Ultimate Guide to Choosing a Career

It’s not always easy to decide on a career – after all, the choice you make will determine how you spend much of your time for years or decades to come. Luckily, there are tons of resources out there to help you assess your talents, skills and interests, along with many informative articles, blogs, and podcasts on the subject. And you’ll find the best of them in this guide, which includes more than 40 individual resources for how to choose a career that’s a good fit for you. Also included are resources to help you determine what types of organizational cultures you might thrive under, as well as resources specifically for people looking to make a career change.

 

General Resources for Choosing a Career

Use the resources below to help you get started on that all-important career search. These general resources can be great tools no matter what occupation you might choose.

9 Questions That Will Help You Find Your Dream Career – An insightful article from Forbes that allows you to assess yourself and take an honest look at your current career situation and what you might like to be doing instead.

MyPath Blog – This blog, created for young professionals, offers a list of tips and strategies that can give you guidance if you’re thinking about starting or changing a career.

Learn How to Become – Are you thinking about being an actor? A chef? Or maybe a journalist? This site offers a look at what it takes to pursue careers in many areas, including the arts as well as computer, education, medical and business fields.

 CareerProfiles – From articles about the career planning process to overviews of specific in-demand job titles, this site offers a wide range of resources for those seeking to choose the career that’s right for them.

 The Career Project – Review job profiles and read interviews with professionals in a variety of careers, such as those in marketing, education, finance, engineering, legal services, hospitality and health care.

Harvard Business Review – In their Career Planning section, you will find this article about how to use what motivates you to find the right career for you.

 

Career Diagnostic Testing Resources

Quite often, choosing a career involves taking an analytical look at your talents and interests. The resources below link to different types of self-assessment tests you can take that could help you determine what career might be best for you.

Similarminds.com – Rate various statements as “very Accurate,” “very Inaccurate” or “50% accurate” on this assessment that can help you decide what types of activities you would enjoy or not enjoy doing in a career.

What Career is Right for Me? – Take a Career Aptitude Test that can help you measure your skills, interests, type of work environment that interests you and values that would be important in your dream career.

CareerFitter – Offers a free online 60-question career test providing a summary of your work personality, measuring everything from your ability to be a team player to your professional strengths.

My Career Quizzes – This site offers a variety of quizzes, such as for those seeking a promotion or having quit their job, and includes one titled Job Quiz: What is Your Dream Job? Answer questions about such topics as hobbies and reading preferences.

CareerPerfect – Check your work preferences and values in two free online tests to help you determine the right kind of career you would be interested in.

123Test – A simple 15-question career assessment test that guides you to choose what careers would most and least appeal to you based on pictures.

MindTools –  Answer this short 15-question self-assessment test to see where your strengths and weaknesses lie in areas of time management, leadership, communications, decision-making and more.

YourFreeCareerTest – Geared toward high school and college students, this 3-minute quiz helps you determine what might or might not interest you in a career.

 

Skills Assessment Resources

In addition to assessing your interests and personality, it is important that you understand which skills you possess and in what careers your strongest skills would be most useful. These resources include various skills assessment tests.

Assessment.com – Take the comprehensive MAPP (Motivational Appraisal of Personal Potential) Career Test designed to match your particular skills and interests with the right career for you.

CareerOneStop – On this site, you can use the Skills Profiler to create a list of your skills and then match them to careers that would utilize these kinds of skills.

Isograd – Many jobs require adequate computer skills. On this site, find links to assessment test you can take that measure your knowledge of and ability in Microsoft Office applications.

Aptitude-test.com – Check if you possess skills in areas of data checking, numerical filing and attention to detail that would be relevant to many types of careers with these short online test.

Practice Aptitude Tests – Find two free online test to measure your numerical reasoning skills if you’re contemplating a career in accounting, finance, bookkeeping or a similar occupation.

VerbalReasoningTest – A career in sales, communications or management would require strong verbal skills and these tests measure your skills in verbal reasoning and conceptualization.

