Discover your career passion

How to Discover What You Really Want to Do

With 2022 almost over and another year on the horizon, many might be contemplating a career shift, makeover, or complete career change. The most important thing is that you’re real with yourself while doing this deep dive. After the last few years, so many of us have noticed the need to make changes to achieve personal growth and happiness on our own terms. Here’s a suggested method to discover your own path toward a more fulfilling career for you:

1. Take a personality test

Getting to know yourself better and reminding yourself a bit about your core traits, or what makes you tick, can help steer you toward a fulfilling career. Classic personality tests like the enneagram test or the 16 types test are great places to start—but don’t merely accept the results as be-all-end-all deciding factors of your next career. These results are just jumping-off points. Don’t simply rely on old personality test results, either—the pandemic has changed us all as individuals. Those who might have been risk-takers in the past, for example, might be looking for more predictable environments, while others might have grown to be more accepting of risk. You have to evaluate who you are now and what you’re most interested in going into 2023.

2. Define your needs for success and safety

As you’re looking at your personality type(s), think about what needs are coming up for you. Do you feel you work better self-managing or working in a team under a strong manager? Do you prefer to be in a corporate structure or the freedom of a freelancer? What scenarios bring up feelings of safety for you—fully remote work? Being surrounded by a team in an office? Having a say in equity planning for a company? Working in isolation to bring your talent and finished projects to others remotely? Ask yourself all of the questions around what success and safety mean for you and you’ll discover the negotiables and non-negotiables of your potential career scenario.

3. Research what's possible

Once you know roughly where you are personality-wise and have put some stakes in the ground around your success and safety definitions, you’re ready to see what types of jobs are out there that could satisfy your needs. Start with companies that fit your interests and are set up for your style of working (i.e. remote only, hybrid, full-time, part time, freelance, etc.). Put your interests out there to your network, too. You never know who might be able to set you up for an interview or coffee chat to learn more about a career or company. Gather your learnings, stay open to compromise and get ready for the hard parts.

4. Evaluate what's needed to make the leap

In some cases, you’re looking at an adjacent career that can utilize some of your established talents and skills in a new field. Other people might be faced with the task of taking classes or going for a whole new degree. It’s at this point you’ll need to decide what’s practical and what needs to wait depending on where your life is at. Hopefully, the discoveries you’re making about yourself and your needs will energize you and motivate you toward change. We all deserve happiness, in life and our careers! It’s time to decide how to make it all happen.

5. Make a plan

Your career shift or change will need a plan of action, big or small. The point is that you make your steps manageable and practical over the course of days, months, and years if necessary. Talk with those in your household, too, and see what’s possible. Invite them to help keep you accountable and succeed in your plan, as well as weigh in on ways to make your plan easier. Perhaps your partner can pick up some chores while you’re taking an online class, for example. Make sure your plan includes a resume and portfolio revamp as well as time with professionals in the industry to help you stick to your potential career path.

Any form of changing careers, big or small, takes work and lots of patience. But once you find some satisfaction again in pursuing what you want to do, you’ll know instinctively you’re on the right track. And if you need help along your journey in the form of a resume review or for a recruiter to put you in touch with your dream company, we’re here waiting for you.

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