Cure Your Career Uncertainty In 7 Steps

Deciding on a career is quite an exciting, albeit intimidating, proposition. There are numerous options abound and the correct choice is not always an obvious one. So, how do you decide? Related: Want Career Happiness? Identify Your Top 5 Desires While there is no foolproof method, adequate amounts of introspection, research, and guidance should enable you to be confident in your decision.


Cure Your Career Uncertainty

Here are seven steps to get you started:

1. Make Note Of What You Like (And Don’t)

Have there been projects that really inspired you to go above and beyond? Were you inspired by the topic, by the type of work that was required, or both? What about topics or tasks that you dislike? Make a list.

2. Make Note Of What You Excel At (And Don’t)

What are your natural talents? Think about the things you excel at and what you’re complimented on most frequently. Next, be honest with yourself about your weaknesses. You might love to sing, but it will be next to impossible to be a career singer if you sound like an American Idol reject. Compare this list to what you enjoy. Look for overlap between what you enjoy and what you excel at, then start your career search from there.

3. Think About What Sacrifices You’re Okay Making

Some jobs are marked by frequent overtime, extensive travel, irregular hours, low pay, and so on. Decide what concessions you’re willing to make and where you won’t budge. Don’t like to travel? You’re likely not meant to be an airline pilot, public speaker, or athletic recruiter.

4. Ask Family & Friends About Their Careers

Talk to others about their experiences. Be sure to ask the probing “why” questions so you gain deeper insight. Next, think to yourself if you align with their viewpoints and remember what stands out to you most. Perhaps your siblings thrive in a highly competitive and confrontational corporate setting, but you shudder at the thought. This is precisely the kind of thing you need to think about.

5. Do Your Research

The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides extensive information in its Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) and in its Career Guide to Industries (CGI). The OOH provides up-to-date information on hundreds of jobs; use it to learn about education requirements, typical earnings, job prospects, and job descriptions. The CGI has much of the same info, but is focused on industries rather than specific jobs.

6. Job Shadow

Once you know which careers you might pursue, find people to job shadow for a day or two. Job shadowing requires fairly minimal time and commitment, while still providing good insight into the day-to-day of given jobs. Even more ideal is to job shadow at more than one company for a similar position - for instance, at a for-profit company and a not-for-profit, or at a large company and a small one. You can also job shadow virtually to a certain extent.

7. Accept That No Career Will Perfect In Every Way

This is NOT meant to bring you down, but rather to help you be realistic. Deciding on a career is somewhat analogous to deciding who to marry. You’re bound to find flaws in a career just as you do in your significant other. What’s important is that there are flaws you can live with, and the overall good significantly outweighs the bad. When it comes to picking a career, what factors have influenced you most? This post was originally published on an earlier date.

Related Posts

5 Tips For Planning A Career Change 3 Signs It’s Time For A Career Change Your Career Path: Follow The Money Or Your Dreams? Photo Credit: Shutterstock

In our new YouTube series, "Well This Happened" it's your turn to be the career coach! What would you do if you asked a coworker when the baby was due and she responded with, "I'm not pregnant." Watch the video and cast your vote b posting a comment on Youtube. We'll select one person from the correct answers at random to win free membership to the Work It Daily program. Good luck!

SHOW MORE Show less

If you've ever wondered what a Work It Daily (WID) membership could do for you, a letter we got this week provides a powerful example...

SHOW MORE Show less

There are 3 things hiring managers are trying to initially assess about you in the job interview. This video walks you through what they are looking for and offers insights into the right information to give them. Be sure to check out our free resources mentioned in the video too. They are:

SHOW MORE Show less

Last week during my Office Hours on Youtube, a client asked about how to deal with a workplace bully. After spending many years in corporate HR, I flipped to the other side and became a career therapist. So, I've seen both sides of this situation in the workplace. In this video, I discuss why people struggle to deal with bullies and what you can do to change the situation instantly.

This week, I did something that truly scared me. I sent an email to over 120,000 Work It Daily newsletter subscribers and asked them to answer the question, "What do we do?"

SHOW MORE Show less

A market correction is going to happen. When it does, layoffs will follow. I've been in the HR and recruiting industry for over two decades and have seen three recessions of varying sizes. In the video above, I explain how to tell when a recession is coming and what that means to you and your career. While many people will skip watching this. Or, will watch it and do nothing. I hope YOU are the smart, savvy professional who sees how important it is to prepare for unexpected, unwelcomed career circumstances.

SHOW MORE Show less

In this video, you'll learn how to tell if your career is plateauing due to the Executive Blues. You'll also learn what you can do to fix the problem and get your "executive energy" back so you can keep your career on track and set goals to reach new heights of success!

Want to watch the full video tutorial by J.T.?

CLICK HERE to get access!