How to Find a Career You Love: Practical Guide and Tips

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    Regardless of whether you are fresh out of high school or are tired of your current role and are considering alternative career options, finding your ideal career path is a worthy aspiration. In short, everyone wants to know how to find a career you love. 

    We spend the majority of our days working so it’s important to find a job where we feel safe, valued, and fulfilled. Sometimes it can feel difficult to know how to find a job you like, never mind how to figure out what you want to do as a career. 

    In this article, we provide key tips and strategies for how to find your career. So if you’re interested in how to find a career you love, read on for our practical “how to find the right career for me” guide. 

    Finding a career you love: a pipe dream or realistic ambition?

    Are you wondering how to figure out what you want to do for a career? Finding a new career can feel overwhelming. Thankfully, there are lots of available resources designed for this exact purpose: career aptitude tests, internships, volunteer opportunities, job shadowing opportunities, networking events, online job forums, and informational interviews. 

    Finding your ideal career isn’t a one-stop journey. It’s a journey of self-discovery and self-awareness that requires careful reflection and deliberation. The way to know how to find what career you want is to ask yourself what your talents are and how they can be used to support your values and passions. For some, this could mean starting a side hustle they’re passionate about that eventually they can pursue full-time.

    Why it’s important to find a job you love

    How do I find a job I like? 

    We’ve all asked ourselves this question at one time or another. Generally speaking, when you dislike your job, you feel less satisfied with other aspects of your life as well. There are lots of career changers out there.

    Regardless of how ambitious or career-driven you are, it’s important to know how to find what you love doing, for the sake of your physical and mental well-being. Let’s take a moment to look at 3 key reasons why it’s important to find a job you love.

    01

    Careers are demanding of your time and energy

    As previously mentioned, careers are incredibly demanding of your time and energy. You deserve to enjoy something that you consistently invest so much time and energy into. Forty hours a week adds up and chances are you are spending even more time thinking about your job and work-related responsibilities outside of work. 

    02

    It’s important to achieve a healthy work-life balance

    If you actively dislike your work, chances are your time off will be filled with stress and anxiety. This is why it is important to know how to find the work you love. People who enjoy their jobs can achieve a healthier work-life balance and generally have more energy to devote to their well-being, personal relationships, and outside interests and hobbies. You deserve to know how to do what you love — for the sake of your time, energy, and well-being. 

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    03

    It’s empowering to have a sense of purpose ​

    It feels empowering to pursue work you value and have a greater sense of purpose. People whose jobs are in alignment with their values tend to find more satisfaction, both inside and outside of the workplace. Furthermore, people who are passionate about engaging in professional development experience tremendous momentum; this helps prevent them from feeling stagnant or bored. 

    How to find a career you love in 7 steps: career finding tips that work

    If you’re focused on “finding the right career for me,” you’ve come to the right place! Follow these 7 steps to know “how to find a career for me.”

    01

    Identify your talents

    What are you naturally good at? What have you been successful at in the past, either inside the classroom or within a previous job role? Consider some of the following skills and competencies: customer service, written and verbal communication, creativity, organization, leadership, public speaking, active listening, conflict resolution, empathy, etc. 

    02

    Identify your interests, passions, and values

    Now, ask yourself what you are interested in. What are your passions and values? Your talents need to work in alignment with your passions.

    For example, maybe you excel at written communication. Based on this skill, you could be well-suited for a newspaper job. Maybe, though, you prefer something a bit more creative and have always had a love of gardening. In that case, maybe you could be happier if you find a job writing articles for a gardening website. 

    03

    Reflect on your ideal work environment and schedule

    Reflect on what your ideal work environment and schedule entails. Do you work best with structure or flexibility? Do you prefer working alone or on a team? Where do you want to live and work? How long of a commute are you comfortable with? Are you a morning or a night person? Do you have scheduling conflicts at your current job you’d like to avoid? 

    04

    Conduct research and explore job opportunities

    Join online job forums. Use the messaging feature. Find job fairs and networking opportunities near you. Research potential internships, volunteer opportunities, and classes related to your career interests. You may even consider consulting a career counselor

    05

    Engage in networking opportunities

    Networking is a powerful skill and is a crucial aspect of any successful career. Attend classes and conferences related to your interests. It’s important to get to know other people in your ideal field. Introduce yourself and strike up a few conversations. Learn from your peers what’s possible in your prospective field. Not only will this provide you with valuable career advice, but it may even lead to a few job leads!

    06

    Gain practical experience

    Once you’ve figured out your career goals, it’s time to start gaining experience. Depending on your field, this could entail going back to school, developing new skills, becoming an intern, or gaining various certifications. 

