Find a career that engages you

Business woman running up stepsHave you ever asked yourself: “What would it be like to do work I am really passionate about?”
And the natural follow up question: “How do I find a job like that?”

Whether you are just starting out in a career, looking for meaningful retirement pursuits, or making a transition from one lifestyle to a new one, there is no bad time to ask yourself these important questions, and others like:

  • What kind of workplace could I see myself thriving and feeling energized in?
  • What subjects intrigue me? What am I excited to learn more about?
  • If I have a chance to make a contribution to people, to a field, or to the world, what would I like it to be?
  • How am I different from most people I know? What are my strengths that stand out?
  • What activities and types of tasks are meaningful to me?
  • Who would I like to be around 8 hours a day for some significant length of time?

The description of your most engaging career lies somewhere among your answers to these questions.

As a career counselor, I’ve helped many people with the process: from struggling to identify: what do I like? what am I good at? and where could I find a great career fit? to then exploring different kinds of work, connecting to a variety of sources for job openings, and finally landing a job that really expressed what they cared most deeply about. The tools on CareerOneStop can help you take those steps on your own.

It’s not necessary to make a perfect match between your true identity and your work, but getting close  is a worthy aim. Try these steps on CareerOneStop to help you find your own answers to those profound questions, and approach that meeting point of your curiosity and abilities with the world’s greatest need.

Here’s how you can start:

  • If you want to put some focus on identifying types of work you might like to do, start with an Interest Assessment. You’ll answer some questions about activities you like—or dislike. Those responses will help develop a profile of different careers that use your highest interests and could give you a chance to work from your strongest likes.
  • If you want to spend time focused on what you are good at and understanding how those strengths could be used in a job, try the Skills Matcher. Answer questions about the level of your knowledge and expertise in a variety of areas to find matches with different careers. An important point to keep in mind is that this isn’t a contest—it’s not about showing your potential for being highly skilled in an area, but rather about matching your current, genuine skill level with those skills needed for a particular type of work.
  • When we talk about matching your curiosity and ability to the world’s greatest need, we’re talking about matching those interests and skills you’re identifying with the kinds of careers available to you. Employment demand, or how many job openings are anticipated in the next few years, is one way to measure that. You can explore employment projections for the careers that come up on your assessment results in the Occupation Profiles, or check out the reports for your state about the occupations that are fastest growing, have the most openings, or employ the largest number of people.
  • Put all those pieces together—what you like to do, what you are good at, which types of careers are growing or have openings in your area—and you have the beginnings of a great way to ignite your passion for a lasting and fulfilling career.
  • If the careers that intrigue you are beyond your current education or training level, consider looking at furthering your training. Check out the types of training that are available, how to pay for it, and where you can find it in your local area.
  • When you have a strong sense of your direction, check out ideas to find job openings, including the Job Finder.

And do not hesitate to ask for help along the way. Free support and assistance are available at American Job Centers in your area, at community colleges, libraries, job clubs, and more.

To read more on work that ignites your passionate enthusiasm, check out our blog on how to Revitalize your career.

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