Discovering your career

Which Careers are Right for Me? 4 Questions That Will Help You Decide

Answering these questions will help you find out which careers are right for you.

Choosing a career is definitely a big decision, and it may seem like you don’t know where to start. But the good news is, you don’t have to figure it out on your own. Your school’s career center staff have the tools and knowledge that will help you narrow down which roles are right for you.

So, your first step is to make an appointment with the career center. In the meantime, here are a few questions to get you started.

What motivates me?

While your job is a source of income, think of this beyond salary and benefits. Think about what you’d like the outcome to be of what you do each day. 

Focus on what you do based on “intrinsic motivation”— that is, because you enjoy it and find interesting, rather than because of an external incentive or pressure. Start by making a list of the these things that can give your career meaning and satisfaction.

What makes me happy?

Picture the type of workplace that would make you happy. Do you thrive on tight deadlines or would you rather a flexible schedule? Do you want to work in an office or as part of a team? What industry are you considering?

Also think about which types of roles will hold your interest and keep you happy day-to-day. Are you comfortable pursuing a career that requires you to use data and numbers daily? Or do you thrive in a more creative setting?

What are my strengths?

List out the skills that have really stood out during your time in the classroom, and at previous jobs or extracurriculars. When you were choosing your major, you probably thought about your skills and strengths as well.

Did you choose accounting because you like math and are detail-oriented? Or maybe art history was calling you because it perfectly blends your creativity and critical thinking. Think about why you may have chosen your field of study and how it lets you use your biggest strengths.

What roles will help me get started?

From paid internships to entry level full time jobs, you’ll find a lot of opportunities that are right for you on Handshake. Make sure to add the job roles that interest you on your profile. That way, you get the latest job and internship recommendations and can see what your options are.

Finally, remember that careers aren’t always linear. You may try one role or industry and in a few years decide you want to make a change. It happens all the time!