Determining your career interests and using them to choose a career path

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Choosing a career is one of the most important decisions in your life. Even if you do switch to a different line of work later on, long as you are working in a certain industry or at a certain position, your love for your work will determine how much it takes a toll on your mental and physical health, because even if it is something you love doing, work will always drain your energy to an extent, and as such it is critical that you spend your time and your energy into doing something you love, so that it stresses you out less and when you reach a milestone in your profession, it actually motivates you to do better than you already are. These steps are one way to go about determining your interests:

  1. Underlining your general interests

You can start your search by looking at where your general interests lie. What activities do you like performing in your leisure time? Maybe you like reading, or carpentry, or writing — these are just examples of everyday hobbies that most people have. Maybe your interests are more obscure than those of the people around you, but that does not mean that they are irrelevant. You never know when a particular hobby might just be the cherry-on-the-top of your resume, so do not sell yourself short by neglecting to take a hobby into consideration simply because you think it is uncommon or useless.

  1. Look back at your previous experiences of working in position of responsibility

Taking into account your previous work experiences helps with choosing career interests, too. Perhaps there was an internship that your degree required you to do, and to your surprise, you actually enjoyed it. Maybe there was a summer job that you took up to pass the holidays that you thought could be a prospective career. Or on an entirely different note, maybe you had been hired for a position at a reputable company but you dreaded getting out of the bed every morning and going to work, and at work your eyes would be glued to the clock, waiting for the hour hand to move to five so that you could clean your desk up and leave.

If you have never had a job, then there could have possibly been an experience at school or college that you enjoyed — maybe that event you helped in organizing and relished every second of despite the hustling it required indicate that event organization just might be your calling?

  1. Consider what you are good at and research careers

There are times when you might realize that your range of interests is too diversified for you for you to reach a decision about a career without second-guessing yourself. Then, it is best to eliminate interests that while you might adore, are not really your cup of tea — for instance, maybe you can spend hours sketching without having the compulsion to lift your head up from your work and glance at the clock. However, you feel like there is great deal of room for improvement and that the time it might take to improve could be better utilized in pursuing another interest that you are comparatively better at, then you would probably be better off following the latter.

Once you have a comprehensive list of all your interests, research careers that make use of those skills. Identify the accompanying traits and talents required to adopt that path, and eliminate those that do not make the most of your other talents and habits. Once you have narrowed down your list of options, try to contact professionals with that very job description so as to have a first-person perspective on how they feel about their work, and in the end it is almost impossible for you to not have arrived at a conclusion that allows you to know what exactly is it that you will be okay with doing for the rest of life.

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