What Kind of Job is Right for You?

By Kaitlin Hurtado on May 24, 2019

Finding out which job is right for you is definitely no easy task. Whether it’s something that your elementary school teacher asked you to answer for a class project or if your college graduation is quickly approaching, landing on a final decision of what job is right for you can be hard. There’s plenty of factors that can go into making the right decision on which job is right for you: your lifestyle, required skills, location, job expectations, target salary, and so much more. Each factor will hold a different amount of value to each person, and it’s important to figure out the decision for yourself.

If you are looking for a quick guide to get you started in the right direction on the journey that is finding out which job is right for you, consider the following when figuring out which job is right for you:

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Take a career test (or multiple) as a starting point

Just as there may be multiple guides or career center counselors helping guide you into the decision on which job is right for you, there are also plenty of tests designed to help you narrow down a list of career option. Of course, this is going to be a lot different than setting up an appointment with a counselor from your campus career center and getting personalized advice solely for you, but it may be helpful to take a few career tests to help you narrow down a list of careers that you can use to find the job that is right for you.

If you do decide to take multiple career tests, try identifying jobs that reoccur in every test result. Something that comes up more often can be seen as more accurate and can be something worth looking into as a career option. Career tests won’t always give you the right answer or the perfect career fit, but it can help you start out by identifying specific career paths that are worth your while in a world where there a seemingly endless amount of options for you to pick from. A typical career test will ask you for your strengths, your weaknesses, your job aspirations, what you value in a career, and more.

Career tests are definitely not the end game situation or will offer you up the job that is right for you on a silver platter, but it can definitely serve as an effective starting point when the options seem endless at the beginning of your job search.

Identify your strengths and use them to your advantage

When it comes to deciding what job is right for you, why not take advantage of the strengths and skill set you already have to help identify a job that is right for you? Something like a career test can help you identify your strengths, but you can also look to your past job experience and education to help you look for strengths that you have put to the test. Think back to a few positions you have filled out, whether it was in an extracurricular activity or a job, and recall the types of work you were expected to complete. Were there specific tasks that you excelled at over others, or skills that have been proven time and time again by different situations?

Consider your communication skills. Are you often described as a “people person” or a “team player”? Are you often praised for your ability to deliver exceptional customer service skills? If so, look into careers that you can use your strengths to your advantage.

Are you great in collaborative settings, or are you better off working alone? Consider your productivity levels when it comes to work environments – if you are better off working alone or tend to be more self-driven, use that to your advantage when picking out which job is right for you.

Here is a list of strengths that you may have and may want to consider using as the basis for your journey to find out which job is right for you:

  • Communication skills – customer service abilities, collaborative efforts. Human Resources may be the area you want to look into.
  • Language skills – if you can speak multiple languages, use it to your advantage for jobs that having fluency in multiple languages can help accelerate your career.
  • Writing – if you are known to have your way with written words, jobs that require you to write may bring you the successful future you are looking for.

If you’re lost on identifying your strengths, you may want to consider asking around to people who know you well – friends, family, coworkers, supervisors – that have gotten to know you and are able to identify your strong points. While you may not be able to recognize certain strengths on your own, those you surround yourself with may be able to do the job for you. Likewise, people that you trust and people that know you well will also be honest with you about something that you may think is your strength, but is actually not your strongest point.


Infographic by Kaitlin Hurtado, via canva.com

Don’t rely solely on  passion, but don’t rule it out completely 

The phrases “follow your heart” or “follow your dreams” can often be thrown around when it comes to discussing your possible career options. It is the ideal option – being able to do what you love and get paid for it when it becomes your actual career. However, we can’t always realistically pick our career based on whatever you are most passionate about and the job that is right for you is not necessarily going to be based on whatever you are most passionate about.

