How to choose a career in just three steps

by Aug 25, 2021

Here’s a shocking stat: you’ll likely change jobs 12 times throughout your career.

The worst part?

If you don’t take the time to figure out what job is best for you, there’s a good chance you’ll be as miserable and bored in job #12 as in your first.

But—all is not lost. As long you follow a three-step formula, knowing how to choose a career is relatively straightforward.

Scroll down to learn more.


Discover your passion

Does that sound clichéd?


You might be passionate about pottery or crocheting, but this doesn’t necessarily mean you can make a fulfilling career out of either and enjoy a good income.

That said, finding a passion-fuelled career is critical. While you can learn most things on the job, you’ll need to have a genuine interest in your line of work to do it. And that’s when passion comes into play.

Now, let’s assume you already know where your heart lies (if you don’t, there’s a ton of guides online that can help you).

So, at this point, you can make a list of passion-driven jobs.

To do it, just run a Google search for:

“list of jobs for” + [your passion]

It’ll help you come up with ideas for your career you never knew existed. Then, for each of your passion, put together a list of 5–10 jobs that sound promising.

In the end, you should end up with a list of 20–30 potential career paths that’ll likely be a good fit for you.


Count the money

Let’s be blunt. If you struggle to pay bills or buy food, you’ll have a hard time enjoying your career.

And the numbers prove it! According to the 2018 Jobseeker Nation Survey, inadequate compensation is the number one reason for leaving a job internationally.

It’s essential to choose a career that both aligns with your passions and earns you a living you expect.

To do it, run your list of promising career paths through sites like Glassdoor and, and cross off jobs you think pay too low.


Test the waters

So far, so good.

You should now have a strong list of passion-driven careers that pay well enough.

But, while each short-listed job might seem like a perfect match in theory, you may want to actually dip your toes into the most promising ones and see if that’s something you’ll want to do for a living.

Good news?

It’s not as difficult as it sounds.

For one, you can tap into the power of internships (including remote opportunities) and find an opportunity for the desired role. There’s a bunch that’s great about internships.

  • They’ll give you a good idea of what it’s like to work in your desired field.
  • You’ll pick up a handful of transferable skills (e.g., collaboration, accountability, leadership) that you can leverage in other roles.
  • You’ll get some tangible experience you can later put on a CV that will help you jumpstart your career (if you decide to follow the chosen path).

Alternatively, you can look into volunteering programs. Like internships, volunteering is a great way to explore a new career path that lets you see first-hand what it’s like to work in that field.

Plus, given that non-profits have seen significant drops in volunteer support since the start of the pandemic, finding a volunteering opportunity shouldn’t be too difficult.

One way to find volunteer work in your desired field is to Google search for:

“[marketing/accounting/IT] + volunteer opportunities”

With this, you’ll be presented with relevant listings from LinkedIn, volunteer platforms, and major job boards.


Stacking it all up

While choosing a career might seem like a daunting task, it’s still manageable.

All it takes is some brainstorming to discover your passion-fuelled career paths, trimming the fat, and actually trying out the most promising job options.

Do that, and you’ll find something that makes you tick.


Featured image courtesy of Unsplash

By Max Woolf

By Max Woolf


Max Woolf is a job search expert and a career advice writer at Zety. His insights, advice, and commentary have been published by Forbes, Inc., Business Insider, Fast Company, MSN, NBC, Yahoo, USA Today, Fox News, AOL, The Ladders, TechRepublic, Reader’s Digest, Glassdoor, Stanford, G2, and 200+ other outlets. Max’s mission is to help job seekers from all around the world develop their skills, find good career opportunities, and land jobs quickly and without much effort.