The 4 Step Career Guide (Plus 23 Careers You’ve Never Considered)

Find Your Ideal Career In 4 Steps

I will list a concept and then give my personal example in order to cater to different learning styles.

1. Observe yourself – What are you drawn to?

  • Earlier this year I played chess often.  I would watch chess videos on youtube.  I spent hours upon hours every day absorbed in everything chess.
  • I took 9 credits one semester in college.  I had no job and I played video games all day long (honestly, it was a rough time in my life).  Video games test skill and strategic thinking.
  • In 2008 I began an obsession with investing.  I absorbed everything I could about stocks and options.  I analyzed companies on several different metrics to determine their value.
  • For the past few years, I’ve thought deeply about life and felt compelled to write about it.  I’ve always been drawn to personal development because it makes sense to me to always be improving in some way.

2. Listen to what you’re telling yourself

From above, I can see three primary elements that I seem to enjoy most in life (there are many others, but I have found myself drawn to these three the most)  – strategy, analyzing, and challenge. What elements can you extract from your favorite activities?  There are no wrong answers.  Just find out what you love.

Other random examples:  Adventure, socializing, researching, consuming, communicating, teaching, writing, creating, problem solving, observing nature (or others), being outside, being inside, persuading others, serving others, technology, learning, organizing, etc.

In blogging…

  • Strategy is huge – marketing, gaining traffic, etc.
  • Analyzing is everything – traffic stats, subscription changes, positive/negative responses to posts, etc.
  • The challenge in unending – once you’ve met a goal, you can pursue a higher one (lives changed, traffic, subscribers, etc.)

Blogging on a technical level is not too different from a game of chess, an RPG, or investing to me.  This is the ideal career for me if I can find a way to make money doing it.  Your career should include the elements that your personality naturally desires (Do What You Are can help you with finding that out).

3. Think Deeply About Your Talents and Limitations

It is not time for action quite yet.  All we’ve done is observe ourselves and extract out the key things we enjoy.  In my example I mentioned blogging as a career because I’ve already started doing it (I’ve gone through this process).  If you don’t yet know what to do, you need to consider what you’re good at and where you’re limited.

  • My first career love – football.  My second – basketball.  I would love to play either one professionally.  I’m very athletic, but I have a 135 pound frame… LIMITATION.
  • I think it would be a blast to make music for a living, but I’ve never put any time into it and my rhythm is questionable at best….LIMITATION.
  • My grammar, spelling, analytical ability, and math skills are above average.  My writing has improved dramatically since starting.  I could blog.  I could write a book.  This seems workable.

On some levels, I would rather play basketball or football for millions of dollars than blog (for 46 cents today).  But playing basketball doesn’t change lives – which is my goal with this blog.  Either way, I know that an NBA/NFL career is not realistic for me.  Be objective about what you cannot do – but do not let it be a source of negativity.  Focus on what you CAN do.

4. Recap and Final Step

  1. Look at some primary things that you find yourself drawn to. Video games, chess, investing.
  2. Extract out the common elements of those.  These are what you should look for in an occupation. Strategy, analyzing, challenge.
  3. Listen to what you’re telling yourself by comparing those elements to your current job or job path.  Are those needs being met now?  Will they eventually be met? Blogging: yes.  Lowe’s: no way.  Finance job: maybe, but not as fully as blogging.  Any other options?  I’m sure!
  4. Observe your skills, abilities, and limitations.  Focus on what you’re best at and what skills would give you the most pleasure in using. Analyzing, thinking, creating, being creative, and writing are some of my most valuable talents and they give me great pleasure when I use them.
  5. Find a job that meets all of the above criteria.  Look in an area of a personal interest. I enjoy analyzing, but I wouldn’t want to analyze skin tissue samples all day.  Blogging has the elements I enjoy, it requires many of my key skills, and I can blog about my personal interests (one of which is blogging), too!  This is why I work 80 hours a week and love it.

IMPORTANT: You may switch the order of 4 and 5.  Say you want to use 6 specific skills – a job might only use 3 of them and require some other skills that you also enjoy.  It may be best to look at jobs with your skill preferences in mind and see what is the best fit overall instead of going in with a rigid criteria.  However, you should be rigid about the most important skills you wish to utilize.

Dream world

That looks nice. Can you make money doing that?

Find Your Dream and Get Paid For It

There are careers in everything you can think of and some things you’ve never thought of.  Don’t immediately settle for the obvious career choice.  Weird careers are good because they tend to require some very interesting skills and cater to very unique “elements of interest” as discussed in step 1.  If you find yourself unimpressed with the typical jobs you see, consider these interesting career choices.

