When it comes to finding that perfect career, the average person faces a number of obstacles. Completing schooling, rising above the competition, gaining experience - all of these things play a role. And if the economy is in one of its famous downswings, then the odds of finding a high-paying and fulfilling job drop even lower. Add to that the fact that many young people aren't even sure of what they want to actually do for the rest of their lives and the result is a deck stacked against the average job seeker.
But there are plenty of ways to survey the employment field and find a path to a successful and rewarding career. This can be done at any age as well, be it someone just out of college or a middle-aged person looking to embark on a second career path. The trick is for the job seeker to know him or herself as much as what he or she wants in a job. Here are some tips on how best to accomplish that.
This goes beyond the mere "strengths and weaknesses" portion of a personality survey. Those who are serious about finding a fulfilling and successful career need to ask themselves tough questions and be honest about the answers. For example, someone's personal work style plays a crucial role in whether they thrive or flounder in certain environments. Those who are more self-starters often do well working for themselves, while those more comfortable in structured environments do well in a traditional office environment.
Turn a hobby into a career
The old adage "do what you love" is famous for a reason: it's the best way to work. And while it may not be possible to turn every hobby or passion into a career, it is likely there are elements of that hobby or passion the person can put toward their ideal career. Those interested in fashion can design clothes, those with garage workshops can make furniture, those who love sports can sell memorabilia - even stamp collectors can apply those organizational skills and their meticulous nature to a variety of trades.
Financial goals especially. It's easier for a person to find a suitable career if they know what they want out of life and how much it will cost to achieve it.
Weigh the pros and cons of schooling
People often say that the trick to finding a more rewarding and high-paying job means going back to school. This is often true, but not always. In fact, with tuition costs jumping 12% from 2000 to 2010, school may not be financially viable for many people. The trick is to know is schooling is an ironclad requirement for a particular career path.
Consider the social structure
The average person spends 2/3 of their life with their coworkers. Therefore, introverts may best be suited to working independently while social butterflies often enjoy careers in sales or other sectors where they get to interact with people.
Talk to people
Conducting informal "interviews" of people in certain careers is a good way to glean practical info. It may just be the tipping point a person needs to decide whether or not a certain job is right for them.
Consider a career coach
Those who feel stuck in their current job may want to consider hiring a professional to evaluate them. What pro career coaches do is measure an individual's aptitude for success across a wide variety of career paths.
These are just a few ways a person can go about finding a career that is perfect for them. Above all else, patience is a virtue in this journey. No one's idea of success is an entry-level job, but if an internship or low-pay position opens up in a worthwhile organization, it is worth it to consider jumping on the opportunity and riding it to greener pastures over a period of time.