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The Career Opportunities How-To

The most important piece of advice in trying to choose a career is: Don't stress.

Write it down and repeat it every time you feel the stress coming from questions about what career you will choose. I know it's easier said than done, but everybody stresses out over careers and choosing a career should not be one of the stress factors.

Choosing a career, getting an education and living happily ever after isn't as easily done as it sounds. But these are the things life is all about. Yes, there are some people who know exactly what career they want. The majority of people do not, thus there is no need to rush into a decision about your career as soon as you decide you need a new career or your first career. By the way, a large majority of people will change their career at least twice in their life time.

This How To is all about giving you some direction -- some steps for you to take in your journey toward discovering that ideal career for you. Spend some time thinking about different careers before making a decision. And don't be discouraged if you find that you like more than two or three careers. A lot of careers are combining responsibilities and merging careers into one. Keep in mind that many schools have double majors, and most minors as well as majors.

Step 1

Self-Assessment- Do an examination of your interests. What types of jobs or careers appeal to you? If you have no clue, than consider why you love your hobbies and match them to a career that is similar. College career centers have a variety of self-tests you can take to help you answer some of the tough questions when seeking a career match.

Step 2

Your Abilities - What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? What things do you really dislike doing? What things make you feel as if you could do them over and over and over again? What courses in high school were you really good at? Don't count out socializing people who are good at socializing can be great in public relation careers.

Step 3

Career Exploration - Surf the web and do some career exploration. Learn more about various occupations, including future trends and skills needed by searching the Career Guide. You can find all these resources at Careers

Step 4

Career Reality Check - You need to honestly evaluate what career options are available to you. Example: Do you really have an interest in being a doctor? How are your skills in science? Can you picture yourself operating on a live person and not panicking? Are you willing to start your career with 16 hour days any day of the week and back to back? There are often ways to get around some of the obstacles for a career reality check, but it is still important to face these obstacles and be realistic about whether you can or truly want to get around them.

Step 5

Focusing On A Few Careers -Narrow your choices and focus on choosing just a few careers. Based on all your research and self-assessment of the first four stops, you should now have a better idea of the careers you are not interested in pursuing as well as a handful of potential careers that do interest you. If you still can't decide, start asking people who are in those careers why they like their career. Ask them about the bad things, the rough days and the things that keep them going. If available, try to volunteer to feel what a career in that field could be like.



Ask family and friends about their careers

Try volunteering to test drive a career

Try to imagination yourself in that career


Don't look at a career simply because it makes a lot of money 

Don't forget to consider the boring or very difficult things in a career 

Don't stress