The days of people staying in their careers for their entire working life is long gone. Now, people move through several career paths as they move through different stages of their lives. Choosing the perfect career path is tough, and what might work when you are in your early 20s, might not be ideal when you reach age 40. So, what do you do when you are at a career crossroads? Use these five tips to help you choose the right career path.
Recognize how much preparation is required
Some careers require a lengthy amount of preparation. You might need to take college classes, earn a specialized certificate, or work with an organization offering job training for autistic adults to get what you need to qualify for a new job.
Before you decide to undertake a new career path, decide if the preparation is worth your time and money. The best way to decide is to look at the average salaries, and the number of opportunities in your area. If there aren’t many available jobs, or the pay is too low, you might want to pursue another path.
Career crossroads? Try career testing
When your current career isn’t rewarding, it might be time for you to look into career testing. If you have been working for 10 or 20 years, you might not be aware of the jobs that have been created over the years. With career testing, you can find out what job is the perfect fit for you personality and skills.
You can find career tests at employment agencies and online. Some non-profit and government agencies also offer career tests at little to no costs for people in the community. There are also private career coaches who can guide you through the process.
Value your skills and qualities
If you have been working for several years, you might already have skills and qualities that lend themselves to jobs you never considered. Make a list of your skills and traits, by breaking down the skills needed for the tasks you do each day.
Maybe you’ve been a teacher for 20 years. But, if you break down everything you do each day, you will be surprised by all of the skills you have mastered, from scheduling activities and managing people to leading training sessions and maintaining detailed records.
Think about your salary goals
Before you choose a career path, make sure you will be paid what you are worth. You might want to be a tour guide in your city, but if someone is doing it as a volunteer, you shouldn’t expect to be paid well for it. You can look online for average salaries for local jobs.
Look online when at a career crossroads
The US Bureau of Labor and Statistics maintains a website that is filled with timely job information. The site is constantly updated and is filled with information about jobs and their availability.
There are several categories listed and each contain different types of jobs with their average pay and necessary training. Browse it and other resources to find something that looks interesting to you.