Working Out What You Want To Do

Before you decide what career you're going to pursue, carefully consider your options and ask yourself what you'd like to achieve.
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We know that it can be difficult to work out what you want to do for a job. It may be that you’ve been in your current position for a while and want a move but are not sure where to go, or you are starting out and trying to determine the right career for you. 

 

What is important in choosing a career?

 

Before you choose a career, you need to get to know yourself and ask what makes you tick. What would you prioritise in the long-term? 

Make a list of careers you want to learn more about and explore them more.

Think about your current skills, values and interests. Do any of your prospective career align with these? 

How to choose a career

who do a choose my career

 

Whether you’re making a complete career change or want to refocus your current role on what feels most meaningful to you, deciding what you want to do long-term can feel intimidating.

The Signature team have compiled their top tips on how to work out what you want to do:

 

  • Think about what energises you – The first step to working out what you want to do is to understand what you are most passionate about and what you naturally do best. Ask yourself: What gets me out of bed in the morning? If I didn’t need money, what would I do in life? What was I most fascinated with as a child? When in my life have I been so passionately focused on an activity that I lost track of time and what was I doing? What do I believe I do best? What do others say I do best? 
  • Evaluate your past jobs – This is a good way to discover what it is about a job that is important to you. Answer these questions about every job you have ever done: What did I like the most and the least about the company? What did I like most and least about the job? What did I like most and least about the people I worked with? What was the most challenging thing about working there? When was I the happiest or the proudest? What was my biggest accomplishment? What did I like the most and the least about my responsibilities. 
  • Consider the type of environment you will thrive in – For example, do you work well on your own or is it important to you to be able to work as part of a team. If you aren’t sure, try asking to get involved in some different work/projects to help you decide. If possible, you could also look to take on some additional work aside from your main job. If you work in a collaborative office, try doing some solo freelancing. If you spend your workdays by yourself, work on a collaborative project on the side. 
  • Consider different types of organisations – Decide what it is that you want from an employer, taking into account these aspects: a large company may give scope to move roles; a small company may give the opportunity to gain experience of many aspects of the business; do you want to work for a well-known company?; are training opportunities important to you? Which aspects of company culture matter to you?
5 factors to consider when choosing a career

How to figure out what you want to do for a career

There has been a recent increase in people moving from one career path to another for a variety of reasons. When you are considering retraining or using your skills in a different capacity, we recommend lots of information gathering and planning.

 

So here are some things to keep in mind:

 

  • Ask other people – A good place to discover a completely new career idea is by asking other people who work in that area. Your LinkedIn network might be a good place to start mining for information. 
  • Seek support – Engaging with recruiters to make use of their market knowledge and developing your relationship can help you get a foot in the door. They will also be happy to advise you on where your skills and experience will fit best. 
  • Practical considerations are important – Consider how any potential job fits into your lifestyle, for example, what is the commute like? Think about transport links, how long you’re prepared to travel to get to work and what kinds of services you’ll want nearby when you get there. Will this mean a change in salary, if so are you able to still meet your financial commitments?
  • Make a career plan – Your career will benefit if you have goals and a plan to achieve it. Map out where you want to go, with concrete milestones, as if it were a project. If there is specific skills or experience that you will need map out how you can go about gaining that to move yourself closer to your goal.


It’s much easier to find a successful career path when you know what you want, so these tips will save you a lot of struggle and uncertainty in the long run.

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