Business Industrial Network – Measure your understanding of industrial training skills if you are interested in a hands-on career in such areas as HVAC repair and installation, mechanical maintenance or engineering.

 Typing Test – Take a 1-minute online test that measure your typing skills if you’re thinking about a business or administrative career.

TechGig – If a computer technical career interests you, you can measure your skills in areas of database management, web and application development, web design, networking and network security, mobile technologies, operating systems and more with the free online assessment tests offered on this site.

 

Company Culture Resources

Where you work is most often just as important as what you do. According to many professionals, company culture has a definite impact on career happiness and success. The following links provide insight into what you should be aware of and look for when assessing a company’s culture to see if it’s a good fit for you.

Assess Company Culture – This helpful article on Monster.com provides a list of things you should look for and questions you should ask to find out if a specific company meets your expectations.

AlltheTests.com – Take a short quiz that can help you understand what type of company culture would be the best fit for your skills and personality.

Good&Co. – A short personality quiz that can help you answer the question: What sort of company should you work for?

Assess Company Culture – This helpful article on Monster.com provides a list of things you should look for and questions you should ask to find out if a specific company meets your expectations.

How to Assess if You’ll Fit a Company’s Culture – This article covers what company culture is, why it’s important and how to make sure you find the right fit.

 

Career Transition Resources

Maybe you’re already working but are considering a career change. It’s never too late to think about applying your skills in a new field or developing new skills altogether. These resources help you to understand what you need to consider and what you should do when contemplating a career change.

CareerShifters – This site is packed with resources for anyone looking to transition into a new career. Find advice articles, inspiring career change stories and a lot more.

5 Tips for a Successful Career Change – The Ladders offers this article with tips for people trying to break into new industries.

Making The Transition From One Career To Another – This Money Crashers article goes over some key things you should do to successfully transition from one career to another.

LiveCareer – Sometimes a career change might be done for the wrong reason. This article explores career change mistakes you should avoid when thinking about a transition.

7 Careers You Can Switch To Without Earning Another Degree – This article offers insight into some new careers you might consider that will not require that you head back to school.

 

Career Blogs

To build the bridge to your dream job, you’re going to need the right tools. Take a look at the links below that will take you to several career blogs that discuss everything from the use of social media to resume building strategies to help you understand what you’ll need when pursuing the career you want.

Avidcareerist – Though written with executive level jobs in mind, any career searcher will find the articles in this blog applicable. Get networking ideas, resume suggestions, job search strategies and more.

Career Sherpa – Presented by a job search expert, this blog provides search options, career advice, job trends and information about other relevant topics.

Life After College – Get insightful articles about motivation, career planning, interviewing techniques and other important factors about choosing and pursuing a career with this blog, written by professionals in the field.

Hallie Crawford – Career coach and author Hallie Crawford offers career planning, search, advancement and transition tips and strategies for both professionals and those just staring out on their career path.

When I Grow Up – Aimed at the millennial set, this blog, presented by career coach Michelle Ward, offers case studies, career planning advice, online chats and more.

 

Career Podcasts

If you do best with audio presentations, you will find the links below useful as you contemplate a start or change to your career. Presented by authors, career coaches and entrepreneurs, these podcasts provide valuable insight into personal and professional practices and attributes you might concentrate on when seeking that dream job.

The School of Greatness – Entrepreneur and successful pro athlete Lewis Howes offers hundreds of podcasts, with many focusing on what you need to do to achieve success and attain the career you’ve been dreaming about.

Being Boss – Presented by entrepreneurs, these podcasts give advice to those whose dream jobs entail running their own business or those who simply want to take charge of their career.

Happen to Your Career – From career change advice to talks about finding your inner strengths and interests to identify your dream career, this blog offer over 100 podcasts to help you find success in your professional pursuits.

How Did You Get Into That? – Culled from interview with dozens of professionals, from artists to web designers, this podcast contains 100 How To titles such as “How to Be More Productive”, “How to Be Successful and Significant” and “How to Build and Launch Online Products”.