How to Find Your Career Path

A satisfying career can be important to your happiness, since it determines the people you work with every day, the amount of leisure time you may have, and your standard of living. According to recent research, if you enjoy your career, it is likely that you'll live longer, too.

Know Yourself

Good career planning begins with self-knowledge. This means knowledge about your own characteristics your interests, values, abilities, skills, and personality.

Your interests and values may include:

Your abilities and skills may include: Your personality may lead you to choose a career with duties that: Answering some of the following questions may help you learn more about yourself. What do you like to do? What abilities and skills do you have? What is really important to you? How do your personality characteristics affect your career options?

These are just some of the questions you must explore and begin to answer as a first step in the career-planning process.

Know the World of Work

Next, it is time to gather information about occupations and the world of work. Which occupations will be in demand in future years? How are occupations changing? What do workers in various occupations do? Which occupations match your interests, values, abilities, and personality?

What is the world of work really like? How is it changing? How will those changes affect you?

Did you know that:

Get Help with Gathering Career Information

You can begin to answer many career-related questions by:

Put Yourself on a Path

After you've learned more about yourself and some occupations that interest you, it's time to set some goals. Then put yourself on a path to achieve them.

Learn the skills you need to get where you want to go. Find out if an occupation that interests you requires further education or if you can qualify for it using skills that you already have. You may need to learn some skills, such as résumé writing, interviewing, or how to apply for scholarships, school admission, or job training programs.

Remember, the future is not predetermined and cannot be predicted with certainty, but it can be influenced by individual thought and action. So, visualize the possibilities, imagine what the future could be like, and set out to discover it!

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Published by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Office of Research