Find your passion early so that you can get on the right path for you

As a young child, our dreams are limitless. We want to be a firefighter, an astronaut, an actor, a doctor, and a pop singer- all at the same time! As you grow and start seriously considering your professional future, it’s important to preserve that passion and self-confidence. Confucius had the right idea when he said, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”[1]

Part 1
Part 1 of 3:

Discovering Your Gifts

  1. Do you enjoy trying different kinds of sports, or climbing all over jungle gyms? Maybe you’re a hands-on kid, spending your free time building forts and horsing around with your friends. You might be the strongest and fastest person in your school! Believe it or not, these fun, physical things that you love could all become a career. For example:
    • Professional athletes make money playing their favorite sport, while people like coaches, referees, and sports medicine doctors all build their careers around sports too.
    • Construction workers and mechanics get to work all day with their hands, building and fixing things from the ground up.
    • ”Having a job” doesn’t always mean sitting at a desk all day! There are plenty of fun and active jobs for people who like to be on their feet.
  2. This might sound boring, but these classes in school can help you find your future job. Do you especially enjoy learning about and using logic and fact? Take note! Math and science skills are amazing skills to carry into a career.
    • Inventors, scientists, economists, engineers, and computer programmers were all once students just like you, who now work with numbers, facts, and logic in their careers.
    • Even if your adult job isn’t based in math or science, these skills can help in all sorts of professions!
  3. Draw, write, paint, entertain, and create. If you’d rather daydream, do crafts, tell stories, or make music than learn facts and figures, that’s OK! Embrace your dreams and work hard on the things you do enjoy. There are so many careers for people just like you.
    • Artists, authors, actors, musicians, and designers are all professions that require creativity, among hundreds of others.
  4. If you want to spend all of your free time cooking with your parents in the kitchen, playing with the family dog outside, or watching over your younger siblings, continue doing those things. Your hobbies and your passions are things that can turn into your career one day if you work hard and allow your interests to flourish. They can be great indicators of what you excel in and love.
    • Think about why you enjoy the hobbies that you do. If you love playing with your pets, maybe you'd make a great veterinarian or animal trainer one day. If you enjoy taking care of your younger siblings, you might be a caretaker, a teacher, or a mentor when you grow up.
  5. Advertisement

wikiHow Quiz: What Am I Good At?

Sometimes it’s tough to figure out your true calling in life. You might end up asking yourself, “What am I really good at? Do I have any skills worth honing?” The answer is: you absolutely do! Although nothing may be coming to mind right now, we’re here to help shine a light on your best and most impressive talents.
1 of 12

How do you work under pressure?

Part 2
Part 2 of 3:

Assessing Your Options as a Young Adult

  1. Sign up for the public speaking class that intimidates you, or apply for the internship you think you’ll never get. An unexpected opportunity could lead you straight to your dream job.[2] The worst thing you can do is to let fear or intimidation stop you from taking the first step.[3]
    • When you’re young, you have much more freedom with how you spend your time. Use it trying everything you can and learning all about the things that interest you.[4]
    • Lea Michelle, the world-famous star of Glee, got her start on Broadway by accident. She accompanied her friend to an audition and then auditioned herself as a joke.
  2. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the opinions of other people, or follow the plan that others have mapped out for you. There will always be people judging your choices, and there will always be family members, teachers, friends, and even strangers telling you what you should do.[5] However, only you know which career path is right for you.
    • Don't disregard the advice you get from those who care about you. They usually want the best for you and may have more life experience than you.
    • At the same time, don’t give up on a dream or shy away from a goal just because others may not believe in it.
  3. You should do this whether it is something you love but aren't great at, or something you are naturally good at. It doesn't even have to be a clear-cut skill, like a sport or a subject in school.[6]
    • Ask yourself: Are you the person all your friends come to when they need advice? Do you have a soft spot for all animals? Do you love being a project leader in school?
    • Once you find something you're good at or enjoy, take the time to perfect it. For example, if you are good at giving advice, consider taking psychology classes.
  4. Dream big and stay optimistic about your future, but remember that only hard work and patience will get you where you want to be.[7] Many people who love their career now may not have loved it when they started out.[8]
    • While it would be great to obtain your dream job on your first try, you often have to figure out which industry you want to be in first, and then work your way up the ladder.
  5. Advertisement
Part 3
Part 3 of 3:

