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How to Decide on a Career Path: A Simple Guide

Career path

What is your ideal job?

If you're fortunate enough to have one singular answer to that question, then you're probably already taking the necessary steps toward your career path.

For the rest of us though, the mystery of how to decide on a career path can be rather elusive. Particularly if you're trying to narrow it down too much.

What Is a Career Path?

When we say career path, we're referring to the positions you have as you continue to grow in your field. Sometimes a career path progresses vertically.

For example, you may start out cleaning cages at a veterinary hospital when you're in high school. If that piques your interest, you may end up becoming a vet tech and then perhaps even a veterinarian.

On the other hand, your career path may consist of cleaning those cages to walking dogs, to starting your own doggie daycare business. Eventually, that entrepreneurial spirit may take you into owning a different business altogether. This is a lateral career path.

Neither is right nor wrong. But one is right for you. So how do you determine your own career path? Start by asking yourself the following two questions:

What Are Your Skills and Strengths?

Everybody has areas in their lives where they shine.

Where do you shine? Do you have an amazing head for numbers? Perhaps drawing or painting is more your thing. You could be the next all-star athlete. Take some time to really consider the areas where you excel. They don't need to be job ideas either.

Perhaps you like to sink your teeth into practical tasks or creative work. Or you may be more inclined toward activities that require physical skills. Do you have a knack for technology or possess strong spatial reasoning skills?

Sit down and write out every possible skill and strength you have. If your list seems very short, then ask friends and family for their input. Sometimes it takes others to see what we cannot.

What Energizes and Excites You?

Did you learn somewhere that a career is supposed to be drudgery? You're not alone. But publications such as this career guide can help you see that the key to remaining on any career path is finding something about which you're passionate.

It’s not unusual to feel pressure from others or society at large to follow a certain path. Or you may be focused only on earnings. In both cases, if the path doesn't fulfill you in some way, you're unlikely to stay on it.

Let go of other's expectations and truly consider what kind of work will enable you to thrive while still being able to make a decent living. It may take a little soul searching, but your quandary will pay off when you later find yourself down a successful career path.

You Now Know How to Decide on a Career Path

Just remember, as you're trying to figure out how to decide on a career path, start with the simple steps of assessing your strengths and skills, choosing a high-demand job sector and then recognizing what truly makes you tick.

From there, the possibilities are endless.

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