3 steps to find your ideal career

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Are you unsure of the career you really want? Do you want a career that will truly make you happy? Follow these 3 steps, and perhaps your ideal career will land itself in front of you!

1. Ask yourself what your biggest skill sets are

Have you worked on previous projects that were successful? If so, what did you contribute? How were you helpful? Perhaps you were good at the research needed or the writing involved. Maybe you were an effective public speaker or a natural performer. Whatever the skills may have been, review your past contributions to previous projects, internships or jobs to find out 2 or 3 prominent skills that you have demonstrated successfully and repeatedly.

If you have not been involved in many previous endeavors, find various projects to attempt (internships or volunteer work are a great place to start), and see what you’re good at. Sometimes a school setting can reveal your skill set, but I suggest being engaged in tangible commitments to find your true skill set. It may even discover a natural talent of yours along the way.

2. Consider your passions

Think about what you’ve always wanted to do, but have never had the courage to do. Some might say that whatever the field, unless you feel completely confident in it, don’t do it. I say challenge yourself.

3. Find your perfect (yet practical) career

Combine your skill sets with your passion to find that perfect, yet practical career. After discovering your skill set and kept your passions a priority, finding your perfect career will be just a little easier.

Let me give you just one example of how to apply this formula.

First, let’s say, you have shown to be a natural in the subject of chemistry. Your knowledge or study of the field landed and completed a successful summer internship in a chemistry lab. You know you are also good with directions. This may not have landed you an internship, per say, but repeatedly friends and family have counted on your knack for directions to help get them to their destinations.

Second, you are passionate about urban studies. You feel somewhat uncertain about how much of a natural you are at absorbing everything there is to urban studies, but you are passionate about making a difference in city landscapes around the U.S. or even around the world. Since you were young, perhaps you have dreamt of shaping city skylines or being famous for applying conservation principles to urban landscapes.

Now, third, put together your skill sets (chemistry and being good at directions) with your passion (urban studies or design), and you can determine that one of the perfect jobs for you is an environmental engineer. You might now consider additional—and worthwhile—education you could pursue to specialize even further. You certainly can trust that you have picked a career in which you will most likely be happy and successful. (Likely, whenever you find a specialized field—the perks of knowing what you truly want—the pay is likely higher as well, an added bonus.)

So, I suggest you try this with your skill sets and passions, and soon you will be well on your way to being even more successful!

Filed under Advice, Career, Life

Najma Khorrami is currently the Associate Director of Global Partnerships at The Center for Global Health and Diplomacy in Washington, D.C. She earned her Master in Health Policy in Public Health from The George Washington University in 2012, and rounded out her studies with a Global Health Certificate from The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. In addition to her passion for global health policy and wanting to one day help create public health programs for the disadvantaged in developing countries, she enjoys cooking and volunteering. You can follow her on Instagram at @najonoor!