March 2, 2023

Determining Your Career Path

By Article

Questions about what profession is the right fit for you can come up at all different stages of life. You might be a high school student who sees countless options and so many that interest you, a college student who is fairly confident they are about to select the right major, or a 30-year-old financial advisor who is comfortable in their job, but doesn’t find any enjoyment or satisfaction in their work. We spend much of our daily life dedicated to our profession, so the question of, “what job is right for me?” needs to be taken seriously. It cannot be determined through Googling, “top paying jobs in 2021,” or, “jobs with the best benefits,” as these are very unlikely to lead you to a fulfilling profession.

When looking at the most Googled topics related to jobs, the ones that tops the list includes, “what is the highest paying job?” “how to quit a job,” “what job is right for me?” and, “what job should I have?” Looking at this sampling of the top queries about jobs reveals some interesting truths.

  • “What is the highest paying job?”: This shows how many people’s priorities in choosing a profession are an indicator that many are on a path to being unhappy in whatever profession they end up choosing.
  • “How to quit a job”: Evidence that so many are unsatisfied with their profession.
  • “What job is right for me?” and “what job should I have?”: Clearly, people are desiring direction on finding a profession. But sadly, and like most other things, the answer is not quite as easy as asking Google what profession is the right one for you.

So, what is a thoughtful way of determining what profession is right for you? Well, it requires rolling up your sleeves and doing some self-introspection. I guess maybe you don’t need to roll up your sleeves if you don’t want to. That’s not a requirement.


Taking a closer look at what you value in every area of your life is beneficial, even if you aren’t looking for a new career. Knowing what you truly value provides a helpful compass for big decisions like what profession to choose. If you are someone who values time with your loved ones, then a job that involves a schedule that keeps you from spending time with them will ultimately leave you unsatisfied. Values are often directly related to past experiences that have shaped you, so it is important to do some self-exploration for this step.


There are several personality tests, including the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and MAPP Career Assessment, that can be useful during this step. Many of these assessments will take a look at how you behave and what motivates you to behave this way. The results you receive from an assessment should just be part of your decision-making process, as no assessment can give a clear picture of a person. It would be helpful to meet with a trained counselor, like one at Optimum Joy, who can administer the test and help you process your results.

Find Your Match

Equipped with a better understanding of your values and personality it is time to move on to looking at all the different available professions. This involves some research, job shadowing, or even completing an internship in a profession you think you might enjoy. When doing research, look at all the different traits of the job and see if they align with your own values and personality traits. You may find that a few seem like a really good fit, so it is helpful to talk process the decision with someone trained in career counseling.

As you can see, answering the question of what job is the right one for you involves some work. It is well worth the effort though, as plenty of other mental health issues can stem from a person feeling dissatisfied with their profession. If this post struck a chord with you and you want to take a deeper dive into your career choice, contact a counselor at Optimum Joy today! We would love to help guide you.

Written by therapist Pete Marlow

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