Defining a Career
A career is more than just a job. In addition to providing one with an income, a career also helps define a person to a certain extent. For example, it is common to ask a new acquaintance what he or she does for a living. This question is so pervasive because the career a person chooses says a lot about his or her personality. Someone who is analytical might choose a career in accounting or research for instance. A creative person, on the other hand, might select a career in music or public relations.
Most people will spend 2,000+ hours per year working. That is a substantial amount of time - more time than you'll likely spend at home with family. So, how you choose to spend that time is crucial. It must be doing something that, at worst, you can tolerate and, at best, that you enjoy tremendously. There is a wide divide between enjoyment and mere tolerance, however. So, this statement is not very instructive. You must look deeper.
Career Selection Assistance
One way to get a good start in selecting a career is to take an aptitude assessment. That is a fancy way of saying, "go take a test that will help you figure out what kinds of things you might be interested in." An aptitude assessment is generally going to tell you what occupations you might enjoy after you've had some training. There are many aptitude assessment tests available. You need merely surf over to one of the many career sites on the Internet in order to find one. Many of these online tests charge a fee for results, however, so investigate them before paying. Online tests typically ask users a number of questions and then calculate an optimal set of career choices based on the user's responses. This kind of assessment is useful for people who are planning to further their education or do some job training. For people who want to determine what careers they might be best suited for based on their existing experience and abilities, a skills inventory would be the best option. A skills inventory will help determine what careers would be the best fit for someone with a particular skill set they've already got. This kind of assessment is most useful for people about to finish college or job training or for those people who are considering changing careers.