How do you feel on Sunday night? Do you look forward to the week ahead as an opportunity to benefit the world while showcasing your skills? Or do you lie awake tossing and turning, dreading the chime of the alarm?
If you’re not in the perfect job for your personality, you might spend considerable mental energy dreading the daily grind instead of feeling motivated at work. Maybe your parents told you to ask, “What job will make me the most money?” instead of, “What job will make me happy?” Perhaps your circumstances required taking an imperfect position temporarily — but you need not make it a life sentence. Here’s to find the answer to the question, “What career is right for me?”
- Take a Career Personality Test
- Identify Unifying Characteristics
- Evaluate Your Education
- Seek out Inexpensive Training
- Network With Others
- Attend Webinars and Seminars
- Unplug for Awhile
- Cultivate a Hobby
- Take on a Side Hustle
- Investigate Contracting Opportunities
- Start a Small Business
- Create a Residual Income Stream
- Move Forward Fearlessly
1. Take a Career Personality Test
Psst. The fact that you’re reading this article means you have internet access — so when you finish reading, take a free career personality test. Personality assessments draw a picture of your work aptitudes. Like a series of Picasso paintings displaying different aspects of the same face, various assessments lend unique insights into your skillset.
You can find a ton of free career assessments. The more quizzes you choose, the more complete the portrait you draw of your interests and abilities. Hey, you’re not wasting an afternoon — you’re gaining personal insight!
2. Identify Unifying Characteristics
Once you’ve taken the time to dive into career assessments, you should begin noticing a pattern. Do you tend to score highly in artistic endeavors? Do you demonstrate an affinity for leadership or for following the scientific method?
Perhaps you prefer the concreteness of the physical world over abstract concepts like justice. A realist like you may thrive as an engineer or an airline pilot. Conversely, if you get energized by the thought of fighting for fairness, you may excel as a lawyer or a paralegal.
3. Evaluate Your Education
The good news? It’s never too late to learn something new. The bad? Continuing your education via a traditional degree program can cost a pretty penny. Plus, a graduate degree doesn’t guarantee a higher income. Instead, consider what you can do with the education you already have.
If you’ve trained as an English teacher, but you don’t enjoy public school politics, you could apply your writing skills as a content marketer. Maybe you went to school to learn database administration but prefer a more creative role in designing apps.
Pretend you’re at an interview and the recruiter asks, “How are your skills applicable to this role?” How would you respond? Unless you’re brand-new to the working world, you likely possess transferable skills like time management that benefit you in any field.
4. Seek out Inexpensive Training
Even if you decide to postpone a formal educational program, a great way to help answer the “what career is right for me” question is seeking out inexpensive training. You can learn everything from photography to programming on websites like Udemy without shelling out much cash.
You minimize your risk by opting for this route — it’s better to spend $25 to discover WordPress isn’t your cup of tea than to take out $25,000 in student loans. This approach makes for a logical first step if you plan to switch careers entirely. You can always further your training if you discover your niche.
5. Network With Others
The cliché about not knowing someone until you walk a mile in their shoes holds for career advice — you never know what a job is truly like until you talk to someone who does it. When you do, select the right person.
Find someone who energizes you with their enthusiasm. What do they do for a living? What do they enjoy the most about it? What do they find the most challenging? Every job comes with some frustrations — what are theirs? Are they the sorts of hassles you enjoy overcoming?
6. Attend Webinars and Seminars
What if you want a career in advertising, but you don’t know anyone who works in the field? You can begin building a professional network by attending conferences and seminars in your new niche.
Plus, you’ll gain valuable insight into the most up-to-date knowledge. Too often, professionals who have held the same position for some time put professional development on the back burner. You can wow employers at your next interview by getting current with industry trends.
7. Unplug for A while
Did you know the average person spends 11 hours per day reading, watching or otherwise interacting with the media? You squander the majority of your waking hours bombarded by images of what other people think you should do and become. How can you hear your inner voice over such a din? You can’t.
To tune into the still, small voice inside, take a social media holiday. Turn off your television as well. Use this time to read or otherwise evaluate your options. Pay attention to the activities you gravitate toward while you unplug. Did you spend all your time on your PlayStation? Maybe a career in video game design is in your future.
8. Cultivate a Hobby
Mark Twain once wrote in Tom Sawyer that “work” consists of whatever a body feels compelled to do. The author, born Samuel Clemens, thus pioneered the idea that if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. The types of activities you find entertaining offer insight into what jobs will make you happy.
Do you enjoy antiquing? You could start a side hustle restoring old furniture and vintage heirlooms. Can’t wait to dirty your hands in the garden? Perhaps you could set up a stand at the local farmers’ market.
9. Take on a Side Hustle
Adulting means putting up with all sorts of pesky realities — like the need to pay your rent. If you lack a sizeable trust fund, you might need to keep your day job while you pursue your dream career. Why not begin by doing what you love part-time?
Maybe you’re a receptionist in an accounting firm, but you dream of opening a restaurant one day. There is always a high demand for food service workers — can you moonlight as a line cook? Perhaps you’re in sales, but you enjoy working with children. Can you lead a before- or after-school program at your local YMCA a few days per week?
10. Investigate Contracting Opportunities
“That sounds great,” you might think. “But one boss is enough for me, thank you.” If you don’t want to take on a second job, consider signing on as an independent contractor in a field you find fascinating. In this type of structure, you fill a defined role — but you determine where and when you work.
For example, if you live in a tourist town and have been considering a hospitality career, consider renting a spare room on Airbnb or driving for Uber. Both will give you experience in delighting a wide range of people from diverse cultural backgrounds
11. Start a Small Business
When it comes to how to find the perfect job for your personality, the answer may be no employment at all. You can start many small businesses with very little startup capital — some with none. You can start an online or in-person tutoring service with nothing but a website and some business cards, for example.
Print out pamphlets of your services and talk to friends who teach at local schools. Once your business turns a profit, you can segue into practicing it full-time — or you can sell it to fund your next endeavor.
12. Create a Residual Income Stream
Many Americans lack adequate retirement savings, let alone an expense fund to carry them while they figure out their career path. You can establish some degree of economic security with a residual income stream.
Do you have a personal blog? You can sign up for affiliate marketing programs to bring in money from your content. Are you an expert in basket weaving? Design a course on Udemy or another e-learning site and get paid every time someone enrolls. The extra income will come in handy during job transitions.
13. Move Forward Fearlessly
Finally, remember there is no such thing as a finish line when it comes to your career. Wherever you are on your journey to the perfect job for your personality, there’s only one way to go — forward.
It doesn’t matter how many times you stumble. It only matters that you keep getting back up. Your life is a sculpture, and you hold all the tools you need to shape the marble. Carve yourself masterpiece after masterpiece.
Finding the Perfect Job for Your Personality
Finding the perfect career niche can prove challenging. However, by following the 13 tips above, you can find the job of your dreams, all while keeping your life necessities covered.