Home » Business » Careers and Jobs

How To Choose a Career When You Don't Know What To Do

Aug 17, 2007
One of the toughest choices you're bound to confront throughout your career is what job or career choice is right for you?

Accordingly, you may ask yourself what you want to do... Which is great if an answer is immediately forthcoming... but what if it's not? Unfortunately, you may not be able to come up with an answer that really helps you... if you think of an answer at all. This may be because you don't know what you want to do... or because there are just too many things you want to do... or because it's a loaded question: it implies that there must be one answer, which you just can't decide on.

If you find it difficult to answer the question of what you want to do, then I recommend you forget about even trying... and instead focus on an alternative question: "what do I want to learn?" In fact, here's what I suggest you do: grab a piece of paper and make a list of everything career-wise that you want to learn. It could be anything - from how to sell, to how to how to manage people. After you're done, look closely at the list. Which of these things do you want to learn "now", which do you want to learn "sometime in the next year", which do you want to learn "sometime in the next few years" and which are "nice to learn, but not essential". Re-arrange each item into that priority order. Your third and last step is to think about what kind of career or job is likely to teach you what you want to learn in that order of priority. Or at least what will deliver your "high priority" learnings within the next year.

Of course, no job, career or employer will necessarily teach you everything you want to learn. And you may change in terms of what you want to learn too. So be prepared to update your list.

But, for now at list, your list of items indicates which careers and jobs are likely to teach you what you want to know, and thereby provides a great guide for making your next job or career move.

Now, the assumption behind this process is that what you want to learn is the best indicator of your next career move... and will ultimately help you find the right job(s) or career(s) (remembering that there might be more than one "right" job or career over the course of your professional life). However, I think it's a fair assumption to make when it's a matter of making the leap from unsatisfying work to a truly rewarding job or career.

Therefore, stop trying to find an answer to the question of what you want to do. Go through the fun exercise above and let your answers as to what you want to learn guide you towards the right job(s) and/or career(s) for you.
About the Author
Get the job you want! Watch Anna's funny and inspiring movie, Career Choices, then download a free chapter of her shocking and controversial ebook, Insider Job Secrets Revealed.
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Print Email Report Share
Article Categories