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Trying to Choose the Right Career? 7 Steps to Give You Clarity By: Consiglia M. Intile, Assistant Director, Career Development


You’ve graduated from college or are thinking about transitioning into a new career, and the very thought of picking a career has you feeling overwhelmed. This is a very common feeling for job seekers and career changers. To make the decision-making process simpler, please follow these seven steps.

1. Take a Career/Personality Assessment

Personality/career assessments are an essential way to discover your skills, strengths and likes. They reveal information that you had never really thought of before. Examples include: The MBTI (Myers Briggs Type Instrument) and the Interest Profiler. These two assessments can help you learn more about yourself and what you would enjoy doing. You want to find a career that you love and not consider it work, but your passion.

2. Research, Research, Research

If you are still feeling overwhelmed or are not sure which career to choose, research. There are a few ways this can be done: Informational Interviews are a good way to learn about a specific role of interest. You get a chance to sit down with a professional and ask your questions before pursuing this position. ONET is another valuable resource that includes an abundance of information for any position that will help you learn more about the position and what it entails. You can also join or log on to LinkedIn, and see if there are more professionals you can connect with to learn about your positions of interest.

3. Create a PRO/CON List

Using this well-known decision-making tool can be useful when trying to choose the right career for yourself. Consider all the positive factors of the job versus the negatives. This list can be done with one position, or even to compare two to three different opportunities. If the position has more positives than negatives then you are on the right track to finding the career for you.

4. Consider your values

Values play an important role when it comes to choosing the right career for you. You want to work in an environment that reflects your values in order to feel comfortable. To do this: Make a list of what you value in your career: For example: Working close to home, open communication with your managers, passion and drive to help others succeed, professional development, etc. Next, look at your options and see which of these positions holds the values you listed. If your positions do not hold the values you listed, this might not be the right place to make you happy.

5. Take a break from your decision

It is important to give yourself some time to enjoy yourself and not worry about your job search or choosing your career. Take time to spend with your family, friends and significant other. See a movie or take a walk at the park. Sometimes stepping away from an overwhelming decision can shine light on what you really want to do. It can allow you to see things a bit clearer the next time you job search again. Trust your gut and heart in what you want to accomplish in life and you will succeed.

6. Remember no job is permanent if you don’t want it to be

If you choose a career and realize it may not have been the right choice, it is never too late to look again. Many new job seekers are under the impression that they have to choose a job and stay for the rest of their life. This is not the case. Statistics indicate a person will change careers five times during their lifetimes. This is because we learn every day and develop new interests that can lead us down different paths. Who knows– a new path could be even better than where you were before. The key is to find a great place that you are fond of, love what you do, stay true to your values and beliefs, and remember your first job is just the beginning of your career path. If you continue to work hard you will get to the career you always dreamed about.

7). Seek additional assistance from the Career Development Office

If you are still feeling stuck or overwhelmed with deciding on what career is best for you, seek assistance from our office. You can contact Career Development today at 312-261-3170 or Our career advisors are knowledgeable of strategic plans to help you get organized to achieve your career goals. We let the student take control of the sessions and encourage them to set up realistic goals they are able to accomplish. Our creative activities can also make your decision-making process a less stressful experience, so contact us today.