One of the most important choices we make in our lives is a career path. 

Those who commit to the wrong career path are often unhappy and unmotivated to grow their careers. As a result, it can be an extra struggle for these professionals to get back on track when they attempt to make a change.

So, why do people choose the wrong careers? Some of the common reasons include basing the choice strictly on money and desperation to find work. But, the truth is there are many reasons why some professionals go down the wrong career path.

When people ask me about choosing the right career path, I tell them it often comes down to how well they know themselves.

In my experience, if you can keep the following four things in mind as you pursue a career, you have a better chance of choosing wisely.

How Do You Add Value To The Workplace

Don’t think of yourself as an employee, think of yourself as a business of one. As a business as one, it’s your job to sell to an employer (your customer) your services, and how those services will benefit their company, and ultimately make and save that company money.

When you think like this, it really forces you to put in perspective what your key skill sets are, and what you bring to the table as a professional. This should help you narrow your focus a bit as you decide what industries best match your skill sets.

Determine Your Professional Strengths And Preferences

Your communication style, work style, learning preferences, unique gifts, life priorities, passions and interests, etc. – these are characteristics that go into building who you are as a professional, and your personal brand.

Understanding who you are as a professional is another way to really lock in on an industry that will be the best fit.

Determine What Industry You’re Drawn To

After putting some focus on your value and professional preferences, you should be able to narrow in on an industry that you find appealing. Create an interview bucket list of employers that you admire. From there, put together your connection story that tells the employer why the business appeals to you, how you feel personally connected to it, and how you see yourself fitting into the company. 

This connection story will come in handy when there’s an opening and you need to write a disruptive cover letter to land an interview. If all goes well, this connection story will also factor into your interview preparation.

Embrace Networking

A lot of professionals are apprehensive about networking, but when you’re passionate about something, you’ll find that you’re willing to put in the needed effort to make the proper connections.

Your network is your net worth, and most jobs today are gotten via referral. Someone knows someone who works at the company you admire. By connecting with some of these professionals, you have the chance to engage in meaningful conversations about the industry. 

By slowly building these relationships, these connections will start to think of you when opportunities come up.

As you can see from the above steps, choosing the right career is a process, but each step becomes more rewarding. Making good choices is about having the best information possible and in the case of professionals looking for the right career, much of that information comes from within.

Looking For Additional Help? Try A Career Coach

Athletes and executives get coaching to hone their skills, you deserve it too!

At my company, Work It Daily, we use a combination of coaching and community to help our members reach their career goals. Work It Daily has a team of trained career support specialists that will work 1-1 with you to come up with a specialized plan to help. 

All of our memberships offer private 1-1 coaching along with unlimited networking potential, and a library of exclusive career courses. Additionally and for no extra cost, you’ll also receive unlimited resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile reviews by our trained specialists as part of our membership.

If you’re hesitant about a long-term subscription, you may want to check out one of our live training sessions that are available for a low, one-time payment.

Check out some of Work It Daily’s Free Resources.

Communication Style Quiz

How To Get Hired

Job Search Checklist

Cover Letter Samples

Career Change Guide