You're at a crossroads and it's time to choose a career direction, but it seems like you're changing your mind every day. What to do?

Man with glasses moving his head around and looking confused.

There are so many mixed messages out there about how to choose a career — maybe your parents and teachers are encouraging you to choose a "safe" career that will give you job security but you don't know if that's right for you.

In the end, choosing a career is all about self-knowledge. When you're confused, it's time to think about what you want from life and take concrete steps to find the right career for you.

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Step 1: Spend Time On Self-reflection

Think deeply about who you are.

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  • What do you love? If you were a millionaire and didn't have to worry about money, what would you do all day?

  • What are you good at? Do your teachers praise any particular skills such as your writing, public speaking, or maths ability?

  • What appeals to your personality type? Are you a people-person (extrovert) or do you prefer to work behind the scenes (introvert)?

💡 Reflecting on such questions will give you some big clues about the types of jobs or career paths that will suit you.

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Step 2: Make Use of Tools and Resources

If you need some help figuring out your answers to the previous questions then:

  • consider booking a session with a career counselor. They will likely use a variety of techniques and tests to help you choose a career that best fits your interests, values, aptitude, and personality.

  • consider trying out some online self-assessment tools(both free and paid) to get expert guidance.

💡 Read the Career Counseling series of Rumie Bytes to discover a variety of careers you can choose from.

Two people standing and looking at the ground where the words 'passion led us here' are painted. Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash

Step 3: Investigate Your Chosen Career

By now, you should have a shortlist of jobs that you want to investigate further.

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  • If you're still in school, participate in the work experience program to get a realistic idea of the day-to-day tasks of your chosen job.

Two women having a meeting in an office and taking notes. Photo by Christina @ on Unsplash

⚡Test Your Knowledge!

Allen is almost finished with high school and is feeling more and more pressure to choose a career. His parents want him to get a well-paid, prestigious job, and because he's good at math, they want him to study business or become an accountant.

Allen is super outgoing and though he likes math, his real passionis taking photos of street art. He also enjoys visiting art exhibitions and gallery openings to meet artists and study their work.

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What career should Allen choose?

It's not a lifetime commitment

One final thing to remember — your first career choice will most likely not be your last.

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💡 As technology evolves and economies develop, most people will have to upskill, retrain or even change careers completely.

  • As an example, some of the most ubiquitous and sought-after jobs at this time — app developer, social media manager, and UX designer — didn't even exist 20 years ago!

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So, while it's important to make the right choice for yourself at this time, it might be better to think about it as your career starting point rather than your final decision.

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