If you are thinking about narrowing down passions to consider when looking for the job that is right for you, here are some methods:

  • Previous experience. Think of any extracurriculars or jobs that you have had over the years. Is there anyone in particular that you would be interested in building off of in order to build a full-time career?
  • Hobbies and leisure activities. What leisure activities or hobbies do you stick to in your daily life? Building a career or finding out if you can turn your hobbies into a career is something worth looking into.
  • What sparks your creativity? This may be the same as your hobby but think about the topics or interests that spark your creativity and productivity. What activities prompt you to be innovative and allow you to constantly challenge yourself and grow. If you can think of one, you may want to consider making a career based on it as it is something that allows you to have some drive.

Passion can be a stepping stone in the journey that is singling out which job is right for you. Have a couple of causes or topics that you are really passionate about? Research what careers you can get related to that one passion. For example, if you are passionate about animals, you might not be able to just adopt every animal you can to help them out, but you can go into a career field where you can put energy and work into helping out the animals that you are passionate about. Picture yourself as a marine biologist and dedicating your career by contributing to the life of the animals that you love.

Incorporating your passion into your process of picking out a job that is right for you is important, but it’s also important to consider other factors such as your fit for the job. Just because you are passionate about something, does not mean that you are automatically going to be the perfect fit for a certain job related to it or that the job is going to be a fit for you and your own personal needs.

Consider your long term goals 

Yes, change is bound to happen as time goes on, but when picking out which job is right for you, it’s important to consider the long term goals you have in the future. Your initial thoughts of long term goals will probably be your long term career goals, such as what company you want to work for, what position you want to reach, or general achievements you want to accomplish. These long term career goals are important, but it is also equally important to consider long term goals in other areas of your life.

Do you plan on settling down into one place to create a stable life for yourself, or to stay grounded with your current support system close to what you call home? Choosing a job that allows you to stay in one place to establish a life for yourself with stability may be the perfect fit for you. Or if you want to spend your life traveling more often and having more freedom to move around as you please; this can be picking a career that allows you to travel and get paid to do so, or pick a career where you can have more control over your schedule and hours in order to travel.

If you have a target salary that is high on your priorities list when it comes to the perfect job for you, you should also place importance on the type of career that would realistically give you the target salary that you are aiming for. Don’t let any one specific goal be the ultimate deciding factor on choosing what job is good for you – try to achieve a level of balance so that even if your goals change over time, it won’t completely affect your career as your initial decisions were not relying on a single factor.

 Be honest with yourself

Picking out a job that is right for you starts with being honest and realistic with yourself. Sugarcoating reality will not do you any good – it can actually hinder you from finding that job that is right for you. If you’re looking at a certain career option and it sounds “nice” at the surface level, like it being a job that would make you look successful to your peers or that job just seems like a dream come true, it might not actually be the perfect fit for you when it comes down to you.

Think about any one career option and focus on envisioning yourself in that career. The daily tasks, the lifestyle it will force you to take up, where the position will take you in your career and life. Can you imagine it as a possibility you want to actively seek out? Or is it something you would like for a couple of years then abandon when you realize that it doesn’t make you happy? Remember that as much as you may want to start a specific career, you might not be able to be successful in it due to not have the right skill set or not being able to mesh with the lifestyle that it demands.

A job that is right for you is a job that you can work successfully in and a job that will bring you the level of success you want to reach.

woman sitting on couch with laptop

Image via unsplash.com

While you are trying to figure out which job is right for you, you may turn to different individuals or guides on how to find out which job is right for you, but at the end of the day, the job picked is the job you are going to have to do for yourself. Remember that your opinion, above all, is the most important when it comes to deciding what job is right for you because you know your priorities and needs better than anyone else ever will.

The pressure may feel high and overwhelming at first, and you might not get the “right” choice at first, but just remember that every attempt and try is a learning experience and you will get to where you need to be! A mistake is just another opportunity to learn, and just another stepping stone to get you closer to finding out what job is right for you.

Good luck!

By Kaitlin Hurtado

Uloop Writer
Hello! I'm Kaitlin, a fourth year Literary Journalism major at UC Irvine. I'm a writer on Uloop's national team and a campus editor for UCI.

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