Written by Oleg Ignatenko

It all starts with a simple thought “I’m not sure what I want to do with my life”. When a person expresses this statement they should know that they are not alone. Just type those exact words into the Google search engine and it will generate about 526 million results. The earlier you think about this statement, the better, but that does not mean this thought only comes up in the mind of an individual that is 16-28 years old. This is truly one of the most complex questions because the solution lies within many aspects of every individual person. Their interests, passions, personality, goals and aspirations are just some of the factors that could help determine exactly what type of profession an individual could be interested in. The feeling of not knowing what to do for a living can be very confusing and stressful times, but there are many ways of overcoming this obstacle. First, begin by asking yourself a few general questions:

  1. What do I enjoy?
    (Many people get discouraged already by this stage as they begin to think “I like playing video games, ” “I like to travel” or “I like to pet animals. ” These are common activities that many people find enjoyable, but these are all important stepping stones that will factor into your decision about a possible future career.)
  2. What type of salary would I be satisfied with?
    (This is also a big factor because some people wouldn’t mind having a career that pays roughly 50K and would be completely satisfied, while others consider money as a greater importance and strive for a significantly larger income.)
  3. Where do I want to work?
    (Location is very important. While some people love to travel and work in a new environment, possibly in a different state or country, others prefer to be close to where they grew up or went to college so they can be closer to their families and loved ones.)

After looking over and reviewing these three questions, you should be able to narrow down your choices significantly. Now you are ready for the fun part. It is time to do a couple of career assessment tests. This is just another way of extensively narrowing your career choices down even further. These tests have been specifically designed to help identify a specific theme that you are related to based on your interest, skills, values and work activities. This theme will tell you more about yourself and give you a list of careers you may enjoy.
There are a variety of tests that are available online. Most notable are the assessment tests on the HireACane website. We are able to provide three different tests.

  • The first is the Self Directed Search (SDS) Assessment Booklet. It is very basic and is a do-it-yourself way of determining future possible occupations. This booklet is available at the Toppel Career Center to any student or alum who is interested.
  • The second is the TypeFocus Career Assessment Tool. It provides an extensive questionnaire that will provide you with a deeper insight through the assessment pertaining to your personality, values, and interests. This tool is available on your HireACane account. (After logging in, scroll down on the homepage to find it)
  • The third is the Strong Test. This is the most in-depth assessment test that is offered through Toppel. The Strong Test is organized through six sections that organize your results and gives you the best possible outlook on your future possible careers. This test costs ten dollars and is also offered at the Toppel Career Center.

After completing these tests, the next step is to set up an appointment with an advisor. This way you can talk about your results and options with someone who has experience with helping students choose the right path to success. This would also be a great opportunity for you to ask questions about certain areas and also a way to analyze those career choices to get a better understanding for what steps you will need to take to start the process of setting yourself up for success.

If you have taken all these steps utilizing this information, having analyzed your decisions, you should now be on your way towards a career with some sort of goal in perspective. Remember that if you get stuck, there is always help available at the Toppel Career Center and there is no need to panic if you’re having difficulty deciding what you want to do for a living. Give yourself time and follow your passions and you will surely find a career that will be satisfy you.

As you can see even the brightest people of our generation at one point had no idea what they wanted to do in their life and the only way to overcome this problem was continuing their pursuit to find happiness through trial and error and through failures and ultimately success.