What should you do?
Did you know that there are about 3,000 common occupations--but more than 10,000 when you add in the unconventional ones? And that doesn't include the career you can create for yourself. No wonder a person can feel a little uncertain! How do you know what jobs are out there? And how are you supposed to choose a career, anyway?
Self-knowledge is a good starting point. Some of the factors that are important in making a career choice include your interests, your abilities (also called talents or skills), and your values or needs. For example, an art teacher would probably be interested in art, able to teach and draw, and value helping others. People can get stuck if they ignore one or more of those factors.
I frequently get emails that read like a personals ad: "I'm 25, have a bubbly personality, need a creative outlet and hate my job. What should I do?" To help that person find a good career fit, some of the first things I want to learn about are her interests, abilities, and values. Downloadable pages from my career notebook were designed to help you identify your strengths.
If you'd like help choosing a creative career, then I'd recommend that you read my book: The Career Guide for Creative and Unconventional People. It was written for people who want to do creative work and contains the best of my guidance. There is no need to buy it, either--your local library should have a copy or two. (If they don't, you might suggest that they purchase it.)
The Career Guide is not about job hunting. If you already know what you want to do, but don't know how to get your dream job, then other job hunting books and websites would be more helpful to you. The Career Guide is a self-help book, but not everyone benefits from self-help, either. Follow the link if you wonder how you can find good local help.
Remember, there may be more than one career that would provide a good fit for you. Not everyone is well-served by a career, either. Some alternatives are hobbies or day jobs. You'll learn about those options and more in the The Career Guide. In the meantime, if you're in the midst of a major life transition, check out my tips for life/work transitions.