Search
Advice » Job Hunt Strategy» Career Assessment » Select the Right Career Path
Select the Right Career Path

Select the Right Career Path

Are you wondering which career direction is right for you? Whether you're a college student preparing for graduation or an established professional unsure about a midlife change, deciding upon a career can be difficult. To select one, you must know something about yourself, the world of work and how to find occupations that are suitable for you -- this is no easy task.

Your decision may have lifelong ramifications; for example, your choice of career can play a major role in determining your income, status within your community, opportunities for success, circle of friends and even your choice of a spouse. The career you choose helps shape your identity and sense of self-worth.

One of the great benefits of life in America is the freedom to choose your line of work. To respond to this opportunity as well as the challenge it presents, many career guidance professionals have developed systems or programs for helping you select a career path.

After 30 years of counseling people in career planning, this is what I've come up with:

  • Begin with a Thorough Self-Assessment
  • Time for Research
  • Learn More
  • Make a Tentative Career Decision
  • Test Your Decision
  • Make a Final Career Decision
  • You're Almost Done

Naturally, no short article, including this one, can truly take you through a complete career-planning program like the one illustrated above. But hopefully you'll be inspired to start the process.

Whatever career you elect to pursue, make sure you first give it careful consideration. Your future will thank you. Through the use of personal-awareness techniques, peer-assessment surveys, professional testing or counseling, your first objective should be to identify your interests, skills, values, needs and behavioral traits.

Using what you've learned about your interests, review various sources of occupational information to identify occupations you feel best match your interests. Many career "crosswalk" systems have been developed that identify occupations related to interest patterns. You will more than likely find several occupations that match your interests. Use these jobs to form your list of career possibilities.

Now research job titles on your list to learn more about each option. Gather such information as duties, entrance qualifications, training options, salary and benefits, advancement opportunities, and positive and negative working conditions. This information can be obtained through printed literature or actual conversations with workers. Or check out Monster's job profiles.

Based upon what you know about your interests and matching occupations, select an occupation to pursue. Don't worry about making a bad or final decision at this point. Just make the best decision you can.

It's often impossible to determine if an occupation is right for you without trying it out, and there are several ways to do this. You could take a related course, work as a volunteer, shadow a professional worker for a day, interview several people working at the job or take a part-time job within your chosen field. Do something to get a feel for the real job. Test all your career options before moving on to the next step.

Based upon what you know about your personality and the world of work, select an occupation you feel is the best match for you. If you experience difficulty with this step, consult a professional career counselor for assistance.

Finally, if appropriate, complete any necessary training to develop the recommended qualifications. Upon completion of this step, you should be ready to seek a position in your chosen field. 

Additional Articles in This Feature

Latest Jobs

San Pasqual Band of Mission Indians
Posted: 07/23/2014
Valley Center, CA, 92082
Russell Staffing Inc
Posted: 07/23/2014
Columbus, OH, 43214
Sears
Posted: 07/23/2014
HANOVER, MA, 02339
Techtronic Industries North America, Inc.
Posted: 07/23/2014
Anderson, SC, 29625
Veterinary Healthcare Associates
Posted: 07/23/2014
Winter Haven, FL, 33884

Want more personalized results?  Update Your Profile

 
 
 

Monster Communities

Teaching Community
Where teachers meet and learn.
ArtBistro
Create and connect.
Excelle
Networking for the career-minded woman.
Nursing Link
Where nurses call the shots.
More Monster Communities

Monster Partners

Scholarships
Scholarships, financial aid and more ways to pay for school.
Education.org
Find top campus and online degree programs.
Military.com
Military portal for the US Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
Financial Aid
Scholarships & financial aid.
Staffing for Government Jobs
Staffing and hiring solutions for federal government agency jobs.
More Monster Partners

Job Hunt Strategy

Six Ways to Make a Recruiter Hate You
If you want to blow your chances with recruiters -- and, by extension, with the companies they work for -- here are six perfect ways to do so.

Resumes & Cover Letters

Rev Up Your Resume to Relocate
Hoping to relocate? Get the ball rolling on landing the right job in the right location with these expert resume and cover letter tips.

Interviewing

100 Potential Interview Questions
Interview questions can run the gamut. You probably won't face all 100 of these, but you should still be prepared to answer at least some of them.

Salary & Benefits

10 Questions to Ask When Negotiating Salary
Most of us aren't natural negotiators, but asking these 10 questions during salary negotiations can help you get everything you deserve.

Employee Sourcing

Alt text
November Monster Employment Index Grows 13% Year-Over-Year, Tenth Consecutive Month of Positive Annual Growth.

For Seekers

Campus and Online Degrees
Advance your career and earn more with an online degree.
Free Salary Wizard
What are you worth? Find out and negotiate a better salary.
Research Careers
Get information on jobs and career paths to help guide your choices
Questions & Answers
Find answers to all your career related questions -- powered by Yahoo! Answers
Resume Distribution Service
Our distribution service puts your resume right in the hands of recruiters.
Resume Writing Services
Our experts will craft a keyword-rich resume that stands out in the crowd.
More Career Resources

For Employers

Career Ad Network
Target your job posting to more candidates on thousands of websites.
Hire Right Background Checks
Explore our background check packages to improve the quality of your hires.
Hiring Home Page
Find the best candidates for your business with Monster hiring solutions.
Job Postings
Find the right solution for your hiring needs. Starting at $99.
Power Resume Search
Monster's new search technology precisely matches people with your jobs.
Resource Center
Find staffing insights, labor trends, HR best practices and more.
Target Post
Connect with skilled, hourly and administrative candidates for only $99.

Social Media

Jobs on Twitter
Find jobs in your area and industry.
Monster Careers
Tune into our career advice and discussions tackling a wide range of topics and industries.
Monster Corporate & PR
Stay up-to-date on the latest news. Get the 'Who', 'What', 'When', and 'Why' on all things Monster related.
Monster Customer Service
Got a Monster question? We've got the answer. Whether you're a job seeker or employer, we can help you find the answers you need.
Monster for Employers
Find advice on hiring.
Follow Us
Check out our many pages and stay connected with the latest industry news, events, career advice and job openings.

Other Links

Monster Company Profiles
Explore companies and get information to guide your career decisions.
Compare Salaries
See how your pay stacks up to others in your field.
iPhone Application
Download the Monster app for iPhone and iPod touch.
Monster Job Seeker Blog
Monster Job Seeker Blog.
Monster Thinking Blog
Monster's Recruitment Trends Blog.
Jobs & Career Resources
Search Jobs:
For Employers: Post Jobs | Search Resumes | Advertise
About Monster | Work for Monster | Advertise with Us | AdChoices | Partner with Us | Investor Relations | Social Media
Terms of Use | Privacy Center | Accessibility Center | Help | Security | Contact Us | Sitemap | Mobile
©2014 Monster - All Rights Reserved U.S. Patents No. 5,832,497; 7,599,930 B1; 7,827,125 and 7,836,060 MWW - Looking for Monster Cable? - V: 2014.4.30.40-304
eTrustLogo