    07

    Update your resume and practice your interview skills

    Now it’s time to update your resume (and LinkedIn profile) and practice your interview skills. In today’s job market, it’s especially important to know how to optimize your resume for Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). Use straightforward formatting and include plenty of keywords. Always tailor your resume to the job listing. Then you’re on your way to finding the perfect job for you! 

    Need professional help finding a job you love? Contact Prepory

    Career counselors can offer valuable insight and guidance into career fields and the job search process. Regardless of whether you need help polishing your resume or could benefit from further developing your interview skills, here at Prepory, we have the resources to help you reach your goals. So if you’re wondering how to find a job you love that pays well, reach out to learn more about our services.

    Final points on how to find your career

    It can feel intimidating to choose a new career path. That said, we spend the majority of our time at work so it’s important to enjoy your job. Finding a fulfilling career will help you achieve a healthy work-life balance and prioritize your personal relationships while having a greater sense of purpose. The key takeaway here is to engage in consistent self-reflection and to remember that finding your ideal career is an evolving process.

    FAQs

    Still have questions? Review these frequently asked questions for further insights into the job search process. 

    Finding your ideal career is an evolving process that requires trial and error and self-reflection. Start by asking yourself what you both enjoy and are good at. Then ask yourself what you dislike — an equally important question. Then start from there. 

    Thankfully there are countless career exploration opportunities available to students. Go to your school’s career center and sit down with a career counselor.  Take a career aptitude test. Apply for internships. Volunteer. Job shadow. Ask for informational interviews. 

    In many cases, before you can know how to find a job you're passionate about, you need to discover what you are passionate about. While some people find their passion with ease, others have to put in significantly more effort. It’s okay to start small. Begin by asking yourself what you enjoy and what you're good at. Approach your career path with curiosity and positivity. Surround yourself with people with similar interests; this will help you discover more career options and opportunities. 

    It can be difficult to know how to find what you love to do if you don’t know what your passions are. Finding “your passion” can feel daunting. So start small. Ask yourself what you have liked and disliked about previous jobs and start there. 

    For instance, maybe your first job was at a coffee shop. Maybe you thrived in the fast-paced work environment but disliked the early mornings. So for your second job, you decide to work at a pizza shop, where you have later shifts. Or maybe you worked as a babysitter for your first job and were happiest when helping children make crafts. So you decide to shadow your art teacher from when you were in elementary school.

    There are lots of reasons why people find it difficult to know how to stay motivated at work. Sometimes, though, feeling unmotivated is simply a sign that you should switch up your routine. Try taking short, purposeful breaks, putting away your cell phone during working hours, and keeping your workplace clean and organized. 

    Every job has its challenges — even if it’s your dream job. That said, if you dread going to work, it’s probably time to consider whether or not your job displays signs of a toxic work environment. Is your workplace rife with gossip? Is morale low and turnover high? These may be signs of a toxic work environment. 

    Sometimes minor workplace offenses can be remedied through proper communication. Sometimes, though, toxic work environments can feature serious workplace offenses, such as sexual harassment, violence, retaliation, and workplace discrimination. If this is the case, a career change might be in order.

    Like with any career choice, reflect carefully on your needs and values. What does your ideal schedule and lifestyle look like? Factors you may want to consider include: your personal limitations, workplace location, the nature of your commute, and scheduling flexibility.

    For example, if you have a physical disability that makes commuting to work difficult, you may want to find a job where you can work from home. Similarly, if you are worried about calling out of work too often, you may want to prioritize finding a job where your working hours are flexible.  

    It’s never too late to start searching for your ideal career. Thankfully, many people in their late 20’s have relatively few responsibilities compared to people in their 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s. Take this time to network, job shadow, attend informational interviews, further your education (through formal and informal means), and try out a variety of work positions.  You may even decide to develop a personal brand, pursue a startup, or become an entrepreneur.

    Not everyone enjoys attending school. That said, there are other ways to widen your professional skill set and discover valuable work opportunities. For example, social media is a great way to learn about new topics. 

    Maybe you don’t enjoy taking classes but love watching makeup or hair tutorials on tick tock. Maybe you find yourself watching YouTube video after YouTube video. Or maybe you love watching home remodeling shows. The point is that there are lots of ways to learn about new topics without sitting down in an actual classroom.

    Contact a Prepory college admissions coach and start your college admissions journey.

    Our college admissions experts are here to guide you from where you are to where you should be. Through our comprehensive curriculum, individualized coaching, and online workshops, you are set for success as soon as you connect with us.

    During our initial consultation, we will: 

    • Assess your student’s applicant profile and higher education goals 
    • Provide detailed information about our services and programming
    • Share tips on how to navigate the U.S. college admissions process 

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