How do you pick a career that’s right for you? With so many options, how can you decide on the right direction to start walking?
Catherine read my book and is well on her way to a new career. She recently wrote this post about how to pick a career direction and find a path that you love. She said it would be okay if I shared the post below. To follow her progress, visit her blog at CatherineChea.com
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Over a month ago, I had an article published with the Elephant Journal about how my exhausting job search contributed to my feelings of depression. The issue in the end was not that I could not find a full-time position; rather, that I did not have a career-focus. Once I had a career-focus, I found my lifestyle to be more fulfilling as I am now working towards my goal.
While I attended university, I considered applying to law school and graduate studies in public policy. However, upon completing my philosophy degree at McGill University, I realized that not only did I need a break from academia, staying in school longer will not give me the career insight that I needed.
Here’s are the steps that worked for me.
1. Try a Number of Things to Learn More About Yourself and the Job Industries
Especially for a recent graduate without a sense of direction, the best thing I did was experience a number of things as listed below:
- I networked (through meetup.com, Eventbrite and tenthousandcoffees.com)
- Did a door-to-door sales job on a commission based salary for a month
- Applied to over two-hundred job postings online (for diverse job titles ranging from administration, to recruiter, to marketing)
- Took a continued education course in Toronto
- Taught piano part-time at a local studio
- Volunteered with a non-profit start-up
- Assisted my family’s business (which includes interviewing candidates for a job position)
- Went on a trip to China
What have I gained from these experiences?
I discovered what aspects of a job/industry that I liked and didn’t like.
For instance, I did not enjoy direct sales, but I also learned how important sales are for driving businesses. I realized I did not want to teach piano full time since I want to work with other professionals, but I liked being able to share my creativity and insight.
From applying to hundreds of jobs in the job board, I soon discovered which careers were more appealing and the skills that I needed in order to meet the job requirements. Through traveling, I realized how important it was for me to incorporate new experiences to my lifestyle.
2. Self-Reflect and Document Your Experiences
It was important that I could make a connection between my industry-related experiences (which includes networking and volunteering) and my personal motivations and skills. Through blogging and writing in my journal, I reflected on my experiences and found a career where my skills and interests align.
3. Make Concrete Plans
Now that I have a career focus, I find myself more productive as I have set goals. After further research, I made a list of steps that I should take to help build my new profile.
The best piece of advice I would have given myself a year ago was to be patient and not to dismiss the experiences that I was gaining as they have given me the insight that I needed to be where I am today.
For more details about my journey, visit my blog: CatherineChea.com