Finding a Position You Love

  1. If you have no idea where to start the process of choosing a career, these tests are perfect for you. There are all different kinds of tests that can measure your skills and interests and point you toward a fitting career.[9] Your results aren’t your only options, but they can be helpful suggestions to get you on the right track.
    • Some tests examine your natural abilities by asking you questions with right or wrong answers. Others have more open-ended questions and analyze your personality.[10]
    • You can find a lot of great career assessment tests online with just a quick Google search. If you want more options, ask your school counselor or a teacher for help.
  2. Underneath each one, jot down different jobs or careers that utilize that particular skill. By writing all of this down, you’ll be able to organize your thoughts and better visualize your opportunities.[11] Cross off careers that seem totally unappealing to you, and circle ones that you want to learn more about. Pay attention to jobs that are listed more than once- in other words, jobs that utilize multiple skills or interests that you have.
    • These things can be general. For example, if you write “Compassionate,” list things like doctor, teacher, social worker, etc. under it.
    • For something more specific, you could write “Great at science.” Listed underneath that skill may be things like chemist, doctor, computer programmer, etc.
    • Think about how your strengths can translate into different jobs. For example, just because you're a good singer doesn't mean you have to become a famous singer. You could be a producer, music teacher, talent recruiter, and more.
  3. Do you want a job that requires you to travel seven days a week, or do you want the freedom to work from home? Think about your priorities in a job or career, and don’t feel ashamed of your honest answers. You may be willing to choose a job you aren’t personally interested in if it comes with a great salary. On the other hand, you may prioritize your enjoyment of a job over the money you’ll be making. Everyone is different, and you have to decide what is most important to you.
    • Your priorities may change over time. Don’t be afraid to explore different paths.
  4. Learning anything and everything you can about a particular industry can help you decide if that one is right for you. You can determine which specific skills are most important in that field so that you can develop and perfect them. You should also determine the education level or specialized certifications you will need.
  5. Once you’ve narrowed down the jobs and careers that interest you most, try to find someone in that field. It is massively helpful to talk to someone who has the job you want, and to ask them all the questions you need to know. Learn how they got to where they are, and what they wish they knew when they were younger. Ask them what their typical day is like, and if possible, shadow them for a day! By walking in the footsteps of someone who has your “dream job,” you can learn more about it and decide if it really seems right for you.[12]
    • Finding a mentor in your chosen field can also offer you a valuable networking opportunity. Having the right connections can put your resume at the top of the stack once it comes time to apply for the job.[13]
  6. Advertisement

Community Q&A

  • Question
    I want to do two different things, how do I choose?
    Community Answer
    Community Answer
    Learn as much as you possibly can about both! You will learn the pros and cons of each one, and this can help make your decision. If possible, talk to people who currently have the jobs you have in mind, and they can answer further questions you may have. Remember, you are never locked into a career. If you try one of the options and you don't like it, try the other! It's never too late to explore your options.


About This Article

Mel Shipman
Co-authored by:
Certified Life Purpose Coach, Owner of NextLevel Life, LLC
This article was co-authored by Mel Shipman. Mel Shipman is a Certified Life Purpose Coach & Mindset Coach. With over seven years of experience, she specializes in helping women leaders and entrepreneurs achieve their goals by shifting their mindsets and self-limiting beliefs. Mel holds a BS in Biology from Bowling Green State University, two master’s degrees in Business Administration and Health Administration from Webster University, and is a doctoral candidate in Professional Coaching from The Monarch Business School Switzerland. She has also received her Life Purpose Coach Certification from the Rhema International Training Group and is credentialed through the Certified Coaches Alliance. This article has been viewed 194,827 times.
25 votes - 72%
Co-authors: 32
Updated: December 9, 2023
Views: 194,827
Categories: Youth