It happens to the best of us.  We spend our lives preparing for the “right” career.  We listen to our parents and pick high schools meant to steer us towards certain careers, apply to colleges based on a certain major’s national ranking, talk to career counselors and mentors to make sure we’re taking the appropriate steps, apply to jobs that match those steps, only to wake up one morning thinking “Why the hell am I doing this?”

Sound familiar?

Many of us end up in this predicament because we’ve blindly followed someone else’s life map for us based on what would be easiest, most lucrative or prestigious.  However having money you love, but a job you hate does not equal a satisfying life.  But fear not!  Just because you started off on the wrong career path doesn’t mean you have to stay there.  Taking the time to focus on three key areas will help you to understand yourself better, discover what it is you’re truly passionate about and get you on the right career path once and for all.  There will be no stopping you!
Discover Your True Strengths

Finding what you’re good at and focusing on those traits is always more beneficial than trying to improve something you’re not naturally amazing at. Find tasks and projects that capitalize on these strengths and stick to those. Not sure what your strengths are?  Try using StrengthsFinder 2.0 to help you find out.

Re-evaluate Your Passion

There’s a question you hear a lot when someone is asking you about your passion: “What would you do even if you weren’t getting paid for it?” The reality is you ultimately need to be paid to turn that passion into a career. Instead, ask yourself, “What’s something people are always complimenting me on that I absolutely love doing?” If you always focus on what’s external and play the people-pleaser role, you’ll always feel a bit lost and not in control of your destiny. Take the time to understand who you are internally and you’ll build the foundation needed to make good decisions based on your own assignment.

Tap Into Your Personality

Your personality is a combination of things that you can change and things you can’t. It’s amazing how much more clarity you have when you know why you do what you do.  Knowing how your personality plays a role in your passion can help you figure out which career path is best for you and how to go about it. The Meyers-Briggs personality test can help you tap into your true personality and the new you!

Danielle Pointdujour is a native Brooklynite living and writing in the Big Apple. You can find Danielle sharing her personal outlook on love, life, careers and travel on various publications across the web.