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How to Find a Career You Love

By Charles Hopkins Published 06/14/2007 | Careers

Can you really find a career you love? Is it really possible to wake up on a Monday morning and WANT to go to work?

If you believe the results of a recent 2007 survey by US based "The Conference Board Inc." it's not very likely. The survey revealed that more than 50% of the workforce is unhappy.

Some of these people are dissatisfied with the conditions at their workplace. Such things as rates of pay, co-workers, job security, physical working conditions, benefits, or even their boss, affect job satisfaction. For these people, a change in pay, or recognition for something achieved, may be enough to improve their situation.

But all the other unhappy people are not satisfied with the actual tasks they are doing in their job. The only way they will be happier is if they do something totally different - i.e., take a different career direction.

These people didn't ask the right questions in the first place to avoid making the wrong career decision.

The biggest thing preventing you from getting a career you love... believe it or not... is YOU!

Many people are simply not prepared to put in the effort needed, preferring to take the easy way out and accept second best... or maybe even whatever seemed like a good idea at the time.

And that is such a huge shame!

It's important to realize that choosing a career (or changing careers) is right up there with getting married, having kids, and buying a house. It is one of THE most important decisions you will EVER make in your lifetime!

You spend more than half of almost every day of your life either at work, or traveling to and from work.

And what happens at work, whether it's good or bad, affects ALL the other aspects of your life - your health, family, finances, relationships, self-esteem and so on.

Choosing a career is NOT something that can be done in less than five minutes, but unfortunately, that's how much thought some people put into it. Choosing a career involves:

1. Looking closely at yourself
2. Researching jobs which might be suitable
3. Being able to make a decision, and
4. Acting on, and being happy with, that decision.

The first step of these steps in finding a career you love is "self-discovery". It looks at such things as:

The things you like and dislike doing
The things you are good and bad at doing
The skills you have or need to get
Your achievements to date, and what you want to achieve in the future
Your family background
Your attitudes, values and personal style.

Many people find it extremely difficult, if not even threateningly impossible, to answer such questions about "me".

But a thorough, honest and realistic self-assessment is vital if you are to gather the necessary information to make a good career decision... if you are to find a career you might love to do!

Because once you are armed with all this information about yourself, you'll start to get a really good picture of career areas most suited to you.

And just as important, you'll have a much better idea of what does NOT suit you!

Then it's time to do some more research... this time into the different types of specific jobs available in the area you are suited to.

Find out such things as: What training is required? Where can you do it? What duties/tasks are involved in the job? What hours will I work? How will it impact on my lifestyle? What companies offer work in this field? Where? What opportunities are available for future advancement?

There are always many hard questions that come up that need answers in the pursuit of the ideal career.

For example... suppose you find out you need to do a four-year training course in a different town. Are you prepared to move? How can you support yourself?

Are you going to "have a go" and see what happens? Or are you going to be committed and stick with your decision?

What's going to happen if you have to go in a different direction? Do you have a "plan B" that you will be just as happy with?

You can see why so many people give up chasing a career they might love. It is just so much easier to take the path of least resistance.

Are you going to get what you want from your career? From your life?

Or are you going to settle for second best?