Here are a few strategies and food for thought that you can take on board that should help you in your decision making process:
Job for life
Nowadays, there is no such thing as a job for life. Whereas before it was not unusual for people to stay in one career and often in one company for their entire working life, it is more the trend in recent times to not only change companies after four years or so, but to actually go for a career change.
It is therefore more important to think of what suits you for now and the near future and have faith that you will gain transferrable skills so that if you choose to sidestep in your career in the future, you can.
When trying to decide on what to do for a living, you need to decide what skills you think you have, what skills you would like to acquire and what you enjoy. This will help you build up a profile, effective to what is often seen in job descriptions which in turn will help you narrow down your options.
Examples of things to think about are, do you like working with people? Do you have leadership qualities? Are you more of an independent worker or a team player? Do you thrive on challenges or prefer an easy option? Do you have a great set of computer skills?
Job or Career
You need to consider whether you want a job or a career. Do you want something satisfies you for now and see where it takes you? Do you view working as simply being a means to an end? If the answer is yes, you are probably tilting more towards wanting a job, in which case, look for opportunities that fit in with your life and what you want for now.
If you want something which will present opportunities for you to climb up the career ladder, a job which has future prospects, then you are more likely to be tilting towards wanting a career. This is perhaps slightly harder to find than a job, but it gives you a good opportunity to decide where you want to be in say, five years time. This ambition coupled with your skills assessment, will help you define a criteria to look for during your job search.
Talk to people
If you have some ideas of what you want to do, try and seek out people who work in that role or similar roles. In real life, job roles are rarely as they are described on paper, so ask people what their daily activities are, why they like it, why they do not like it, and so on.
If you cannot find people to talk to, look up the job role on the Internet where you can read about what the common tasks and responsibilities are. There are independent websites that provide information on various job roles, but looking at a few job descriptions can also be useful.
This will help you assess whether you can picture yourself doing it.
It is sound advice to look at the practical side of what you require to avoid getting too carried away with job roles that sound glamorous. You need to look at salary – what is the minimum amount you need to earn to take care of your financial responsibilities?
It is worth remembering that it is a minority of people that have been blessed with finding a career that they love – most people like it but not love it, and many also don’t like their jobs much but take the attitude of ‘well, it pays the bills’ – which is enough motivation for them. Do not put the pressure on yourself of needing to find a job you love – if you do then bonus, but if not, then you can channel things you are passionate about into your personal life – they do not necessarily have to be a part of your professional life.