As you decide upon a college major and a career path you’d like to go down, you have to deeply consider which job really suits you, your personality, and skills. While some careers may catch your eye for the relatively high pay check, money won’t mean much to you if you end up greatly disliking what you do, or have a hard time doing it.
For me, building a career meant doing what I love, which is Human Resources. I love to help candidates through the process of reaching their desired job. I also like to motivate and guide them to pursue the type of career they believe it fits their needs and life goals. As an HR manager, I have learned a lot about what it takes to find the right professional path. Below are those tips for helping you build a career that suits you, and one where you’ll end up happier and more fulfilled in life.
1. What do you really enjoy doing? Is it translatable to a career?
For example, you may really enjoy baking cookies. How can you turn this passion or hobby into a means of income? Look into starting a bakery in your area, check out the demand and competition, test out your talent on friends, family and people you meet. It may be the perfect career choice for you. Too often we place our career possibilities into small boxes, when really the realm of possibilities is endless if you consider what you actually like to do.
2. Research all you need to know about your desired career path.
Any job requires research if you want to be successful. Say you want to be a barista or open your own café, while you may have plenty of ideas on how to make this work, it’s important that you research as much as possible before starting out on your dream. It takes time to build up a career. At the beginning, you may need to check out inspiring barista resume samples to get a job at your favorite coffee shop. Then, you may want to research as much as you can about coffee and its origins, how it is prepared, where it is best to be stored and the list can go on. This same mindset can be applied to any line of work. If something interests you, take the time to really understand it.
3. Take time to constantly improve your resume, LinkedIn and more.
To start off on a career path of your choosing, you will want to make sure that you take time to develop an attractive, impressive, and attention-grabbing resume and profile about yourself. LinkedIn is also an incredible tool for accomplishing this. While you may have a lot going for you related to your career, it won’t mean anything if you aren’t able to present yourself to employers and opportunities. It also forces you to constantly consider your strengths and areas of interest, furthering your journey on the path to a career that truly suits you.
4. Talk to people who have made it in the field. Ask questions.
Get in touch with those who have been there and done that. They are often the best resource for helping you figure out the best options for you. They “know the ropes,” and can help you to build up the career of your dreams by sharing the experiences that impacted them the most along the way. Sometimes just a cup of coffee and a conversation can change everything for you, but you have to be the one to take the initiative and seek it out. Ask if they needed a degree beyond a Bachelor’s. In some finance jobs, for example, a Master’s of Accountancy is expected so it’s good to figure out how much education you might need for your career.
5. Hire or consult a career coach.
While this may seem like something that you would rather not spend money on, especially if you are young, a career coach can prove to be a worthy investment. Having someone who can give you advice on where to look for jobs, provide you with direction and help you navigate the often-complicated world of jobs and careers can be highly beneficial for your future, especially when going for a career path that is about your passion. If you’re in college, there are usually career counselors on campus that can help you achieve the same outcome. They’re also a great resource and first step if you’re looking for some added direction and support.
Perseverance is the perfect attitude when it comes to choosing, building, and succeeding in a career. Any career has plenty of obstacles standing in your way. Perseverance will help you to succeed in the career that suits you, even if you may feel like giving up along the way.
It isn’t always easy to find and build up a career that suits you. It can seem daunting to have to choose one field for a lifetime, but know it doesn’t have to be that way. You get to change your mind, ask questions, fail, switch directions, learn something new and start all over again. A career can often be an extremely iterative process, especially when you are truly striving to find something that makes you feel passionate and fulfilled.
Remember that big things often start out small so don’t be afraid to take that first small step towards your dreams and lasting success. Although things may not go as planned from the beginning, my best advice would be to never give up. Keep working on getting to know yourself and achieving the targets you set for your career. Life will never be the same once you start doing what you love.