5 Steps to Help you Decide which Career Path to Take: Part 2
Jennifer Owen, M.A., LMHP-R, NCC
Welcome back! If you haven’t already read part one to this blog go ahead and follow the link to read about steps one and two that will help you choose which career path to take. This second part will cover the remaining three steps to consider when deciding on a career path.
- Understand your personality.
Understanding your personality traits and tendencies is very helpful when evaluating which career path to choose. To help you find out your personality type, I recommend taking the 16Personalities Test. It only takes 12-15 minutes to complete and once you finish it will provide you with a basic summary of your personality type. In this summary you will read about strengths, weaknesses, your personality in regards to relationships (romantic, friendship, parenting), as well as career and workplace habits.
This summary of your personality is free and very informative to help you understand who you are. For example, as an ISFJ personality, my strengths consist of being supportive, reliable, patient, and loyal, which all help me in my job as a counselor. My weakness consists of being shy, taking things too personally, and reluctant to change. I believe I would really struggle if I were to choose a career as a saleswoman (shy), and actress (take things too personally), or in the military (reluctant to change) due to my areas of weakness.
Remember, when you take this personality test it doesn’t mean that it will be completely accurate. This test is simply meant to be a tool to help you understand your tendencies, how you perceive the world, and how you make decisions. Take some time to find out your own personality and evaluate your own strengths, weaknesses, and tendencies. This could really help guide you in the right direction for a career path.
(For more information about the 16Personalities test, go to the link provided in the resources).
- Seek to improve and utilize your skillset.
Personality traits and skills are different yet similar. While personality traits consist of a person’s natural abilities, skills are things that can be taught and improved. We often choose to improve skills on things that our personality type is in line with. Some examples of skills are the following: having good writing skills, being a clear and effective communicator, being organized, effective problem-solving, ability to work under pressure, timely decision making, time management, effective conflict resolution, leadership, adaptability, teamwork, and self-motivation. Find out how your personality and skillset work together and seek to improve those skills in order to utilize them in your potential career.
- Find your purpose (your “why”).
I’m sure you are thinking “Woah! My purpose…in life!? That’s a pretty intimidating step!”. You’re right, it is! However, it’s not as hard as it seems. Let me put it this way… find your “why”. Your “why” can be defined as the inspirational reason that motivates you to do what you do. Everybody’s “why” looks different. Only you can decide what your “why” is and what you’re going to do with it.
Once you’ve figured out your “why”, write it down. Post it where you can see it… daily. Constantly remind yourself of why you do what you do. This will motivate you to find a career path that fulfills your “why”, provides financial stability, and most importantly provides true joy in the work that you do. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life”. As cliché as it sounds, it’s true. Find your “why”. Do what you love.
I’d like to say that I had an “A-HA” moment where the Lord handed my career choice to me on a silver platter from heaven but…. no. That did not happen. Instead, God brought amazing mentors, friends, experiences, and lessons into my life that helped me realize the five things stated above.
If you are still struggling with the overwhelming thought of “What am I going to do with the rest of my life?”… I understand and you are not alone. Feel free to contact us at Hope for Tomorrow Counseling. We have many wonderful counselors that can help you out! Our number is (434) 239-4949.
“Most of us live our lives by accident- we live as it happens.
Fulfillment comes when we live our lives on purpose.”
16Personalities Test: https://www.16personalities.com/free-personality-test
Theory behind the 16Personalities Test: https://www.16personalities.com/articles/our-theory