We all know that the secret to career happiness lies in finding a job that you love. The problem is that if you don’t know what you want to do, it’s hard to know where to start. Here are some tips that will help you find a career that will allow you to make a living and be happy doing it.
Identify your skills and values. What are you good at? What skills have you attained from other jobs, in your education, or through your hobbies and interests? In what types of tasks do you tend to excel? It will be easier for you to succeed if you pursue a job that is consistent with your natural aptitudes. You also need to consider your values. What is important to you when choosing a career? Do you value work-life balance? A high salary? A flexible working environment? Prestige? Opportunities for advancement? Opportunities to make a contribution to the community? Once you are clear about your values, it is easier for you to determine whether or not a particular job would be a good fit for you.
Follow your interests. Forget about the money for a minute; what do you genuinely enjoy doing? What do you find yourself doing when you have a little extra time? When do you forget about everything else and become totally focused on the task at hand? If you can find that in a career, you are definitely on the right track!
Find out what’s in demand. No matter how skilled you are at a particular job, if there are no positions available, you will remain unemployed. You need to pay attention to the labour market and identify careers that are in demand. Check out labour market reports and see which industries and careers are expanding. Ontario Job Futures is an excellent place to start.
Consult your network. Your network can be a valuable resource in your career planning process. The people in your network know you and your skills, and they give you access to a variety of different industries and contacts. Talk to people and ask them what careers might be a good fit for you. They may introduce you to a career that you had never even considered.
The truth is that most people change careers several times in their working life. Just because you start out in a particular career, doesn’t mean that you’re stuck with it. However, you can save yourself a lot of trouble by putting some time and effort into career planning. As Confucius said, “Find a job that you love and you’ll never work a day in your life!” Good luck!
(Written by: Karen Bivand)