How to Decide What Career is BEST for You

My mentor once told me that the most successful people have no more than 3 careers in their life. In other words, they may have many jobs that step them up the ladder of their career, but they take no more than 3 paths. What this means is that you have to figure out what you want to do before you go out and start doing something. Define your end goal, then figure out the steps to get there.

What if you have no idea what you want to do?
It’s time to sit down and start writing. Without any particular career in mind, make a list of Personal Attributes (strengths and weaknesses) and Career Needs.

For example:

Chatty, and amicable in a group/ work environment

Snaps into focused mode easily

Likes to have things mixed up incl. settings, people…

Likes to be in the action/ thick of things

Prefers to write and research independently

Enjoys writing and proof reading

Likes statistics, graphs and memorizing and using them

Likes to research

Can organize for other people

Manages time well under deadlines and in office setting


Sincere in wanting to help others

Enjoys bouncing ideas off of others in group setting

In group settings, ensures efficiency and quick results

Performs tasks quickly

Meets deadlines

Enjoys entertaining, (idea of) going to business functions and receptions

Willing to work on weekends and into late evenings


Energetic personality might irk people

Needs space away from others to get focused on work

Gets nervous when presenting in front of groups (it’s not too bad)

Doesn’t manage own time well

Keeps personal space messy

Not always succinct in writing and speaking

Writes slowly

Needs structure of office environment to reach potential

Lacks confidence to go at new projects w/o support

Can get impatient in group setting when time is wasted or progress isn’t made

Doesn’t appreciate bureaucracy


Does not want to work in a catty office, but rather in a professional office

Opportunities to change locations in case… (who knows!)

Would like to live in a city

To sleep 7/8 hours most nights

Flexibility (eventually) to be able to work at office, home or anywhere else

Paycheck large enough to maintain some aspects of current quality of life- dinners, concerts every so often, plane tix

Opportunities to advance within organization

Now look at your list and from that, think about what your job might look like, what you might be good at, what you would like to do, and what you would prefer not to do.


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