Struggling to come up with a career path that suits you? Don’t worry; very few people have a “calling,” or a grand epiphany that leads them in a particular direction right away. Take time to talk with others, assess your strengths and weaknesses, and research your possibilities (we’ve provided additional resources below!). Believe it or not, there might be a job out there that’s perfect for you, but which you didn’t even realize exists. Here’s six to get you started:
Everybody loves a good party, right? Well, when companies or individuals hire an event planner to coordinate a function, it’s usually about more than having a good time. For many organizations, networking is essential and a professionally planned meeting or other event can be the key to their success. If you’re creative, well-organized and detail-oriented, maybe this is the position for you. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that this career path will grow as much as 44 percent between 2010 and 2020.
Diversity is one of the qualities that make America a great place to live. Fortunately, it also provides career openings for people who are fluent in more than one language (including sign language). The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects employment of interpreters and translators to grow 42 percent from 2010 to 2020, “much faster than the average for all occupations.” People with these skills are needed in a variety of environments – from businesses, to hospitals and courtrooms.
It’s no secret that websites are a crucial part of everyday business and communication. Web developers design and create attractive, efficient and user-friendly websites for people and businesses of all sizes, and with a median salary of nearly $78,000, they’re probably happy to do so.
Financial advisors help clients achieve their goals through risk management and financial planning (e.g. budgeting, saving, investing, etc.) Surprisingly, it doesn’t take a degree in finance to be successful in this career – just an interest in building relationships with people, helping them identify their needs, and working on solutions to meet those needs. Northwestern Mutual’s Internship Director Michael Van Grinsven explains. “This career is all about betting on yourself. Our financial representatives are business owners who call on prospects and clients, and help people make hard financial decisions,” says Van Grinsven. “The internship program is like a stress test you might take on a treadmill. You can test the career, check your vitals, chart your progress – and potentially accomplish things you never imagined possible. That’s why our program is consistently a Top 10 Internship in America.”
If you have an interest in law, but not necessarily in being a lawyer, the paralegal field might be worth considering. Paralegals assist attorneys in most of their day-to-day activities, though much of their work is completed behind office doors rather than in a courtroom. The career typically requires an associate’s degree from a 2-year college. So if a 4-year college (plus law school) isn’t your thing – this might be a better career path for you.
Sound complicated? Let us simplify it. People in this position analyze data from surveys and polls about products, services and the consumers who are purchasing them. Market research analysts turn data into insights for companies to use so they can better meet consumers’ wants and needs. Someone in this position should be efficient at working with Microsoft Excel spreadsheets and identifying patterns or trends in data over time. US News ranked it the #1 Best Business Job in 2013.
Still not seeing the right match? Here are some additional resources to help you explore your options: