Starting Your Career Search The Right Way

Updated November 25, 2022by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Finding The Ideal Career For You Isn’t Easy

Whether you’re looking for a new career opportunity or joining one for the very first time, finding the right fit can be tricky and time-consuming. While a “job” is typically a short-term, low-commitment work commitment, a career is likely something you’ll stick with for a long time. That means you’ll want to find an area that interests you, fits your needs, and can provide long-term fulfillment. As you begin to figure just what that means for you, some self-reflection, time, and preparation can help along the way.

Find What You Like

What do you like to do? The answer to this seemingly simple question can be complex; you might find it difficult to decipher what truly brings you joy, especially if you’re new to the job market. 

It's important to carefully consider what interests you both in and outside of the workplace. Do you like numbers? Maybe you like drawing or writing. Whatever you like, start by making a list of those activities. You might notice commonalities between different examples; maybe you like to work alone, prefer to do creative tasks, or like to spend most of your time working with technology. 

Whatever the case may be, take some time to brainstorm how the things you like can be applied to a potential career. Once you’ve got a good grasp on what sort of things you enjoy doing, the process of finding career fields that match becomes much more straightforward. 

If you like numbers, for example, and working with computers, you may want to look at jobs in accounting or mathematics. If you like drawing, you could look at jobs in illustration or graphic design, but you could also look at architectural jobs that allow you to create different types of designs. Breaking things down into interests and skills can help you explore a wide variety of careers, even those you might not have ever considered before.

Work On Your Skills

With the guidance you’ve developed from honing in on your interests under your belt, the next step to turn to is taking a look at the skills and qualifications that you have available. 

Do you have the skills and experience that will be necessary for your chosen career(s)? If you do, then you're off to a great start! If not, never fear – this is the perfect opportunity to start developing those skills in the ways that you can. To get a feel for what you’ll want to focus on, consider the career fields you’ve located. What are some of the primary responsibilities for these jobs? Are there required skills, trainings, educational standards, etc., that applicants are expected to possess? 

Take note of similarities between different job postings; if you think you’d like to work in computer science, for example, you’ll likely notice that many programming positions require familiarity with certain software and coding languages.

You may also want to look into advanced training or certifications that will prove to a potential employer that you have the necessary skills to do the job. For some careers, these sorts of experiences may be necessary. For others, they act as an extra layer of assurance that an applicant possesses knowledge about a certain skill, program, etc.

Remember that a lack of qualifications doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll never be able to enter your career of choice. Aside from education, which can be more challenging to supplement, there are many opportunities to gain experience that can help you more successfully enter the field you’re interested in. This stage of your searching can also help you determine which options are feasible for you, which are not, and which ones might require some extra preparation to work out.

Finding The Ideal Career For You Isn’t Easy

Work On Your Resume

A strong resume can be crucial for getting any job. Even if you’ve never created one before, it’s a good idea to begin building up your resume as you navigate the career-search process. That way, you can easily ensure your resume represents your achievements well and incorporates the valuable skills you’ve brainstormed. 

Keep in mind that your best assets should be highlighted on your resume. If you have a high-level degree related to your field of choice, put your education at the top. If you have a lot of great experience working in the field or a great job that showcases your skills, put work history at the top. The same goes for those with advanced skills or certifications. Put whatever your strongest assets are at the top so it's the first thing a potential employer sees when looking at your resume. Follow this with your next best asset and so on down the list.

Within each category, it can be important to have a cohesive structure. That means each aspect should be formatted in the same way. You’ll want to have all the same information for each piece that goes in a single section, such as dates, degrees, locations, and schools for each of your educational pieces to the resume. Once you've taken these steps, creating a great-looking and impactful resume might become a breeze, even if you don't have all the qualifications a company may be looking for.

Develop Your Online Presence

It can be important to have a great online presence that helps to showcase your professional capabilities and successes. Websites like LinkedIn can help you to broadcast your resume and some of your professional accomplishments or even professional relationships right in one place. Supervisors and coworkers can attest to your skills. This will help you show potential employers what you have to offer. You can also form valuable connections with other professionals in your field who may be able to offer guidance and opportunities.

By developing your profile on websites like this, you might be able to show potential employers much more than you will with your resume alone. Your online profile is interactive and allows you to showcase writing skills and your professional connections. Many employers search online to look for more information about you, so it’s best to be sure that what they’ll find represents you in a way you’re proud of. This may also mean taking a look at your social media profiles; your personal accounts don’t necessarily need to be focused on your career hunt, but it is a good idea to be mindful of what you post.

Getting Some Help

If you're not entirely sure how you want to go about your career search or you don't know if you're doing things “right,” you’re not alone. It’s never a bad idea to reach out for some help along the way. Career and personal counseling may help you to better understand yourself, your skills, abilities and the things that you want for the future. Online therapy makes it easy to get the support you may need to help foster confidence both toward yourself and your professional capabilities, all right from the comfort of your own home.

Research has demonstrated that online therapy can be just as effective as in-person therapy when it comes to providing guidance and facilitating open communication about personal and mental health concerns. The stress and emotions that can accompany finding a career are very real, and an online therapist can assist greatly with discovering solutions, working on personal development, and providing overall support. 

Some outside help and advice can go a long way when you’re navigating uncharted territory (like that of a new career) and getting some additional insight may also help you locate new opportunities for growth, whether personal or professional. 


There’s no rush to have everything figured out as you enter your career; in fact, it’s likely that you’ll discover new opportunities that may change your mind entirely as you progress through life. What’s more important than having answers may be simply recognizing the power you have to find a career that fits your interests, meets your needs, and offers the potential to enjoy what you do for many years to come. 

Take the time you need to brainstorm, to hunt, and to try new things that will help you determine what your best course of action is. And of course, never hesitate to seek help from others, including a licensed online therapist. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is the perfect career – but, by laying a solid foundation, you can make progress toward something that’s truly fulfilling. 

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