How to find a career that suits you

April 18, 2018

Finding your niche in the world can be difficult, especially if you are not sure what, exactly, your career should be. You may find yourself drifting from job to job in the hopes of finding a position that  suits your skills and personality. If you are facing this dilemma, follow the advice below to find a career that suits you.

Figure out what you love to do

Figuring out what you love to do can be as simple as asking yourself ‘What makes me feel exhausted, but accomplished and happy?” or taking classes, such as public relations courses for those who want to use their people skills effectively.

If you have a number of interests and cannot figure out which one would make a good career, write a list of them all and see which one keeps drawing you back to it. You could create a list of pros and cons of all if you are unable to choose just one, and the interest with the most pros should be the path you take for your new career.

Take a career aptitude test

If your list of interests is not helping, you could look online for a career aptitude test. These tests take your strengths, weaknesses, interests and job preferences into account and ask you a series of questions with simple answers.

These tests may not always be accurate but they can help you see what careers will suit your unique skill sets and interests. In South Africa, you will find help on the National Career Advice Portal if you are still battling to pinpoint what, exactly, you would like to do with your life. Aptitude tests often provide insight that you may never have thought of before, so trying one can be of immense help.

Think of what type of boss you would thrive under

Some people prefer their employers to have a hands-on, involved style of working while others prefer a lot of independence and latitude. You will need to think about what type of boss you would thrive under, and what would make you unhappy in your career.

If you are someone who prefers having feedback on a regular basis about their work, then you should look for careers with this sort of arrangement. Someone who prefers independence and little criticism could become a freelancer or a consultant based on their interests. Often younger people need more guidance, so having a boss who is hands-on may not be such a bad idea.

Keep in mind what you are good at

While exploring your passions and interests is an important first step in discovering what career is right for you, you should keep in mind what you are good at. Knowing what you are good at can help when searching for careers, especially in the competitive market of today’s job hunters.

If you have always had an affinity for computers and scientific thinking, look for a career in IT or development or if you create beautiful art on Photoshop then a career as a designer may be just the choice for you. If you know what your talents are, then you can hone them and look for a career that utilises them the most.

Try an internship or learnership

If you are searching for the perfect career and have some in mind, then you could look into an internship or learnership at a company offering similar positions. An internship is best for students or for those who can be flexible with a lower salary and who have a flexible schedule.

If an internship or learnership does not result in a permanent career, or if you find that the role is not for you, do not despair. You will broaden your network and add experience to your CV which can help with future positions. The experience will also help to build skills in other areas which can be used for a range of positions.

What is your job criteria?

Rather than thinking of what employers will be looking for, think of what you are looking for in a job and company. This will help you to narrow down what type of company you want to work for and ultimately, what type of career suits you best.

You will need to think about elements such as the kind of people you enjoy working with, the results you like to achieve and the organisation’s working style. Include your own values, such as what products or services are important to you. Look for a company that ticks most of these boxes and then look into an opportunity to work for them or take an internship with them. Be sure that they offer positions that line up with your skills and interests.


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