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Culture & Careers Blog Post

Discovering Your Career Path

When you talk about the future, what do you bring up? Often in discussions, you might mention career paths without realizing it. 

It's the dream job you want. It’s the career goals you set. It’s advancing your interests. 

What’s the official definition of a career path? 

A career path is made up of the positions you hold as you grow in your field. Your first job or college degree, for example, can mark the beginning of your career path. As you gain additional knowledge and skills, you may progress or “move vertically” into more advanced roles. Some employees also “move laterally” into equal but different job roles as they specialize or change career paths. 

So, how do you start a career path?  

To start, have a general idea of what you want to do. This helps narrow down the number of paths you take. If you don’t know, that’s okay; picking some from this list can still be helpful! 

Determine your career path through: 

  • Taking a career test. 
  • Creating a vision board.
  • Organizing what you want to do and when you want to do it. 
  • Discovering what you like and don’t like. If you don’t know, sit down with a professional that can help you. 
  • Talking to a friend or trusted co-worker.  
  • Reaching out to the person in the position you want.  
  • Utilizing community resources.

For a more planned-out process, Indeed offers 9 steps to determine your career path. They are: 

  1. Outline your career goals. 
  2. Create a five- and 10-year plan. 
  3. Discover your personality type. 
  4. Review your previous experience. 
  5. Compare job requirements to your education. 
  6. Assess your current skillset. 
  7. Take note of your interests. 
  8. Identify your core values. 
  9. Consider your salary needs. 

Timing is everything when moving your career forward. It may take weeks, months, and/or years to find the right position for you. Employers may feel you fit better in another place, or they don’t have the wanted position available. Being patient and learning something new can help enhance your career path. However, sometimes taking a risk can bring great rewards. Think about which one you should pick.  

You know what’s best for you. Trust that you will find your way. Finding the time and resources can be beneficial in any career path, whether it’s continuing the same path or starting a new one. Assessing your wants, needs, and dreams refines the next steps in your career.  

For more insight, check out our podcast! If you want to start your career path, look out for next week's article on networking!  

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