Choosing a career can be overwhelming as well as disheartening. Administered by the U.S. Department of Labor, O*NET provides valuable information to vocational rehabilitation counselors, career counselors and anyone interested in learning more about specific job requirements.
There are a variety of career interest tests (inventories) available on the Internet, at major colleges and universities' career centers and at the Utah Department of Workforce Services. The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides an Occupational Outlook Handbook that is now available on your mobile phone or tablet.
It is obvious that anyone interested in choosing a career should do as much research as possible. At the end of the day, however, a good career boils down to looking forward to going to work each day. That is more likely to happen when your career matches your skills and personal interests.
My daughter has been going to college for several years, having changed her major and career goals a number of times.
She called me last night and asked how I felt about her going into nursing. I then asked her how she felt about it. She replied that somehow, some way and for whatever reasons, it felt really right to her. That "gut" feeling is probably the most important of all.
I use this example because, until my daughter thought of nursing as a career, nothing quite felt right to her. Simply put, this just felt right.
But there are no magical tests or interest inventories that will assure you will look forward to going to work each day. If you are trying to choose a career, I recommend doing as much research as possible but then allowing your gut feelings to be heard. That gut feeling can, and will, reveal a lot.
For those, like my daughter, who may feel embarrassed about changing goals or college majors a number of times, that embarrassment is not as important as getting yourself on the right track. If getting on the right track for your career requires yet another change, no matter how many you have made before, consider making that change now.
A good way to confirm your gut feelings about a career choice is to do volunteer work as closely related to your personal interests as you can find. It is also a good way to test your skills for the kind of work you think want to do.
There are more than 10,000 job titles out there, each with its own unique job description. Add to that the fact that many jobs will vary significantly from employer to employer.
This can, indeed, become overwhelming, but doing some research and getting in touch with your gut feelings can ensure you end up in a career where you look forward to going to work each day.
Ron Campbell has worked extensively in the job preparation and job search industry. He can be reached at 801-386-1111 or email@example.com.