Want to work your dream career but not even quite sure what exactly that is? Some people are lucky in that they know from a young age what they want to do for work someday. Other people, however, aren't so aware of what their dream job would look like.
If you fall into the latter category, you're not alone. In fact, the majority of workers (64%)) are job-hopping, according to a survey by staffing firm Robert Half, Does Job Hopping Help Or Hurt Your Career?: Survey Reveals Workers Favor Frequent Job Changes, but Managers Aren't on Board. This number is up 22 percent from a similar survey that was conducted just a few years ago. The research, therefore, suggests that most people are looking around for a job that suits them better.
Fortunately, there are platforms out there to help you determine what job (or jobs!) would be ideal for you.
What is a dream career?
Your dream career is totally up to you and how you define what a dream looks like. It may be a job that you love going to every single day because you adore your colleagues. It may be a job with which you're not totally obsessed but that you know is a stepping stone in the right direction toward a fulfilling and lucrative career. It may be a job with a company that you've always admired or for a leader who has always inspired you. And it may be a job that makes an impact on the lives of others and supports social causes that are near and dear to your heart. On the other hand, it may just be a job that pays you super well and/or offers you a whole host of attractive benefits.
We can't stress enough that it's not necessary to follow the status quo, and you don't have to turn your passion into work either. Your dream career might not be everyone else's dream career, and that's OK. Likewise, you don't need your job to define you as a person; it's OK for your job to simply be a thing you do during the week in order to afford the lifestyle that you love. Regardless of how you define your dream job, the important thing is that your job brings you joy or stability (which can bring you joy) in one way or another.
What are five ways to find your dream job?
Not sure what job is perfect for you? There are tons of ways to find out what kinds of jobs could be a great fit for your personality type, skills and experiences. Here are five options.
1. Take a career quiz.
Take a career quiz that'll pair you with different job types. Career Clusters Interest survey, for example, was designed by university career services centers and will ask you about your personality, hobbies and studies of interest in order to recommend you different jobs. The Sokanu aptitude test will look at more than 140 of your unique traits — your work style, preferences, personality, current interests, salary expectations and more — and then do the same. And Careerfitter.com will ask you 60 questions to assess the workplace dynamics you'd prefer, as well as about how'd describe yourself in various workplace situations, and then produce a full 10-page report to give you a better grasp on the kinds of industries that might appeal to you the most.
Here are 13 free online career quizzes to check out!
2. Take a personality test.
Personality tests can be especially helpful when determining whether or not you'd be good fit for different roles, as well as for various types of company cultures. The Myer-Briggs Personality test (also known as MBTI) is arguably the most popular personality test out there, followed by 16 Personalities and Enneagram tests. Most of these personality tests are psychological and identify your specific strengths and weaknesses in relation to your likes, dislikes, relationships and career goals.
Here are eight personality tests to help you determine your dream career.
3. Study up with books.
Study up with books about famous leaders and companies in industries that appeal to you. For example, if you're considering a career in technology, it might be wise to read chief operating officer of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg's books like Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience and Finding Joy. If you want to be an artist, study up on famous female artists throughout history, and if you want to be a chef, read about famous female chefs around the world. Do your homework to learn as much as you can about the career paths that intrigue you most and how exactly other women have navigated those paths.
4. Intern or volunteer.
Interning or volunteering with a company or organization in a field that interests you can be a great way to get your toes wet without diving in right away. You can get a taste of what the day-to-day happenings look like in a role you'd likely fulfill if you followed a career path in that direction — all without totally committing yourself to that career. This means that you can try interning and volunteering with several different companies and organizations before buckling down on one of those paths. Even if none of the internships or volunteer experiences were notably "dream-like," they'll likely have taught you a lot about what you want and don't want in a full-time job.
5. Talk to a career coach.
Talking to a life coach can be incredibly impactful as they can help guide you to a career that could be an ideal fit for you. They know all the right questions to ask you and can help you to recognize your own strengths and skillsets and, with that information, can introduce you to career paths you might not have ever considered yourself. After all, a career coach is a trained professional whose whole job is to help both students and professionals alike set and achieve their own career goals, helping them to realize their wants and needs in their professional lives along the way.
Learn more about how to find and work with a career coach here.
AnnaMarie Houlis is a feminist, a freelance journalist and an adventure aficionado with an affinity for impulsive solo travel. She spends her days writing about women’s empowerment from around the world. You can follow her work on her blog, HerReport.org, and follow her journeys on Instagram @her_report, Twitter @herreportand Facebook.