You spend most of your life at work, so answering the “what job should I have?” question is important! Here’s how I found the right job for me – it’ll help you move forward. Plus, I share new research on what to take in college (but you don’t have to go to college to find a job you love).
In What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20: A Crash Course on Making Your Place in the World, Tina Seelig says that major life transitions – such as graduating from school or starting a new career – can be daunting. It’s scary to face a wall of choices, knowing that no one is going to tell you whether or not you’re making the right decision! When I wondered what job should I have, I didn’t have any answers. Why? Because there is no clearly delineated path or recipe for success. Even figuring out how and where to start can be a challenge. Seelig’s book will help you figure out the right career and life path for you. She’ll also teach you how to recover from failure and change how you see the problems in your life.
Best Jobs for Introverts and Quiet People is one of my most popular articles. Why? Because it’s both important and difficult to find a job that pays well and suits your personality. If you don’t know whether or not you’re an introvert, that article has a link to a test for introverted personality traits. Anyone asking “what job should I have?” needs to consider her personality and passions!
What Job Should I Have?
New research from Michigan State University shows that people with college degrees are more likely to find a job. And, people with advanced degrees (graduate level diplomas such as master’s degrees, doctorate degrees, MBAs, etc) are even more likely to be hired. College graduates find jobs! If you’re wondering what job you should have, consider getting a college or university education.
The fields that are best for college graduates are in the professional, business and scientific service areas. Jobs in accounting, computer services and environmental consulting will increase by 38% in upcoming years. That’s huge! I never considered this when I wondered what job I should have; I just went to work.
According to this study jobs in finance, insurance, health-care, construction and education industries will be strong as well. Jobs in manufacturing, on the other hand, will decrease by 6%.
Here’s what to consider when planning your career, plus links to articles that will help you decide what type of work suits you best. If you want to go to school but don’t know what to take, read How to Choose a College Major.
Remember that you can change jobs anytime you want
Granted, it’s not easy to quit your job when you have student loans, a mortgage, kids, credit card bills, or other financial responsibilities. It’s also not easy to quit when you’re scared or you don’t know what other type of work you can do.
If you’re in in your teens or 20s, this is the perfect time to ask yourself what job you should have. You’re free (hopefully) to try different things and change course whenever you want. You don’t have to be an accountant because a research study said you have a 38% increased chance of getting a job after you graduate. Or, you can work as an accountant for a year or so. If you hate it, then quit.
I never got stuck wondering what job should I have because I was always happier quitting than finding jobs. I love the freedom of leaving a job! I love the possibilities and options that exist when I’m not employed in a permanent full-time position.
If you’re not like me, read How to Quit Your Job and Find a Career You Love.
Figure out what job you should have by working somewhere
I’ve had about 60 jobs in my life, from waitress to teacher to blogger to chicken factory worker. I figured out what job I should have by working different types of jobs until I found the one that fit. For me, blogging is the best job.
What jobs have you had? If you haven’t worked yet, what are your hobbies or interests? For instance, my hobby is reading. I’m happiest at the library, surrounded by books – and that’s why all my blog posts start off with a book. It sorta makes sense that the job I should have is writing, because I love reading.
The first step to answering the “what job should I have?” question is getting any type of work you can. Maybe work part-time so you can still focus on finding what you really want to do.
If you’re searching for your first “real” job (as opposed to babysitting or delivering newspapers), read Good First Jobs for Teens.
Pay attention to what makes you come alive
I’m an introvert, and I find it draining to be with people. I like people, but I’d much rather write to them than actually talk to them! Teaching was really hard for me, as were my daycare and waitressing jobs. But the only way I discovered that my strengths include working alone, writing, planning, and developing websites was by working at a bunch of different jobs until I created my blogging job.
I never spent a lot of time asking what job I should have. Rather, I drifted from one job to another until I found one that stuck.
Take a deep breath and be still
Stop thinking (this advice is probably in direct contradiction to the “use your head!” advice you’re used to getting!). Instead of overanalyzing and thinking too much – which is what I tend to do – take time to be still.
Take a notebook and pen, go somewhere quiet, and write at the top of the page: “What job should I have?” Then write. Write whatever comes into your head. You don’t have to make a list of jobs you should have, colleges to go to, or places you want to work. Instead, just write what’s in your heart.
Questions to answer in your journal:
- What jobs do your parents have? What do you think about their work?
- Who is telling you what job you should have? Why do they want you to take that job?
- Where in the world do you want to live, work, and be?
- Why are you asking what job you should have?
- Do you know what job you should have, but are too scared to pursue it?
The only person who can tell you what job you should have is you. Maybe the answer isn’t inside you (but I bet it is). If it’s not in you, then the questions that will lead you to the job you should have IS in you. Right now, your job is to ask those questions until you find your answers.
Here’s an article that’ll help with your search for work: 10 Highest Paying Jobs for College Students.
Take your time when you’re searching for the right job. Ask God for guidance, wisdom, and peace. Tell Him how confused you are. Don’t just ask Him what job you should have; ask Him what He created you to do. Wait for the answer. If you hear nothing, go back to my second tip on how to know what job you should have.
What are your thoughts when you ask yourself what job should I have? Comments welcome below!
Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive. – Howard Thurman.