You can do “anything” you put your mind to.’ If you grew up in the late 80s or 90s, this is the career advice you probably heard. But you likely did not hear ‘get the highest paying job possible and count the days until retirement’ perspective.
So when choosing your career, trying to follow both (or other) pieces of advice can be paralyzing. It can not only be confusing to know what you’re good at and what you want to do, but it can also be hard to figure out the job market, future demand, and how much money you can earn in a career.
Although for some, finding the right career is simply a matter of browsing through job postings, for others, the process takes a lot of exploration, self-reflection, and a willingness to redirect when necessary.
These 3 questions are a great place for you to start
1. What are your values?
Values can be an even more important predictor of career satisfaction than interests, so this is a question to spend some time on. If you value money and financial success, you’ll need a job that pays well. If you value social justice, you’ll want a job focused on helping to improve equality, justice, and fairness. If you value fun and spontaneity, you may be quite unhappy with a desk job and will need something more active.
2. How much control do I need over my own time?
Some people love the structure of a corporate job; other people hate it. For the former, this is simply a question to check off and move on. For the latter, it’s important to examine each potential career path with questions like:
- How much travel will there be?
- How much teamwork and meetings will be required?
- How flexible are the work schedule and the vacation policy?
3. Am I more introverted or extroverted?
Introverts and extroverts bring a different work style and set of skills to the table. Extroverts will be miserable in a role that requires a lot of introverted work activities, while introverts will similarly struggle when forced into an extrovert’s shoes. A few things to consider in any given role:
- Amount of public speaking
- Amount of teamwork and collaboration with colleagues, or interaction with clients
- Amount of off-work socializing required
Figuring out answers to these questions can be confusing. Marilyn will work collaboratively with you, at your own pace — to help you answer these questions and gain clarity for your career direction.