Finding The Right Career: Defining The Job That Best Suits You!

By: Steven J. Acren

Some twenty or thirty years ago, finding the right career was restricted by lack of global internet tools, limited by more old-fashioned (if you will) values and opinions, and less important than "finding yourself." I remember when my therapist, the savior of all saviors as far as I'm concerned, laughed with me over how I had gone about finding the right career: I had signed up to all the courses that I found interesting and many I hoped were in some way related, then tried to decide on a major/career. She lightly joked that a lot of people decide first, then do the footwork of taking the mandatory and essential and relevant courses, doing internships, and getting in at some entry-level. Obviously, I didn't have the tools we have today for finding the right career, nor did I know about their existence and usefulness, at least.

For instance, lots of students will use personality testing and employment/goal assessments for finding the right career - right from the commencement of their semesters in college. ERIK, Psychometric testing tools, and career skills assessment batteries will help to define aptitude and save you time futzing around with majors and minors that you FEEL you MAY like...when six years later on decide you need to start all over finding the right career, as offshore drilling is not for you or interplanetary travel studies will take too long or anthropological studies of tribes now extinct are wiped off the college catalogs three quarters of the way into your educational plan.

An incredible implement of guidance, information, and statistical projection for finding the right career is the Index to Careers Guide, produced, updated/maintained, and provided both online and off (in college and high school career centers, for example) by the U.S. Department of Labor/Bureau of Labor Statistics. If finding the right career is a assignment you feel or may think requires a knowledge of salaries, working conditions, descriptions of the nature of the work involved, training and other qualification requirements, the number of jobs/positions held in that field and the competition involved, and projected job openings, then go to and type in any career title or browse the index of thousands of positions/job types.

One more remarkable tool is one that comes in workbook form and accompanies the What Color is Your Parachute and The Boxes of Life books by Richard Bolles. The workbooks (and books) have you take rigorous (but exciting, fun) quizzes that lead you to slowly but surely deduce or do a process of illimination experiment that assist you in finding the right career FOR YOU...not your Mom, your dead Grandfather, or the culture around you who has all kinds of opinions about who you are and who you should be but who does not pay your rent or feed your kids when push comes to shove. Nor are they the ones who need to live in your skin, sleep through the night, or answer to your higher needs and greater consciousness....

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