Choosing a career path is one of those life decisions that leave many people floundering and worried about their future when asked what they want to do for a living, especially for those who are still in school and trying to decide on a degree program. It doesn’t have to be a catalyst for stress or feel overwhelming, though, as long as you spend some time exploring your options and learning more about yourself.

Know yourself Before you Try to Plan your Future

Although the main purpose of any job is to pay for your expenses and provide for the lifestyle that you want to have, choosing a career is not only about money and benefits.Choosing a career path is about plotting your future.

However, to plan a future that fits your individual personality and goals you first need to have a deep understanding of what you enjoy doing, your personal values, ethics, and moral codes. Understanding these things about yourself will help you decide on a career path that improves your life and works towards your goals without placing you in a situation that conflicts with your values and ethics.

Explore your Options

It is difficult to choose a career path when you have no idea what your options are. With new emerging industries such as environmentally friendly energy sources, there are constantly new career paths being developed increasing the number of fields of study and career options available. In addition to emerging industries it is now much easier to study from home, such as social work degrees online.

Some resources for exploring potential career path options are:

  • Government Agencies – Some government agencies, like wage and hour or the unemployment division offer testing to measure your skill sets and preferences as well as lists of current career fields to help you decide on a career that meets your personal goals.
  • Internet – One great way to see what kinds of positions are out there is to Google, “Potential Careers” or “Potential Career test”. Either of these search topics will provide you with several resources for lists of current career fields.
  • Guidance Counselor – Besides helping you traverse the path to receiving your degree or diploma, it is part of your guidance counselor’s job to help you locate your career options, guide you through the process of figuring out what you will find most enjoyable and be most successful doing, and assist you with your post-graduation placement goals.

Try Lots of Things

It is impossible to know if you will or won’t enjoy doing something if you have no experience or are not knowledgeable about the topic. Allowing yourself to experiment with a variety of subjects while in school will help you have a better understanding of what you enjoy while giving you a clearer picture of the career you would like to have.

Taking a variety of classes as well as expanding your horizons in your personal life will open up a world of opportunities and possibilities that you may not have even known existed, while also helping you weed out those fields or activities that you do not enjoy through first-hand participation.

Choosing a career path is your first step towards your future. If you take the time to learn more about yourself, your preference, and the options available to you, you will choose a career path that carries you to the life you want and the future you envision.