing careers, what do you think I’d be good at?”
The answers may surprise you because they can see strengths and talents that you may take for granted. Maybe they’ll tell you that you’re an excellent listener and would be a good therapist. They may love your fashion sense and see you working in the fashion industry.
They may wonder why you never became a teacher because you’re a natural when it comes to communicating with kids.
5. Consider a Career Coach
Setting up a few sessions with a career coach can be quite helpful for some people. You may feel overwhelmed with the thought of “finding a new career” but the coach breaks it all down into many steps. Just like a running coach trains a marathon runner little by little to finish the big race, a career coach pushes you little by little to help you find a career you love.
Your coach may ask you to complete a career assessment one week, and journal about your dream job the next. Your coach may ask you to set up two networking meetings one week and find five job descriptions that interest you the next.
Hiring a career coach isn’t cheap, but if using one helps you get to where you want to be, it may be worth it.
6. Stretch Yourself
See a job that you may be interested in at your current company? Talk to your manager about taking on a stretch assignment that gives you an opportunity to do some of that work.
Stretch assignments are an almost risk-free way to dip your toes in the water of another job without making a full commitment. You may find that you love the work and can use the experience gained and the connections made to your advantage if a full-time position opens up in the company.
Alternatively, you may find that the position wasn’t as fulfilling as you imagined it to be. That’s also valuable information that will help you in your quest to find a new career field.
Start Today to Find Which Career is Right for You
It’s easy to feel stuck when you have been doing the same type of job for a while. You may feel like you’re too far into one career to make a change.
The truth is, it’s never too late to change careers. If you’re not happy with what you’re doing currently, then you owe it to yourself to pursue a career that you’re passionate about, gives you satisfaction, and makes full use of your talents and abilities. Get started today!
Maria Gold is a Content Manager/Writer for Empire Resume. She is dedicated to helping educate and motivate people with the latest career articles and job search advice. Her interests range from writing to programming and design. She is also passionate about innovation, entrepreneurship, and technology.