Choosing a Career Pathway That’s Best for You

It can be hard to pinpoint exactly what job is best suited to your skills and talents, and sometimes you’re not exactly sure what you need to do to be able to get there. Here are some steps that you can follow to figure it out.

  • Trust your gut. While there are a lot of people out there to help you make career decisions, only you really know what you want. Keep in mind that jobs are more than paychecks. The key here is to match your passions and talents with a job that will give you satisfaction and a sense of purpose in this world. What inspires you or keeps you engaged for long periods of time? What do you love? What gives you the strongest sense of satisfaction? What are your top three strengths and weaknesses?
  • Set a plan. Exactly where do you want to end up? To paraphrase Yogi Berra, you’ll end up someplace for sure, but you should be the one driving the plan, so start with the end in mind. Envision how you see yourself on the job and what you’ll be doing.
  • Get advice. Seek out organizations like Goodwill®, American Jobs Centers, the local community college or other nonprofits. Counselors can sit down with you and help you map out a plan to get the training you need to be qualified for the job you want, including how to get basic skills for the field.
  • Be a good consumer. Just like with any other product, make sure you have all the information you need to make informed decisions. Understand what credentials are awarded, and make sure that the career pathway you have selected is in demand where you live. Ask how much money you can expect to make and whether this job has a pathway for advancement. Know the difference between credentials recognized by employers and ones issued by training providers, and check into types of training and credentials that you can earn, including other credentials that are offered in this field that will give you opportunities for advancement in the future. Being informed at the start means making better decisions about your career plan down the road.

I’d like to share with you a quote by author Marsha Sinetar that I have taped to my bulletin board: “Do what you love and the money will follow.” If you feel deeply and passionately about your job, no matter what you have chosen to do, you can bet that those around you will take notice. You will have opportunities come your way; you will build your career.

You can get career advice and more information about different career fields on GoodProspects®. Between career profiles, a unique community of career advancers and our virtual career mentors, there’s a resource for anybody looking for a new job or the right job.