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EURES (EURopean Employment Services)
News article30 April 2021European Labour Authority, Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion3 min read

Six tips for finding the right career path

When you are starting out in your career, it can be difficult to know which route to take. Here are our top six tips to help you find the right career path.

Six tips for finding the right career path

1. Think about your goals

Think about what you want from your career. A career goal could be a specific role – perhaps you have always dreamt of becoming a teacher, for example – or a specific achievement, like qualifying as an engineer or opening your own restaurant. It could also be something much less specific: perhaps you want to be in a career that involves helping other people or doing something creative? Having goals to aim for will help give direction to your career path.

2. Know your own strengths

If you do not have any clear goals in mind, do not worry – not everyone knows what they want to do in their career. Start by thinking about your own strengths. Are you a ‘people person’ or do you work better alone? Are you good with words or do you prefer numbers? Would you be best suited to an active, physical job, or would you rather sit at a desk in an office? Simple questions like these can help you understand which jobs might be for you.

3. Look at the job market

If you are open to different options, it might also help to do some research into the job market. Which sectors will need workers in the coming years and what skills will they need? This way, you can find a career that is likely to offer lots of interesting opportunities. You can then focus on getting the right skills and experience to make you more employable. Remember that there are so many potential roles out there, many of which you may never have even heard of!

4. Try to plan ahead, step by step

If you know where you want to get to in your career, it will help to plan out a rough route to take you there. Think about which entry-level jobs will give you the most relevant experience and which ones you are most qualified for. Some jobs might need an academic or vocational qualification, but others might involve on-the-job training.

Although it helps to think ahead, do not feel under pressure to have your whole career planned out. Careers are built step by step, so think of each job opportunity as a chance to learn and develop ‘transferable’ skills that you can apply to other future roles.

5. Do not be afraid to change career path

You might try out a particular job or sector and find that it is not the one for you. If so, do not be afraid to rethink your plans. Although most of us want stability in our careers, we sometimes have to try out a few jobs to find the right one. It is also normal to sometimes want a new challenge. If you are not enjoying your work, do not be afraid to change your route to find the right career path.

6. Prioritise job satisfaction

Motivation is a really important part of working life. You might be someone who thinks of ‘bigger picture’ targets in your career, or you might find your motivation in small, day-to-day challenges. The most important thing is to keep in mind what you want from your career and try to find a job that makes you happy on a day-to-day basis.

In partnership with EURES, the European Job Mobility Portal.


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