What do you want to be when you grow up?
We’ve all heard this question, dozens of times, since we were kindergarteners.
Some of us know, from day one, exactly what we want to do with our lives. And for others, it takes much longer to figure out.
Thinking about what you want to do with your life can be overwhelming! Don’t worry though – I’ve got some things for you to do while you figure it out!
Here’s the scoop:
With the help of a guidance or career counsellor (someone like me) – and the internet – start researching!
Here are the key steps:
Step 1: Learn about yourself.
Step 2: Learn about careers and the job world.
Take a deep look at who you are, by doing a self assessment. This self test involves a series of inventories, in which there are no right or wrong answers. You’ll gather interesting data about what makes you tick, what you like and dislike, and how you interact with people.
In a self assessment, you may learn things you didn’t know about yourself!
This is what’s involved:
1) Personality Inventory.
In this test, you will get to know yourself better, how others see you, and how you work in a group. You’ll learn what areas of work are suitable for you, based on your personality.
2) Aptitudes/Strengths Inventory
This inventory will reveal what your natural skills. Occupations require various aptitudes, and in job descriptions, those looking to hire will list requirements and assets required by workers and team members. You may have the right aptitudes or strengths for many jobs, but none for others. This test will help you rule out some career clusters.
3) Interests Inventory
Through questionnaires and interest inventories, you dig deep to learn your likes and dislikes. There are hundreds of questions to ask to sort out your preferences. There are no right or wrong answers here. This test brings clarity! It’s also fun!
4) Work Values Inventory
Values are the beliefs and ideas most important to you, and they guide your actions and choices. Some examples are honesty, integrity, loyalty, and respect of others. Work values are your values and beliefs related to your work and job. Work values are key to who you are, and knowing them before choosing a job or career will impact your level of job satisfaction.
If you work with a guidance or career counsellor on a self assessment (using the above inventories), your profile will match with the most appropriate career areas, or career clusters, for you.
Self assessments improve self awareness, and they can help you choose direction, and narrow your focus.
You can change your mind at any time — so don’t stress about making a perfect, permanent choice! You are likely to change your career direction from time to time over many decades.
Best thing to do if you’re not sure, is to keep your options open!
Outside of doing self assessment inventories, try new things! Experiment by joining clubs, trying sports, and dabbling in the arts at school and in your community. Job shadow in a workplace that’s tweaked your interest.
Get out there and see what you like and the things at which you’re a natural.
Have fun in the process!
If you’re interested in these inventories, and in taking a self assessment, try these free online tools.