Some people work to live while others live to work. The right balance is really somewhere between the two. While you have to have a job to pay for your lifestyle, there is no reason to work doing something you hate or in an environment that doesn’t suit you. Following your passion is one piece of advice that is more than slightly misleading. While your passion is important, it also has to be profitable, fit your personality, and meet your preferences for it to be a good choice.
However, it is possible to have it all, to find the right career for your life. Here’s how.
Do Some Soul Searching
Spend some time thinking about who you are as a person and what strengths you can bring to a company. Is there a subject to which you tend to gravitate? Sometimes, this can provide an important clue about what you like. For instance, what do you do for fun? Maybe that could that be the basis of a career. You could teach yoga, give art classes, or be the person in charge of selecting new styles for a store to carry. The possibilities are limitless. Also, do you volunteer? Sometimes the work people do for free is what they see as their most significant value. In other words, if you always volunteer to coordinate events, why not do it for a living?
Consider Your Weaknesses
Look at your weaknesses. By avoiding things you dislike doing or do not do well, you can find your direction. Someone who hates not having structure might do better by working for a corporation with many policies and procedures than for a startup that is still figuring things out.
Identify What You Do Not Want
Next, think about what it is that you don’t want in a career and do some research. It could happen that for as much as you’d like the idea of becoming an advertising executive or a retail shop clerk, you really would hate the job itself, the long hours, the location, the having to work on weekends, or the pace. Make a list of the situations you would strongly prefer to avoid and try to identify careers that keep you away from those circumstances.
Take a Quiz
You can also take quizzes. While they might look like “goofy little assessments” to the untrained eye, there are career quizzes and personality tests that can be nothing short of illuminating when it comes to setting you on the right path for your dream job. Sometimes, quizzes help you confirm the conclusions you reached while soul searching. Other times, they uncover paths you may not have considered or forgot about as a possibility.
Explore Your Options
Finally, explore your options. Look at the jobs companies are offering and see where you might fit based on your experience and education. You might need to go back to school, find an internship, or start at the bottom — but those are not the only avenues open to you. Some people with a specific skill or trade find that freelancing or self-employment is a good fit while others decide to go a more entrepreneurial route, like Amway. These are also a good option for the right people. Sometimes direct sales companies are labeled as pyramid schemes, but Amway is not a scam. The company has been helping people build a career that is outside the box for decades.
Finding a career that fits your life can be a challenge, but it is worth making the time to do some soul searching. Consider your weaknesses, identify what you know you do not want in a job, take some personality assessments, then consider your options. You are closer than you think to starting a new career!