There are a lot of outside factors that will play a part in determining our career path. For example, the opinions of others, general societal expectations, and our expectations can influence our path. This can not only be overwhelming but also incredibly confusing. 

At Achieve we believe that it’s essential to personally reflect on who you want to be, regardless of outside factors. Working in conjunction with Andrea I., who has over 40 years of professional experience, she has a lot of good advice for those who are lost or struggling with nailing down who they want to be. 

In this post, we will be focusing on the following: 

  1. Personal Experience 
  2. Environmental Factors
  3. Your Values 

So, let’s break down the steps you need to take, to be honest with yourself about what career path you want. 

1. Personal Experience 

The first thing that needs to be considered is, do you have any experience in the things you’re saying no to? As a general rule, it is good to try anything at least once. Keep an open mind and give it a shot if you’re unsure. Next, figure out why you’re saying no. Is it because of fear of taking chances, or maybe you feel that you lack training? If this is the case, perhaps consider saying “not yet” instead of just “no”. 

But, if you are saying no based on experience, then saying no is a perfectly valid response. Experience also doesn’t mean doing the exact thing you’re being asked to do. Even if you’ve tried something similar or had training in this particular field and disliked it, this may not be the path for you. 

2. Environmental Factors  

As has been discussed in prior posts, the advice of others can also make you feel compelled to go down a particular path even though you know in your heart that it’s not something you want to do. Thinking critically about why people may be suggesting you take a particular path is vital in ensuring that you are making an informed decision. 

Why are they suggesting this career path? 

  • Are they suggesting this for their benefit or yours? 
  • People will be pushy when they realize they can’t get what they want from you. 

Work towards holding your own. Standing up for yourself and your beliefs and values is incredibly important when deciding on your own career path. People can also be pushy with you and it is up to you and you alone to determine who is right about what you should be doing and who’s not. 

3. Your Values 

At Achieve, identifying our values is vital as it helps us focus on what matters to us. Once they have been identified, we can use them when making decisions. This will ensure that we are aligned with our core principles and help us to live in balance.

Doing this will help you better understand the following: 

  • Does the career align with your values?
  • What is the most crucial part of a career for you? 
    • The work 
    • The people 
    • The future opportunities 
    • The flexibility 
    • Or is it something else? 

Answering the above questions will provide clarity on where you should start. What you value most should inform your decision on what career path to take. This also means how much you value yourself. Don’t undervalue yourself or your abilities. The way to happiness includes understanding what you are capable of.

But also remember that you don’t have to keep moving jobs if you are happy. Living your best life also means understanding when to stop and that where you are is where you’re meant to be. Don’t keep pushing if you enjoy what you’re doing 

“It is very important to know who you are. To make decisions. To show who you are.”

– Malala Yousafzai