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Top 10 How to Pick a Career Tips

Written by: Lindsay Shugerman

August 29, 2011
Filed Under Business, Careers, Job Search 


Contributed by Lindsay Shugerman, Top 10 Guru

You could always use a dartboard. Or maybe paste a few choices on that old Twister spinner. But there are better ways to pick a career. And we’re here to give you 10 of them.

10. Look at your past

What did you always love doing? What came easy to you? What activities or subjects could keep you occupied for hours? All of these are clues to the best career choice for you.

9. Take a test

There are hundreds of choices tests you can take to help you identify the best career choices for your aptitudes, skills and interests. Try some of the free online tests, ask your school counselor for career tests, or work with a career counselor to guide you towards the best tests.

8. Talk to a counselor

Talking with a professional counselor can make it easier to pick a career. No, they can’t tell you what you should be, but they can guide you and provide you with tools like aptitude tests and opportunities for internships.

7. Ask people who know you well

Sometimes it’s easier for friends and family to see our talents and skills. Ask a few people you trust about the careers they see as a good match for you.

6. Follow people around

Ask to shadow people in a variety of careers. Or volunteer if you can’t find a professional to follow around. By seeing the day to day aspects of a number of jobs, the question of how to pick a career becomes easier to answer – you will have seen it firsthand.

5. Research the requirements for various careers

Before you decide on a career to pursue, make sure you understand the requirements. What degrees are required? Is there other professional training needed? Do you have to serve an apprenticeship or an internship? Is there a qualifying test? Make sure you know exactly what’s required.

4. Network

One way to pick a career is to start with a broad field, like medicine or law, and then network with people throughout the field. You may discover a new career path you never knew existed.

3. Research the costs and time involved in preparing for a career

Once you know the amount of education or training required, make sure you have a clear picture of the cost in both time and money. This will make sure your process of picking a career doesn’t come with sticker shock.

2. Check out predicted growth in the job

Hiring trends, changes in technology and national economic health all play a role in the number of job openings expected. Make sure the career you pick has good growth and stability.

1. Make a plan

No list of how to pick a career advice would be complete without a recommendation about planning. Knowing exactly what has to be done, and when, will go a long way towards making your career choice a success.

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