Figuring out what you want to do in your career can seem like an overwhelming task. The reality is that most of us feel the same way at some point in our lives, and it’s important to remember that whatever you decide now, it’s just one step in your career journey
So, how do you go about answering that big question? It’s all about breaking it down into smaller, more manageable chunks or questions. Here are four to start you off:
1. What can I already do?
Get a strong understanding of what your strengths, skills and preferences are as they will definitely inform the roles you should be going for. Often the best way to get some perspective on these things is to reflect on your past experiences. This may be work experiences, your degree, or any roles that you may have fulfilled as part of a club or society or even within your family. Figure out what you were good at and what energised you
2. What do other people see in me?
Getting some feedback from someone you trust, whether that’s family, friends, colleagues or even a tutor, can be helpful for spotting skills you may not have thought about. Talk to a handful of different people, ask them where they think you excel and get feedback from them on your strengths list.
3. What’s important to me?
This isn’t simply about pay and perks – although those may very well be at the top of your list; really think about what you need from a job in order to be engaged every day. Are you looking for a creative role? Perhaps your ethics drive you? Are you a people-person? Consider all your values, motivations and priorities
4. What new experiences do I want?
Keep in mind your strengths and skills and key career drivers, and start looking for opportunities that interest you, that will challenge you and offer new perspectives. Temporary roles, voluntary positions and internships are all great opportunities for you to try out a certain career or industry and get a sense of the type of work you enjoy doing
The more questions you ask yourself, the more reflection you do and the more first-hand experience you gain, the easier it will be for you to make an informed career decision. Don’t doubt yourself or hesitate to try new things; it’s a learning process after all. Remember the decision you make now doesn’t define the rest of your career; it’s simply a first step in the right direction.