Struggling to figure out what the career of your dreams is? Boy have I been there. I have always felt a little twinge of jealousy of the people who knew what they wanted to be when they grew up since the age of eight.
Most of my life I’ve struggled with figuring out exactly what I want to do. I didn’t feel like I even had any passions or knew what my calling was until I really reflected on it. Now I am a super passionate person. It just took me a lot of inner soul-searching and work to figure it all out.
If it’s time for you to figure out the next step in your life, but you have no idea where to begin, hopefully these tips can help you get closer to finding your career soulmate!
1. Remember what you loved to do as a child.
What you loved to do as a child is a great indication of the person you are today. Did you love solving fake crimes? Maybe you should be a detective. Did you play dress up a lot? Maybe you should be an actress. Did you draw pictures? An artist.
Personally, I wrote stories. Not very good ones, but I loved it. I love to write and I always have. But I left writing behind for a good chunk of my life for some reason. I finally came back to it in my twenties and started blogging again. Realizing how much I used to love it is a definite eye-opener to what I think my purpose in life should be.
To do: Look back and reflect on the activities you did as a child, they might help you figure out what your true career soulmate is. You have changed a whole lot since then, but our core passions usually remain with us.
2. Take the Myers Briggs personality test.
I can’t tell you how reaffirming it is to take the Myers Briggs test and see the career choices they give you and for it to be exactly what you expected. It makes you feel like you’re in the right field, doing what works for you on a real level. On the flip side, it may direct you rights towards your career soulmate, if you’re not already moving in the right direction.
If you haven’t taken it, I urge you to. You might find a real connection and figure out stuff you didn’t even realize about yourself.
To do: Take the test right here. How do their career suggestions match up with where you are right now?
3. Get an internship.
Internships are the best because they give you a short-term look at what a position in a company looks like. You get to ask yourself, is this what I want to do? Do I want her job? What about this company? Can I see myself here? It’s a great time to reflect and think about what you want. It’s like getting a little free sample without having to purchase the whole liter.
To do: Search the #nowhiring hashtag on Twitter. Find and apply for internship in a field that matches up with your Myers Briggs test results. You won’t lose anything from testing the waters! P.S. Here’s How to Land the Internship of Your Dreams.
4. Play the field.
Just because you start working at a job doesn’t mean it needs to be where you end up. Just like you’d take a test drive with a car, do the same to figure out the career that you work best in.
Where would you like to be in the company? Maybe you wish you were in sales or finance, but you feel stuck doing admin work. Learn more about the position. Ask if you can help them with any tasks or if you can ask them some questions about their position. Learn as much as you can about them. That way, when they are hiring, you will be the top candidate.
To do: Read 10 Ways To Stand Out as a Millennial in the Workplace. Be aggressive with your networking strategy and make the effort to get to know every single person who works on your floor. On top of that, it’s important that you lean into your internship — make the most of every single project and task you’re given — soak up the knowledge from those and around you and never stop learning and researching your industry.
5. Be selfish.
Be okay with leaving a secure job to find one that matches you better. Life is too short to be working in a place that you hate. Money matters, but not as much as you do. I know it’s not easy to get a job in this job market, but if you aren’t happy, start looking around. There’s a better job out there to meet your needs.
But remember that all jobs have their downsides. There will be hard and frustrating times in any job, whether you work for yourself or otherwise. But stay focused on your dream position and don’t let yourself feel obligated to stay and risk the chance to find your ultimate career soulmate.
To do: Be honest with yourself — are you happy with your career? Can you see yourself in the same industry in 30 years? If the answer is no, start with #1 on this list. You don’t need to leave your current job right away if you aren’t financially ready. But beginning to do your research and find other ways to pursue the passions that call to you will help you fulfill what’s missing from your day job. On top of that, you’ll be more prepared when you’re finally ready to leave the job that holds you back.
While there’s no such thing as a perfect job, we can all hope that we make our jobs into the career of our dreams. We can sweat our butts off to earn it and make it happen, because it is out there. It just takes some struggle and determination to get there. We believe in you.