One of the hardest things for a lot of people to come face to face with is what exactly they want to do with their life. Finding the right career is something that many of us are taught from a young age is an incredibly high priority, and yet for a lot of people it seems like a goal that always stays just tantalizingly out of reach.

There are a lot of reasons why many people end up getting stuck on this aspect of their lives but one of the ones that people always seem to forget about is the fact that figuring out what you actually want to do with your life is a lot harder than most people make it out to be. After all, the prevailing wisdom is that you should know what you want out of life and the challenge comes from being able to figure out how to turn that ambition into a reality.

However, the truth is that figuring out the kind of career that you’d be happy in can often be a whole lot harder than you might expect. After all, people are incredibly complicated and trying to narrow down your career ambitions to a single path isn’t a task that anyone should take lightly. With that in mind, here are some things that you can do in order to figure out what kind of career you really want.

Follow your skills

One of the most common mistakes that a lot of people make is the fact that they end up trying a lot of different jobs, regardless of whether or not they’re actually going to be able to do them to any kind of decent standard. After all, if you’re at a job where you’re constantly confused and where you feel under huge amounts of pressure every second of the day, then that’s just going to make your life utterly miserable.

However, if you find something that takes advantage of your own skill set then you’re not only going to be able to settle into that kind of career more easily but you’ll be able to get more out of it as well. If you’ve got a gift with numbers then things like accounting, or other administrative roles might be perfect. Or perhaps you’ve got a way with people. If that’s the case then why not think about something that lets you use that skill to the fullest like working in customer service so that you can be in direct contact with people as much as possible.

These are just a couple of examples. You need to look at your own existing set of skills and think really carefully about exactly how you could best put them to good use.

Consider your priorities

What matters to you the most? Now, that in and of itself is a pretty tough question but it’s one that you need to be able to answer if you’re going to be able to find your perfect career. After all, working a job that you love isn’t going to be worth a thing if you want to be able to focus on your family but are forced to spend all of your time away from them.

Think about where your priorities lie. Do you want to be able to travel? To do something new every single day? Or do you just want a job that gives you the best chance to be able to spend as much time with your loved ones doing the things that you really want to do? None of these are in any way better or worse than any of the others.

The truth is that you simply need to figure out which things are most important to you and find a career that makes allowances for those things. Otherwise, you’re likely to end up miserable no matter what job you’re doing.

Get to know yourself

How well do you really know yourself? That might sound like kind of an odd question. After all, shouldn’t you know yourself better than anyone else? Well, the truth is that that’s not always the case. In fact, there’s a chance that you might be able to find some things out about yourself that would almost certainly surprise you.

There are plenty of places online where you can create a personality profile for yourself which not only help you get to know yourself better, but also allow you to better express things about yourself that you might have always known, but hadn’t previously been able to put into words.

The right job, among many other things, often depends on your being the right kind of person for it and you’re never going to know if you’re the right person for any job if you don’t know exactly what kind of person you really are.

Know what you love

If you want a job that you’re going to really enjoy, then you need to know what makes you happy. What are the things that get you jumping out of bed every single day? What fills you with more passion than anything else? One of the strangest attitudes that a lot of us seem to have these days is that you should go to work to earn a living and then spend your free time doing the things that you really care about.

Wouldn’t it be vastly better to spend your day doing things that you’re passionate about rather than relegating them purely to the realm of hobbies? Think about your passions, your hobbies, and the things that you really love. Art? Sport? Writing? Making things with your hands?

No matter what it is that you really love to do, there is almost certainly going to be at least some kind of career out there for you. Sure, not all of them are going to be as easy to break into as others, but it’s always better to find something that you love, even if you have to work for it than to settle for something that you don’t care about.

Be patient

One of the most common reasons that a lot of people end up giving up on their dream career is that it can often feel like the goal at the end of an incredibly long and winding road. The truth is that very few careers that are really worth having are going to come easily. But that doesn’t mean that you should just give up. The key is to be patient and put in the amount of time and effort that’s required to reach your goals. Think of each moment as a stepping stone that leads you ever closer, bit by bit, to the career that you really want.

Of course, one of the most important things that you have to remember is that no single career direction has to be the one that you stick with for the rest of your life. After all, there might be those who are able to find a career and stick with it for years or even decades, if you’re the kind of person who needs to try different things out in order to decide what makes you happy then that’s okay! Not only that but you need to remember that people change over time and the perfect career for you at one point in your life isn’t necessarily going to be exactly what you need later on.

Make the choices that are right for you at any given time and don’t worry about whether or not you’re doing things right or wrong. It’s your life and your career after all.