Steps to finding the right career path for you

By Zoe Taylor

If you have no clue what career path you want to follow, you’re most certainly not alone. Before you start your job search it’s important to determine this so that you don’t waste your time on broad searches turning up thousands of results.

But how do you set your career path if you have no idea what you want to do? Personality tests might give you more of an idea, but at the end of the day the only person who truly knows what you want is you!

Utilising what you know about yourself, you can take some simple steps towards determining your dream career. Don’t rush through these steps – put a good amount of time and effort into each to ensure that you find the perfect job for you.

Step 1: Jot down your hobbies.
What do you love to do? Write down a list of activities that you enjoy as one of them could potentially lead to the perfect career path for you.

Step 2: What are you good at?
Write down a list of things you’re good at, for example writing, staying organised, time management, helping people, etc.

Step 3: What things do you dislike doing?
List the things you can’t stand doing, for example washing the dishes, entering data onto a computer, and so on. This will help you weed out the jobs that you are better off avoiding.

Step 4: What makes you happy?
Write down the things that make you happy – they can be as broad (lots of light) or specific (when you get a seat near the front door on the tram) as you like. These will help you discover the kind of environment that you want to work in.

Step 5: Visualise your work environment
What kind of work environment can you see yourself in? Can you see yourself working 9-5? Will you sit inside at your desk all day or will you travel a lot? What day to day tasks can you see yourself undertaking?

And on the flip side, what kind of work environment are you absolutely certain you don’t want to work in? What daily tasks would you hate to have to undertake?

Step 6: What industries do you know of?
Jot down the industries that you know of so that you can start to discover which ones interest you.

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Step 7: Research other industries
Even if your list from step 6 is long, it can pay to do some research into the different industries out there so that you truly know your options.

Step 8: Which industries interest you?
Of the industries you listed in steps 6 and 7, which ones interest you? Remember to apply steps 1-5 to this list, as this will help you determine which industry you’re suited to.

Step 9: Compile a list of jobs
Websites such as the MySkills site are a fantastic tool for this, as you can search any industry and be presented with a list of jobs within that industry. Write down a list of jobs that attract your interest and cut it down to your top 5-10 jobs.

Step 10: Are you qualified?
In order to be successful in your job search, you need to be qualified for the jobs you’re interested in applying for. If you’re not qualified, it’s a good idea to write a list of courses and internships that can help you gain the necessary qualifications.

Step 11: Start your search
After completing steps 1-10, you’re now ready to start your job search. Write down a list of job listing resources such as websites, newspapers, magazines, etc. and start searching!

We’ve created a great PDF document containing all the steps described in this post with space for you write down the relevant information. You can download it here and either print it out and write on it or fill it in on your computer!

For help in finding the right career path for you, or for useful tips on areas such as studying, call 1800 143 080 or visit www2.collegesonline.com.au/mycareer to contact one of our friendly career advisors!

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