1) What’s your passion?
Follow it! Ok, ok, we don’t mean to sound too simplistic, but knowing what drives you really is half the battle. At least you have a direction to work towards. Do you love music? Been an animal rescuer since your teens? That narrows down your calling considerably.
But I don’t have an all-consuming passion!
Go to Q5.
2) Can you make a living from it?
Some passions are aspirational but achievable with a plan. Like say, becoming a film maker for National Geographic. Hard but not impossible. Playing games online for a living? Well, some people do it but the opportunities aren’t endless so maybe a rethink is needed.
If you answered yes, go to Q3.
If you answered no, go to Q5.
3) Do you have the skills set for the job?
If you want to make films but don’t know how to work a camera, that’s going to be a problem. List out all the skills you need but lack and find out how to get the training needed – a short course, apprenticeship, join a local production company, so on.
4) Are you willing to “suffer” for your dream?
The suffering is not always literal… unless you want to be a war correspondent. But be prepared, the journey will be long and the days could be tough. Hang in there!
Go to Q8.
5) What are you good at?
Don’t have a passion or a marketable one? Consider what talent, skills, hobbies or even subjects in school that you excelled in and enjoyed.
Not sure if you have any talent and so on? Ok, Go to Q7.
6) What can you do with those skills?
Some skills set are easier to identify to a profession. Good with words? You could be a writer. But just because you are good at science doesn’t mean you will be a brilliant scientist! Dig a bit deeper. If you like math, could it be because you enjoy analysis and problem solving? Look for jobs that would utilise those skills.
Go to Q8.
7) What do you hate?
Ok if you can’t identify a passion or subject you are good at. Perhaps you could work in reverse. What don’t you like? Chances are if you hate accounting in school you are not going to be happy about a career in auditing or financial accounting. But banking, finance or analysis might be possible career choices.
Go to Q8 if you have narrowed down some options.
Go to Q10 if you still have no idea.
8) Have you taken a career assessment test?
To be sure, check your possible career choice against a career assessment test like Myers-Briggs Personality Test (among others) to confirm if your personality is a good match for your career choice. While this is not foolproof, it is a fairly good indication of what your natural inclinations and aptitudes are suited for.
9) Have you tried working in the industry or doing related work?
Assuming everything has lined up thus far – you have found one or several job options that match to your passion, skills or interests. The next step is to take reality check a step further. Get some work experience to confirm that you are indeed on the right path. Look for internships or volunteer opportunities. Good luck!
10) Help! I’m just totally clueless!
Nothing has clicked so far? It’s ok. Most people do take some time to find their life’s calling. Visit job fairs to speak with company representatives, or volunteer or intern in different industries. Widening your exposure will increase the chances of you finding something that matter or interest you.