Not everyone spends their educational years knowing for sure which career path they want to take. Some people can change their mind about their chosen career a number of times, even before they have left education. Others decide to leave big decisions like this until they have left school and have experienced a bit of life out in the real world first.
It comes as no surprise to learn that 19 out of 20 graduates have changed jobs within three years of graduating. Many of us simply cannot decide on a career, let alone the type of job we want to do. This is why it is worth taking some time to work out what sort of work you would be happy performing.
Remember, taking a full-time job will mean you doing that job day in and day out, all year round.
Deciding on what sort of job you would be happy doing and would feel comfortable performing for a long time can come down to your personality type. If you truly don’t have any idea about what sort of job to take, then do a little bit of self-reflection first to help you decide.
Define your personality traits
By defining your personality traits, you can quickly eliminate the types of jobs that wouldn’t suit your personality. Every single position requires a specific skill-set. Some personality types lend themselves more to one type of job over another, so if you have a bubbly, outgoing personality and you love meeting and talking to new people, then being locked away in a quiet office all on your own may seem like your idea of a personal hell!
It is the same for someone with an introverted personality. If you are nervous or uncomfortable about approaching strangers and engaging them in conversation, then a career in sales and marketing may not be the ideal career path for you to take.
Take some time to note down your personality traits and any strong skills, passions and interests you have. Are you sporty and physically active? Are you up with the Lark and working out at the gym every morning while others are still deep in their slumber?
Are you a deep thinker? Do you like solving puzzles, riddles or maths quizzes? Do you need a job that is more mentally stimulating than manual? Are you good with words or numbers, but shy away from crowds or noisy places?
Analyze yourself and create hypothetical working situations to place yourself in. How would you react to or cope with a job that requires a lot of travel? Are you happy to discover and explore new places, or are you a home-body who likes their own familiar surroundings?
All of your answers to these questions will give you an outline of your skills and personality strengths and weaknesses. Let’s look at some potential jobs and career paths you could take based on your results:
Outgoing personality types
If you are the person that gets the party started, and are the one that your friends call for a guaranteed fun night out, then your outgoing and friendly personality is made for jobs where you can talk for a living. Think of sales and marketing roles, product demonstrations, acting and the performance arts.
Sporty personality types
Is everyone you know envious of your fit and healthy body? Would you rather go for a sprint around the park than stay at home to watch a TV soap? Then look for a job in sports coaching or fitness training, such as a gym instructor, personal trainer or swimming instructor. A career in the sports and fitness industry could be perfect for you.
Numerically minded personality
If you are good with numbers and love nothing more than analyzing figures and statistics, then you could train to become a maths teacher, work in accounting and finance, or go into the banking sector. Lots of big companies also employ data analyzers to dissect their business data to spot trends to help them improve their performance.
The list of personality types can go on for much longer, but for the sake of brevity you can include such types as:
- Creative / Artistic
- Green / Environmental
Each personality type will be naturally drawn towards certain job sectors, so it is worth taking the time to deeply analyze your own personality to discover the types of jobs you will or will not be happy to undertake.
Many people have a mix of personality types where they may be comfortable working in two completely different business sectors or industries. You just need to figure out which one is your strongest trait so you can pursue a career that will be truly satisfying and not leave you wishing you took a different path later in life.