How to Make Positive Career Choices When You Are Unsure Of Your Path?

With a degree completed and a diploma in hand, reality often sets in for new grads as they begin their career search. Some are focused, targeting industries or locations, but many people are faced with an additional challenge. How do you job search when you aren’t sure what you want?

Or what if you decide mid-life that it’s time for a change?

From Englewood, New Jersey, U.S. Standard Products supports employees and encourages them to get involved and find their passion. Here are some suggestions for finding your place in the work world.

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Take the first step.

Take a deep breath and tell yourself it’s OK if you aren’t sure where you want to work or what career is right for you.

It can seem like a daunting task, but before you can choose the right career, it’s important to learn about yourself. Assess your values, strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes. What makes you tick and what are your interests? This exercise is a great way draft a list of potential career choices.

However, before you apply for any specific jobs, know what you excel at, what you think you could be happy doing, and what areas you’re interested in learning more.

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Make a list or two or three!

Think about your past jobs, projects, or experiences that you’ve enjoyed working on, as well as projects or jobs you absolutely hated. From that list, you should get an idea of the kinds of tasks you would prefer to do in a job and which ones you want to avoid.

Next, make a list of your skills and strengths, and not just the technical ones. An example list might end up looking like this:

The final, and potentially the most important list should be a list of occupations to explore and career paths to travel.

Separating your career path from your academics and identifying your key skills and positive past experiences will help you when start exploring companies and reading through job descriptions. You might find yourself considering a role you didn’t even realize you were qualified for!

Still stuck?

In addition to your own self-reflection, it might be valuable to take a few of the quizzes created to help people discover their ideal job.

Here are some free quizzes you can take to help figure out the direction to take your career:

Sokanu Career Test

Career Fitter

Princeton Review Career Quiz

Remember, quizzes should be treated as research and discovery — not as the concrete career path you should follow.

Time to look through job descriptions

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The job search is already tough — if you don’t know what you want to do, it can feel even more difficult choosing the right career is tricky. Economist Neil Howe estimates that only five percent of people find a good career match on the first try. Take time to find out about the companies and their focus on the job and in the community. You spend a lot of time at work, so look for a place that matches your beliefs.

U.S. Standard Products is committed to building a better world. A percentage of sales is reserved for charitable giving partners, including organizations that support U.S. troops, children, and those struggling with disabilities.

Make Your Career Choice

Finally, after doing your research, you are probably ready to make your choice. Pick the occupation that you think will bring you the most satisfaction based on all the information you have gathered. Realize that you are allowed do-overs if you change your mind about your choice at any point in your life. Many people change their careers at least a few times.

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