How can you tell which career is right for you?

career path

Through a series of assessments and data, Find Your Calling measures your interests and offers up matching occupations along with colleges that offer relevant programs.

Remember when you were in kindergarten and it was easy to say "doctor" or "lawyer" or "actor" when someone asked what you wanted to be when you grew up? Well, you're grown up now — and chances are, you don't have the first inkling of what you'd want to pursue as a career.

Even worse, you could be spending valuable money on getting an education in a professional realm that simply isn't right for you.

Here are some startling stats you'll discover on the Find Your Calling website:

  • A whopping 70 percent of college students graduate in debt, and the average debt is $35,000
  • 87 percent of employees are bored at work
  • 47 percent of college grads can't find a job related to their education
  • 500,000 workers have missed their calling, as they wish they had picked a different major

Finding the right career means looking for a niche where your passions and skills are closely aligned—while making sure your prospective career will allow you to financially support yourself.

If you're looking to take that first step, start by taking the "Find Your Calling" assessment. Through a series of assessments and data, the tool measures your interests and offers up matching occupations along with colleges that offer relevant programs.

Here's what you can do next.

Understand the difference between a job and a career. Take a more long-term approach to your professional life. One way to do this is to take a step back and evaluate whether a job or a career is right for you.

Review your results. Once the assessment serves up recommended jobs for you, sift through and select the ones that most appeal to you.

Research education requirements. With a handful of possible options in mind, delve further into the Find Your Calling tool to understand what kind of degrees and/or certifications will help you get there. Remember: Education requirements are on the rise. In a lot of cases, you can't break into the workforce without a college degree, so do your homework. We've also got tips on how to decide whether an advanced degree is right for you.

Get advice from real-life professionals. Reading about a career path is one thing; talking to a professional who has been doing the job for years is another. To understand what happens behind-the-scenes — including the opportunities and challenges the job will present — do your due diligence to understand the role by reading interviews with professionals and take it a step further by finding and setting up informational interviews with people in your area who are willing to offer you career advice.

Read up on more professional advice to help you navigate your professional life.