Deciding on a career path can be a difficult decision. The field you choose must be a good fit for you to find success, and part of that means matching up your best personality traits with the right industry. While it might be tempting to pick the highest-paying or fastest-growing field, you'll experience quick burnout if you don't enjoy the work you do.
To get you started on your job search, we crafted five questions to help you decide which industry/industries are right for you. Be honest with yourself, and keep track of your responses. Then, check the Results section to see which field best suits you.
1. Which quote best describes how you feel about careers?
A. "An investment in knowledge pays the best interest." – Benjamin Franklin
B. "Build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs." – Farrah Gray
C. "Science is the key to our future, and if you don’t believe in science, then you're holding everybody back." – Bill Nye
D. "The art of communication is the language of leadership." – James Humes
E. "Life is about making an impact, not making an income." – Kevin Kruse
F. "Success means we go to sleep at night knowing that our talents were used in a way that served others." – Mariann Williamson
G. "We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give." – Winston Churchill
H. "Being terrified but going ahead and doing what must be done – that's courage. The one who feels no fear is a fool, and the one who lets fear rule him is a coward." – Piers Anthony
2. Which of these best matches your skill set?
A. Problem-solving and analysis
B. Leadership and decision-making
C. Critical-thinking and data-interpretation
D. Creative and communicative
E. Research and teaching
F. Customer service and interpersonal relationship building
G. Clinical and patient care
H. Adaptability and survival instinct
3. Which set of three words would best describe you?
A. Confident, trustworthy and organized
B. Professional, dedicated and resourceful
C. Practical, curious and observant
D. Creative, empathetic and passionate
E. Patient, enthusiastic and helpful
F. Outgoing, tolerant and flexible
G. Nurturing, alert and pragmatic
H. Brave, strong and selfless
4. How do you approach a problem?
A. Analyze how it happened
B. Following a step-by-step plan
C. Rolling up your sleeves and getting your hands dirty
D. Talk through the issue
E. Using it as a learning experience for all involved
F. Make sure everyone is satisfied with the outcome
G. Fix the root cause. The rest will sort itself
H. Work fast and without doubts
5. What was your dream job as a child?
A. Financial analyst
C. Marine biologist
F. Hotel manager
Find the letter you most frequently chose to read about your ideal industry.
You enjoy watching stock prices, problem solving and money managing. You're an organized, confident individual who's willing to work long hours for success. Consider a career in finance, ranging from financial advising to auditing, investment banking to accounting.
You are as independent as they come – but you sure know how to collaborate and lead a team. You don't want to work for a business; you want to own or manage one. As a natural-born leader, you'll thrive as an entrepreneur, small business owner or manager.
You think with the left side of your brain. You're as rational as you are intelligent, and while you prefer hands-on work, you're also an excellent researcher. Channel your talent and pursue a career in science, tech, engineering or math.
You're a right-brained genius with a desire to connect with others, no matter how introverted you might be. You have your own way of communicating your ideas, be it verbal, written, creative or even musical. Risks don't scare you – they motivate you to pursue your dreams and share your work with the world.
You know that for humankind to thrive, they must be taught. Your focus is on providing the most productive and well-rounded education, and supporting others as they develop unique skills and interests.
You're a people-person who enjoys being helpful to others. You aim to offer everyone a pleasant experience with hard work and a smile, even when you're dealing with angry customers and ridiculous requests. Whether it's providing the most delicious and authentic meals, accommodating guests through hospitality, or letting shoppers know about the latest deals in retail, you have the potential to spark a bit of light in the world.
Your mission is to care for people, offering both emotional and physical support. You understand how the body and mind work, and you use that knowledge to help others through adversities. You're willing to work long, exhausting hours to potentially change (or save) lives.
H. Public Sector
You are willing to risk your life to save someone else's. You're a true hero and a genuinely good human being. Your drive to do good is stronger than your fear of danger, and your selfless nature is admirable. Choose a career that plays to these strengths, and your heroism will shine through.
A mix of two or more
You are a well-rounded worker with raw talent and valuable attributions. If you're unsure of what path to take, choose the one that excites you the most. You will find success by merging passion with skill.