Don’t worry! You’re not alone. Many people don’t figure out what they want to do until well into their twenties or sometimes even later. The main thing is not to let your indecision paralyze you.
Instead, consider it a positive thing and use it to your advantage. Not having a set career plan allows you to explore different career options and maybe even try out a few graduate jobs you couldn’t ever imagine yourself doing for a living. Learn what a career is for you!
So how can you start considering your different career options? One option is to have a go on a couple of career tests, and, for starters, you might want to try our free career test. We think it does its job well (and it’s fun too). The test matches your skills, personality, and interests with different industry sectors, so you’ve narrowed your choices but still have multiple options.
Once you’ve got your shortlist of potential industry sectors, you can start researching them in more detail and see which ones appeal to you the most. Read our sector overviews, rifle through our occupational profiles, and dip into some sector-specific articles. Career tests don’t necessarily have to be taken at face value, but they are a fantastic way to inspire you.
Practical research is essential when choosing your career but should be coupled with self-reflection. When choosing a job, you must identify your skills, personality, motivations, and interests.
What are you good at? And we don’t just mean academically. Are you imaginative? Great with people? Always organizing things? Think about what motivates you and what you’re interested in.
The career test and your research should give you a good idea of the direction you want to head in. Next, securing work experience to determine what careers suit you best is up to you.
Yes, that’s right, work experience isn’t just CV fodder. If you do it right, it’s a great way to discover your future career path. Once you’ve got your potential sectors shortlisted, finding work experience in those areas is always a good idea.
You can read about things as much as you want, but only once you get your hands dirty and gain practical experience in the working world will you be able to check out whether specific jobs are right for you. For example, there are jobs that you can get at 14 years old. Work experience is also a great chance to talk to employees and get their take on their profession.
An active approach
The main thing is to take a positive step forward. Actively exploring your career options is far more productive than banging your head against a wall and wailing, “I don’t know what career I want.” You might even find the whole process — dare we say it — enjoyable.
And even if you’ve figured out what you want to do, remember that you don’t have to stick with your choice for the rest of your life. Often starting one job, or striking out in one direction, will open up doors in other areas.
How do I figure out what I want to do for a career?
Figuring out what you want to do for a career can be daunting and stressful, as young people feel pressure about what career to choose, something that will mark the rest of their lives. It doesn’t matter if choosing a profession takes a long time; it will all be worth it at the end of the road, so take the time to decide what you want to do and what you would like to work on.
We all need time to think, identify and evaluate the different opportunities to study a career and the possibilities of job opportunities that this university career will offer you after graduation. You can imagine what your life would be like in 5 years and where you see yourself working, that may help you to clear your mind, but there are also other ways to think about what career to pursue, such as career counseling tests.
Remember that it’s okay if your career interests change over time. It’s essential to continue learning and growing and always be open to new opportunities.
Is there a test to help you choose a career?
Yes, several tests and assessments can help you choose a career. These tests help you identify your interests, personality traits, and skills and suggest potential career paths that align with your strengths.
Remember that while career tests can help provide insight into your strengths and interests, they are not definitive or comprehensive in determining your career path. It’s essential to use them as a starting point and to continue to research and explore potential careers on your own.
What is the best free career test?
Several free career tests are available online, and the best one for you may depend on your preferences and needs. Still, there is one of the best free career tests that we recommend.
Holland Code Career Test (from Truity): This free test helps individuals identify their personality types and matches them with potential careers that align with their strengths and interests. There are six different personality types (RIASEC) that are well-suited to specific occupations:
- Realistic: This personality type is for practical people who enjoy working with their hands. They are well-suited to careers in construction, agriculture, and mechanics.
- Investigative: This is for analytical people who enjoy solving complex problems. They are well-suited for science, engineering, and research.
- Artistic: For creative people who enjoy expressing themselves through art or design. They are good at graphic design, fashion, photography, and writing.
- Social: These individuals are empathetic and enjoy working with people. They are well-suited for education, counseling, and social work.
- Enterprising: For people who are outgoing and enjoy taking risks. They are well-suited to careers in sales, marketing, and entrepreneurship.
- Conventional: These people are organized and enjoy working with data. They are well-suited to fields such as accounting, finance, and administration.
How do I figure out my career path?
Here, there are some steps you can take to help you identify your career interests and goals:
- Take career assessments: You can take free online assessments to help you identify your interests, personality traits, and skills and suggest careers that align with your strengths.
- Identify your hobbies and passions: Think about what you enjoy doing in your free time, and consider if there are careers that align with those interests.
- Research careers: Use online resources such as job search websites, career exploration websites, and company websites to learn about different occupations and industries.
- Network: Talk to people in the sectors or careers you’re interested in to understand better what the job entails and what skills and education are required.
- Gain experience: Try internships, job shadowing, volunteering, or taking on side projects to gain experience in fields that interest you.
- Evaluate job market trends: Consider the demand for jobs in specific areas, salary ranges, and potential for career growth.
- Set goals: Once you have identified some potential career paths, set short and long-term goals to help you achieve them.
Quiz that decides your career
It’s essential to keep in mind that no quiz or assessment can definitively decide your career path for you. Career decisions should be based on various factors, including interests, values, skills, and experiences. However, some career quizzes and assessments can help you explore potential career paths and gain insight into your strengths and preferences.
- Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI): This paid personality assessment tool is commonly used in career counseling and personal development. The assessment is based on Carl Jung’s theory of psychological types and assesses four dimensions of personality:
- Extraversion (E) vs. Introversion (I).
- Sensing (S) vs. Intuition (N).
- Thinking (T) vs. Feeling (F).
- Judging (J) vs. Perceiving (P).
- O*NET Interest Profiler: This free assessment is developed by the U.S. Department of Labor, and it is a 60-question assessment that asks individuals to rate their interest in different activities, such as organizing information, helping others, or working outdoors. Based on their responses, the assessment generates a list of potential careers that align with their interests. In addition to the Interest Profiler, this website offers other tools and resources:
- Career exploration tools: Detailed information about hundreds of careers, including job duties, required education and training, and salary information.
- Skills search: Search for careers based on the skills and abilities they possess.
- Career pathways: Information about different career pathways, including entry-level jobs, middle-skilled jobs, and high-skilled jobs.
- Education and training: Information about various educational and training options, helping individuals make informed decisions about their future.
- CareerExplorer: This career assessment and exploration website provides a comprehensive suite of tools and resources to help individuals identify potential career paths and make informed decisions about their future. Some of the key features of the website include:
- Career assessment: CareerExplorer offers a free career examination that helps individuals identify their strengths, interests, and values and matches them with potential careers that align with their profile.
- Career profiles: The website provides detailed information about hundreds of occupations, including job duties, required education and training, salary information, and related careers.
- Career paths: Individuals can explore potential career paths based on their interests, values, and strengths, and guides how to navigate different career stages.
- Education options: Information about other educational opportunities, including vocational schools, community colleges, and four-year universities, helps individuals make informed decisions about their education and training.
- Job search: CareerExplorer provides job search resources, including job boards, resume builders, and interview preparation tips, helping individuals navigate the job search process.
A career quiz can show you your career path or at least your field of preference. Don’t rush it. You must take your time to consider what you want for your future. Otherwise, you’ll get stuck in a career that is not for you.