How to Choose a Career When You’re Unsure What to Do

There’s nothing better than a promising career that provides the best living standards for you and your family. That is precisely why choosing a suitable career is one of the most critical decisions you will make in life.

However, you might not know how to choose a career that’s best for you in the long run. You know you don’t want to be stuck with a boring nine-to-five job. So, what do you do?

Ultimately, you have to find the motivation to choose a career you love and excel in it. That’s what today’s post is all about.

At Vector, we understand how some good career advice can truly turn someone’s life around. So, don’t fret if you can’t find a way around all this “career hesitation” just yet.

Let us help you through the process by offering a professional point of view. Hopefully, by the end of this article, you’ll be able to navigate your way through this unnerving journey.


Why should you focus on a specific career from an early stage?

We know how hard it is to stay focused when you’re just starting. While you certainly shouldn’t put too much pressure on yourself, having a cavalier attitude toward your career at all is a huge mistake. Here’s why you should focus on finding a specific career from an early stage.


You need to stay focused and goal-oriented

Indecisiveness almost always leads to procrastination. And when that happens, it’s hard to keep track of whether or not you’re achieving progress.

In an economically elusive world like this, you can’t always afford to go back to square one⏤at least not when you’re just starting. You need to combine all of your resources and find something that works best for you.

This is why it’s important to keep a specific career in mind. You won’t lose sight of your goal amidst the chaos of life. With key milestones top of mind, no matter what happens, you can stay on track as you work toward your ideal position.


Keep your experience relevant for the best opportunities

While achievements in multiple sectors are certainly a plus, it’s better if they are also relevant to your ultimate goal. Why? Well, ask yourself this. If you want to become a mechanical engineer, what good will a biochemistry internship do?

Sure, it helps you build character and gain experience. At the end of the day, though, it’s not relevant to the position of a mechanical engineer, is it? Exactly.

So, if you already have a certain position in mind, it’s to your benefit to pursue relevant job roles. That way, you won’t have to spend years working on a project that won’t build your résumé.


Level up your specific skill-sets to stay competitive

The same analogy for relevant jobs works in this case too. Consider the previous example. Even though it’s an appreciable life skill, knowing how to use a burette will not help you in aerospace engineering.

Instead, you should focus on programs that help you to learn about aerospace and engineering-related skills. Again, if you want a career in marketing, you should enroll in courses that teach you viable marketing tips and tricks.

The more time you spend mastering job-specific knowledge, the more skills you’ll gain. And with those advanced skills, you can go for the high-paying jobs that you want. (As long as they’re within your wheelhouse, that is.)


How to choose a career when you’re unsure what to do

You don’t have to immediately seek professional support if your indecisiveness is getting the best of you. At least not yet. First, try taking these few simple steps. 


Step 1: Assess your current talent

No matter what stage of life you’re in, certain skills are mandatory for success in any career. And before you can learn new skills, you have to assess your current skills first.

Ask yourself these questions to come up with the right assessment.

  • What is your educational background?
  • What interests you in a career or a job?
  • What are your values and achievements?
  • What soft skills do you have?
  • What professional skills do you have?
  • How much experience do you have?
  • What’s your personality type? Are you an empath, or prefer isolating yourself completely?
  • What are you passionate about in life?
  • What do you do in your free time? Would you like to pursue your general hobby as a permanent career?
  • How hard are you willing to work?

Even though some of these questions may seem obvious, this type of self-assessment forces you think carefully about your abilities and preferences. They also tell you how far you’re willing to go to make something work.

You can also find several assessment tools and career tests online. Generate a concise report of your likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses, etc.

Based on that report, you can come up with a list of suitable career options. Then, if you need any further help, you can always sign up for some career counseling.


Step 2: Identify your goals

Now that you know your talents, it’s time to identify your goals. Where you see yourself career-wise in a couple of years? 

If you don’t already have a clear-cut destination in mind, try answering these questions. They will help you pinpoint the jobs that suit your personality and skill-set.

  • What are you looking to achieve in your career?
  • Do you aspire to have a job that offers a lot of money or personal fulfillment?
  • Are you willing to put all your time into a specific job?
  • Are you mentally capable of handling the stress of a high-profile job?
  • What jobs can you apply for with your current skill-set?
  • Do you have a career in mind that doesn’t suit your current skill-set?
  • Are you looking for a change in your career?
  • What drove you away from your current career?
  • Can you afford to change careers at this point in life?

Whew. Lots of questions, aren’t there? But if you can’t escape the uncertainty you’re feeling, these are definitely worth asking. So, what are you waiting for? Take a pen and paper and jot down your answers. 

You might be surprised at the result once you’ve written everything down. You’ll see your strengths and your weaknesses. And eventually, your career goals will come into focus.


Step 3: Identify your ideal work environment

In finding your ideal career, it’s important to consider an ideal work environment. Keep in mind that not everyone can adjust to all types of environments.

The last thing you want is to get stuck in a job that physically exhausts you. Ask yourself these questions to find out your ideal work environment.

  • Do you enjoy working outdoors or do you prefer to remain indoors?
  • Are you an ambivert? As in, can you adapt to different work surroundings?
  • Do you wish to work in a large company? Or, perhaps, even lead it?
  • Or do you prefer to stick to a small business?
  • Do you have any physical or mental limitations that prevent you from doing a certain job?
  • Are you willing to set aside your discomforts for a good career?

While extra effort is often necessary in the short-term, you don’t want to accept a position or join a team that encourages overwork (because that can lead to burnout fast). Stick to an environment that allows you to dedicate your physical and mental energy in a healthy way.


Step 4: Create a concise list of careers

After thoroughly evaluating all of your answers from the previous steps, make a list of suitable careers. Be sure to double-check everything.

Remember that this list of careers should directly relate with to your ultimate position and skill-set. From there, remove all the career options that you aren’t interested in.

Whatever remains on the piece of paper are your preferable career options. Any that made this final list will likely be a great choice. And if you want further input, talk to a professional career counselor.


Step 5: Keep evaluating

Remember: always keep evaluating your choices. Just because you’re in one career now doesn’t mean you have to stick with it permanently. People change and so do their preferences.

Who knows? Maybe you’ll stumble upon a better opportunity later on! And when that happens, you should at least give yourself the option to consider it. 

Try to keep an open mind when it comes to careers. Having goals is desirable, but leave room for new possibilities and opportunities to change course when it makes sense.


Final words

By now, you should feel more confident about choosing a career, even if you’re stuck in a rut. Don’t underestimate the power of self-reflection when it comes to figuring out your next move.

For more resources on professional and personal development, read more on the blog