  1. Blogger (!) – There are many people who make a living by blogging.  I hope to add myself to the list.
  2. Ice Cream Taster – watch those calories!
  3. Inventor – Go ahead and create clothing that washes itself.
  4. Hot Air Balloon Tour Guide – The view must be nice.
  5. Snake Milker – Before you jump to conclusions, workers in this field extract the venom from the snake’s fangs.
  6. Laughter Therapist – Laughter is known to be a healthy activity, and when Seinfeld isn’t enough…
  7. Airboat Tour Guide in the Everglades – Not for everyone, but for some it might be a breath of hot, fresh air.
  8. Master sommelier– Wine experts that work in upscale restaurants, helping customers pair wine with food.
  9. Voice-over actor – Do you have a perfect deep gravel-voice like Alec Baldwin or Will Arnett?  Maybe Voice acting is for you!
  10. Beekeeper But won’t they sting you? Some people are passionate about this.  Bees are interesting and important insects.
  11. Palm Tree Trimmer – You won’t get paid much, but you get to work outside and look at the iconic palm tree all day.
  12. Traveling Carnival Jobs – Do you like to travel?  Do you enjoy Carnivals?  Another job where you’d have to love it because the money isn’t great.
  13. Roller Coaster Tester – You inspect the roller coasters, not ride them 😛
  14. Fire Scientist -Fascinated with fire?  This is your job! Plus, you get to blow things up.
  15. Delivering automobiles – My parents do this.  They drive pickup trucks all over the country and are paid for mileage.  If you like to drive but don’t want to drive a semi, then you may consider this.  Check with your local dealerships.
  16. Submarine Cook – pays up to $200,000 a year and you get to be in a freaking submarine!  Not for the claustrophobic.
  17. Banana Gasser – Nooo! These are not organic bananas! Ethylene is the gas used to ripen bananas quickly.
  18. Advertising author – Writing the promotional text on products.
  19. Ring Tone Recorder – These people create catchy ring tones.
  20. Brewmaster The Institute of Brewing and Distilling teaches you to become a brewer.
  21. Toy Creator – You can earn over $50,000 a year making toys.  Sounds like fun, right?
  22. Bed & Breakfast Owner – If you love hospitality, why not make beds and cook breakfast for a living?
  23. Pearl Diver – A dangerous job that can pay around $1,000 per day.

There you have it! 23 awesome career options, some of which I’m sure you’ve never heard of!

It took a lot of hard “play” to write this.  🙂

About the Author

I'm lazy, but you can call me Stephen. When you're as lazy as I am, you need superior strategies to live well. My strategies are so effective that I'm productive every single day. As the world tries to figure out how to always stay motivated, I create strategies that don't require it.

A. Irvin

This is great advice. I’m not really sure if most people put so much thought into building a career that truly suits them. As you mentioned, many will choose a career that sounds good without any regard to their aptitude. My ex-husband tried to force himself into being a stockbroker . . . but didn’t want to accept that he couldn’t handle the rejection that comes with making cold calls. Though he wouldn’t admit it, he was miserable.

It is certainly worth it to take the time to follow the steps you’ve outlined above.

sguise

I think the job satisfaction surveys out there clearly show that people aren’t spending enough time thinking about their career. It seems a bit rare these days to hear someone say, “I love my job.” Most people I’ve talked to are just working for the paycheck or can tolerate their job.

Here is an interesting article by the Washington Post on job satisfaction survey results – http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/05/AR2010010503977.html

Ana Hoffman

Interesting and thought provoking indeed. I can see that you are employing some of the tips I offered. All the best for your site!

sguise

I’m glad you enjoyed it. And yes, I’m sure I’ve applied some of your tips. Thanks for stopping by, Ana.

Indian Marketer

Interesting post and some nice tips. Thank god i have been able to make a living online……..

sguise

Thank you. That’s great you make a living online. I hope to do the same!

Archan Mehta

Stephen,

A lot of people who earn a six figure income by blogging know how to build passive income and multiple income streams. Many of them also earn money through public speaking, lecture circuit, teaching, affiliate marketing, and selling products and services on-line, etc. It takes quite a lot of time and energy until you achieve such a lofty goal. Just something to keep in mind. Cheerio.

sguise

Indeed. Thank you for that. I’m focused on building traffic at the moment, but I’m thinking of how I could do this for a living (considering the things you’ve mentioned). I know it will take a lot of work – but it would be very much worth the effort!

Online Survey Tool

I learned a very good lesson from this article. I really like this website and hope you will write more. Thanks a lot for your information.

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