A lot of websites (this one included) and colleges may lead you to believe there are certain careers or degrees that guarantee a job offer or high pay. Unfortunately, almost every field has both graduates and experienced professionals that can’t find work. And you can find professionals in any industry that are unsatisfied. Articles about careers and majors may give you ideas to consider, but you also need to take your own interests, personality and values into consideration.
A career that doesn’t fit your personality will present a challenge no matter how good the pay or job security. At best, you’ll be bored and you may feel drained from trying to force your personality into a job that isn’t right. For example, introverts thrive in environments where they can have time alone while extroverts derive energy from social interaction. For more help on choosing a career for your personality, read Do What You Are: Discover the Perfect Career for You Through the Secrets of Personality Type .
Your may not be able to pursue your passion as a career, but your chosen profession should be interesting to you in some way. A career test may be able to point you to a broader interest area, and you can narrow down your choices from the results. The recognized career interest areas include: social, investigative, realistic, artistic, enterprising and conventional. Read more about the career interest areas.
Assessing your career values is an important step in the career planning process. Do you want to help people, have independence, or feel a sense of achievement? Think about the things that really matter to you in a career. No career offers everything, so you’ll need to prioritize your values (MyPlan.com offers a useful values assessment tool). It’s important to choose a career that matches with your values, because it gives a sense of purpose to your work.
When it comes to choosing a career or college major, there are no guarantees. Career decisions based solely on pay or alleged employment statistics may lead to career dissatisfaction, especially when setbacks inevitably arise. When you really love your career path, motivation can remain even through major downturns.