Career

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Short Exercises to Uncover Your Next Career Move

In this blog, we have some guided exercises on finding a career you are interested in and how to test it out.
Written by
Ayush Jain

Ever feel unsure of what career you want?

You’re not alone.

If you’re in school or college, you might be surprised by the number of paths available for you professionally. Even if you don’t feel like you specialise in one thing or could get a job after graduation, there’s definitely a combination of things you’re good at to score a satisfying job and grow your career.

Often, people get into jobs they don’t enjoy (and they know it) but owing to their circumstances, they got to take that job. Or they don’t really know what they want to do. As they get more comfortable in the role, it’s harder to break out and do something they are actually interested in.

In this blog, we have some guided exercises on finding a career you are interested in and how to test it out.

Finding what you like

After I graduated with a degree in Finance, I was unable to secure a job that I liked in the industry. The market, as always, is very competitive. Owing to hopelessness, I started applying for all relatively decent jobs I could find that I wasn’t particularly interested in. I applied for warehouse, customer support, and operational jobs.

There was nothing wrong with those jobs except I wasn’t interested in them and they wouldn’t offer me long term fulfilment.

A kind mentor guided me to continue the job search and find alternate careers that I might enjoy. This is easier said and done. There are countless types of roles available in today’s world and many new ones are created every year.

Whether you are into tech or non-tech roles, the options are plenty.

Finding what you like shouldn’t be hard, Yet many of us struggle to find what we’re passionate about and find it hard to answer the question ‘where do you see yourself in 5 years?’

However cringe that question may be in job interviews, it’s your responsibility to know the answer to that question for your own sake.

Below are two short exercises for you to Find What Interests You, inspired by exercises by Angela Duckworth, author of Building Grit.

Whether you are late in your career or just getting started, take some time to reflect and observe what answers come up.

Uncover Your Interest Inventory

What really makes you tick is right in front of you. As Mark Manson puts in this article, rather bluntly, “You already found your passion, you’re just ignoring it. Seriously, you’re awake 16 hours a day, what the fuck do you do with your time? You’re doing something, obviously. You’re talking about something. There’s some topic or activity or idea that dominates a significant amount of your free time, your conversations, and your web browsing, and it dominates them without you consciously pursuing it or looking for it. It’s right there in front of you, you’re just avoiding it.”

Exercise:

Look at each prompt below and reflect on that question. Try to discover what underlying interest or passion it reveals. Then try to capture that interest in 1-3 words in the column on the right.

Prompt Interest                                                         
What was your favourite thing to do as an 8-year-old?
What is your favourite thing to do in your free time?
What would you pursue as a career if money was no issue?
What were you doing last time you were in a state of 'flow'?
What are you most curious about right now?
Who do you envy? What are they doing that you wish you could?

Some examples:

  • Your favourite thing as a kid was to doodle, sketch and paint, then an interest might be in design and putting thoughts into drawings.
  • If you regularly plan friend get-togethers, host parties, organise team sports days and manage logistics, you might be interested in event management or community building.
  • If money was no issue, someone might like to become a scuba diving instructor.
  • If you generally are in a ‘flow’ state when teaching your cousin maths, maybe you would be interested in being a facilitator or a teacher.

The above are just examples. Think about your own life and uncover your interests. You should spend about 20 -30 minutes on this activity.

Testing Your Future Career

Now we have identified 6 areas of interest for you. Next, think about a hands-on way you could actually start pursuing that interest.

Humans only learn about their interests through experience. You can’t think “maybe I’d like to be a chef’ you have to go to the kitchen and cook. Or “maybe I’d like to be a doctor”, you have to go to the hospital and volunteer and hang out with doctors and see what they are doing.

Think about how can you have more experiences that help develop your passion and interests.

Interest Ways to test it                
1.                                                            
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.

Some examples:

Interest Ways to test it
1. Stock Markets Put a small amount of money and invest in stocks
and learn the process
2. Hosting and Facilitating
Conversations / Teaching
Sign up for a local NGO or Charity and teach kids / host
regular community events in your area / facilitate
conversations in your college societies
3. Sports Coach Volunteer in your school, teach your cousins
4. Writing Freelance as a copywriter or content creator, create
your own publication on Medium or blog on WordPress
5. Venture Capital Read public pitch decks and term sheets, talk to founders

Forced careers are not fun. I’m not saying everyone has to love their jobs and be super passionate about them. Every job sucks sometimes. To enjoy our working lives, we need to enjoy what we do, and to enjoy it, we have to be fully interested in it.

As you noticed, there are multiple ways to test your passion and career. The simplest way is to just talk to people, volunteer your time or find a way to do the job tasks.

At EntryLevel, our programs are designed to give you an experience of a real-life work environment. If you are interested in working with data, doing VC deals, or building and designing new products, check out our list of open programs.

Still confused? Check out our quiz to decide which program you should do.

About EntryLevel

We help you learn and get experience so you can get hired.

To make learning more affordable, we offer a full refund for our programs once you complete them. You’ll also end the program with a portfolio of work that you can show off to recruiters.

Learn more about our programs here.

Date originally published:
May 26, 2022
Date last updated:

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