Do what you love: How to choose a career path that will bring you joy

Finding a career path that brings genuine fulfilment and happiness can be likened to hitting life's jackpot. While we all need to work to sustain our lives, not everyone is fortunate enough to experience joy and satisfaction in their daily responsibilities and routines. However, the ability to love what you do is not solely dependent on luck. It requires a thoughtful and deliberate approach that involves assessing your career options and implementing a strategic career planning process to bring your aspirations to fruition.

To embark on a journey towards a career you love, it is essential to consider a few key steps. These steps will empower you to make informed decisions and create a path that aligns with your passions, interests, and values.

How to choose a career you'll love:

Think about what you’re passionate about

Start by considering all the things you’re passionate about in life. A good rule of thumb is to think about the things you end up telling your friends and family about – it could be novels, discovering new hiking trails, getting involved with a local sports club, or even growing a miniature herb garden at home.

This is a clue for the kind of field you could be working in. Note that a love of sports doesn’t necessarily mean you should immediately start training to join a national team, but it could mean you might find work behind the scenes, such as in promotions, administration, or schedule management to name a few.

Reflecting on your past achievements and moments of fulfilment can help uncover patterns that can guide you towards a certain career path.

Ask your friends and family

Nobody knows you like your closest friends and family members, and while you shouldn’t be asking them exactly what you should do, a good question may be more like: “What did you always imagine I’d end up doing?”

Their answers may give you some insights into career ideas you may not have thought to consider for yourself – but are more obvious to others.

Incorporate your skills

It’s tough to love doing anything you’re unskilled in, so consider all the strengths you already possess and map out the ways they could be incorporated into your passions. In some cases, it may take further training to bring these skills up to a marketable level, but if you already have a strong foundation of competency, to begin with, additional training shouldn’t be too much of a time-heavy or financial investment. You also have the option to consider what career choice would best suit your personality traits.

Explore career options

Once you have a better understanding of yourself, explore various career options that align with your interests. Research different industries, job roles, and sectors that resonate with your passions. Browse various job titles and their job descriptions to get a feel for what a role requires.

Consider networking with professionals in fields of interest, attending career fairs, talking to a career coach or meeting with recruiters in informational interviews to gain insights into different career paths.

Remove money from the decision (within reason)

When you first start making career choices after high school, money isn’t as much of a factor as it might be when you’re considering a change later in life. Try to emulate this mindset once again, and think about what you’d love to do if money wasn’t a factor. This can help you focus on the roles you would truly love – not the ones you’re forced into with bills in mind.

You may need to invest in retraining or spend some time earning less than you’d like as you’re entering into the workforce from a beginner’s level, but so long as you’re not spending everything you have with little prospect of seeing a return, this is all to be expected. In time, and with the right skills and work ethic, you should be able to earn enough to live comfortably.

Develop new skills and upgrade existing ones

Identify the skills and qualifications necessary for the career path you wish to pursue. Take proactive steps to acquire these skills through online courses, workshops, or professional certifications. Additionally, seek opportunities within your current role or through volunteering experiences to further develop and showcase your skills.

The journey towards a fulfilling career may not be linear, and there may be obstacles along the way. However, by following these steps, you can proactively shape your professional path and increase the likelihood of finding a career that brings you joy, purpose, and a sense of accomplishment. With determination, persistence, and a strategic approach, you can transform your work into a source of genuine passion and fulfilment.

We are fortunate that there are so many career possibilities in Australia. If you feel you'll be happier in a new career, don't deny yourself the opportunity to go for it and see what happens.

Are you ready to start looking for a job you’ll love? Chat with Michael Page recruiters who can help you make the move into a role you’ll enjoy getting up in the morning for. 

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