I have worked several minimum-wage jobs since I graduated high school, hoping one day something would hit me in the head and say ” Wake up, this is your calling!” One thing I can tell you, I have the want, but no drive to make it happen. This is my biggest problem, although I want so desperately for something to happen. My question for you is where do I start in looking for a career path that is interesting to me and will bring me great pleasure? I don’t want to end up middle-aged, hating my job, feeling as though I have wasted my life in a career that is not satisfying or enjoyable. What kind of tests can I take? Who should I talk too? Also, keep in mind I don’t want to have to pay a lot of money or any money at all if possible.
The Career Doctor responds:
It sounds as though you have not hit that place in life where you realize that finding an ideal career and job is work in itself. You can’t expect a career to find you. It sounds as though you are close to this realization, but you may have a way to go to make something happen.
When you’re ready to do some work to try and find your ideal career – keeping in mind that current statistics show the average person changing careers about five times in their lives – here are my suggestions:
First, make a list of the things that you do well and the things you enjoy doing.
Second, take a few of the career assessment tests. I’ve gathered a few of my personal favorites at Quintessential Careers: Career Assessment. Many of these tests will give you a number of careers that take advantage of your skills and interests.
Third, with the information you have from the first two steps, either contact your old high-school guidance office and talk with one of the counselors or visit a college university or community college and see if you can learn more about the education requirements for the types of careers that interest you.
Fourth, consider volunteering, job-shadowing, or informational interviews to learn more and see first-hand people working in the careers that interest you.
These steps take a lot of time and effort, but the end results should lead you to some exciting choices. Good luck in your search.