How Do I Choose The Right Career Path?

Chelsea Lawler

If you are unsure what career path you want to follow, how do you figure it out? What is the answer? There are many questions that you will need to ask yourself in order to choose the best career path. Maybe you do know the exact career you want, but are unsure on how to proceed to the next step. We will discuss how you can clarify the direction you may want to take in your quest for the proper career.

Think of a Mission Statement

When you are trying to figure out what is next for you in your career, take some time to reflect on what you want out of life. What is your focus? What are your goals? Craft a list of your goals and create a personal mission statement that reflects what you want out of your life.

Self-Assessment

It is imperative that you think of your hobbies or interest when thinking about a potential career path. What interests you? How do you spend your free time? Do you have any hobbies? In addition to creating a list of things you enjoy, think of things you do not enjoy doing. Be honest with yourself! If you are having a difficult time creating a list of interests/hobbies, search the Internet for career based assessment tests. These tests will help refine your interests and match them to a specific career field.

S.W.O.T. Analysis

Maybe you have heard of the S.W.O.T. analysis before. It is an assessment technique used to help you understand your own strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. It allows you to take an honest internal (related to you) / external (related to your environment) look at your abilities and how the areas may fit into your future career path. Furthermore, it helps you assess how you can take weakness or threats and flip them to your advantage in the career path environment.

Examples of Internal/External S.W.O.T. Analysis

Strength (Internal)
Education, experience, soft skills (problem solving, communication, etc), networking skills, and positive attitude.

Weaknesses (Internal)
Lack of education, experience, soft skills, and poor work ethic.

Opportunities (External)
Are your skill set and experience needed in the career field of choice? Growth in the area of industry? Are there more opportunities for training or education? What about professional development?

Threats (External)
Downsizing, competition, or limited advancement within your career field of choice.

Value of a Career Field

It is important to assess the overall value evaluation of your intended career field or path. If you are certain of your career path and find a company you are interested in working for, be sure to understand their workplace values. The values of a company or organization will directly impact your overall personal values and satisfaction with your career path. What do you value in life? What do you value in a future company?

After reading over the four steps listed above, you should start to see the career path puzzle come together. If you are still nervous or unsure as to what to do next, it may be beneficial for you to seek out help from a career counselor or employment professional in the field. These professionals can help guide you on a more personal, face-to-face level to develop your potential career choices or overall path.

About The Author

Chelsea Lawler

Chelsea Lawler is a recent graduate of Philadelphia University with her Master of Science degree in Fashion Apparel Studies. She graduated from Mount Aloysius College in 2010 with her Bachelor of Arts degree in English. Chelsea enjoys running her small jewelry business for vintage clothing, and traveling. With her writing at Career Igniter, she hopes to educate both students and job seekers on the various facets of the job hunting process.

Leave A Comment