What Do You Want to Do?
You might be one of the lucky few who has always known exactly what they want to do, got the right degree, landed the job… sorted! But if you’re reading this, you’re probably one of the rest of us whose future is bright, but currently as clear as mud. We’ve got a fair idea of what we DON’T want to do, but that’s as far as it goes.
So where on earth do we start?
Well, everyone seems to agree on one point – find something you enjoy, that really interests you. You’ll spend a huge number of hours working so it must definitely pull your strings. If you’re passionate about your work, you’re far more likely to be successful at it.
So don’t launch yourself into a career just because it sounds impressive, pleases the parents, or pays a packet. Take time to really think about what you want from a job. What makes you motivated? How do you like to work? What tasks get you going? If you can nail down what matters to you, you’re more likely to find something fulfilling and rewarding.
Do some research and gather information on roles that appeal to you. Consider your strengths and weaknesses and see how your personal attributes and skills might suit certain jobs. Reflect on your previous experience and what you particularly enjoyed.
There will probably be multiple career choices where you could shine, so don’t feel pressured to pick the right job first time round… not many people find their dream job right away! It might take a while to figure it out, and actually, most people make several career changes during their working life, so don’t be afraid to give it a go. Even the wrong role can give you experience and transferrable skills that will help you land the right one.
Look at different companies and find out about their culture. Cultural fit is vital for happiness at work. What sort of environment would suit you? What is their management style? Do their values match your own? Choose an organisation or brand that inspires you. A good place to start is the recently published Sunday Times 100 Best Companies To Work For. It surveys large and small companies and includes Not-for-Profit Organisations. Employees give their opinions on categories such as leadership, wellbeing, fair deal and personal growth.
Once you have identified roles and companies that interest you, share your ideas and talk to people. Try to get the lowdown from people who have first-hand knowledge about the job, company or industry … use your network to get the inside scoop!
So, you may not find your perfect role first, second, or even third time round… but with each step you will learn something new and be closer to finding out what makes you tick!
For more guidance on contemplating your career options, read our tips for things to consider.