How to Narrow Down a Career

Brandi Marcene

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash


Narrowing down your career

Choosing a career can be very difficult sometimes, especially if you don’t have much experience and plenty of options to choose from. That said, the world is your oyster, and you may have lots of opportunities you can explore.


You may also be at a crossroads with all your opportunities, unable to decide which one to go for. However, you couldn’t possibly explore all of them together. So, you need to narrow down your choices, but how? This article will explain how you can narrow down your career path and make the most of your options:

The Dream Job

All of us have a dream job and most of us have been looking forward to them ever since we were young.  Now that you are all grown up, this is the best time to put your dream to reality. Close your eyes for a minute and imagine what your dream job is. Some you might see yourself teaching to a class of children, while some of us might see ourselves dressed up in a suit and tie, leading a marketing campaign. Once you can identify your dream job, you must put it as your priority as this job is the one thing that you deem to be perfect.

What Are You Good At?

Now, your dream job might not be achievable at the moment which is why you must look at other options. The first question you need to ask yourself is:  what am I good at? List down all the things that you think you are interested in or excel at. Take a moment to brainstorm all your strengths to narrow down your options. You shouldn’t take a risk of investing your time in a job opportunity that you know you are not good at. However, that does not mean that you should put your interests on the side when looking for a career path.


Strengths and interests – put the two together and then come up with all the job opportunities you can explore. Most of the time, we are interested in something we know we are good at. Since we can do it easily or excel at it, we take more interest in it. This is why when thinking about possible career paths you must look at opportunities that will keep you interested and fall right in with your strengths.


When you do this, you will be able to narrow down your list significantly but you will still be left with a plethora of options. To filter them further, you must look into what goals you wish to set for yourself.

What Are Your Goals?

A career-oriented individual always has goals that they wish to accomplish. Another way for you to narrow down your choices is to identify what your goals are when it comes to following a career.


You may have both, short-term and long-term goals. Short-term goals might be limited to what salary and benefits you are looking for. However, when you talk about long-term goals, you may be looking for them in the future. For instance, you may think of all the promotions that you might want or where your career path will lead you in the next 5-10 years.


List down all your goals and expectations you have from your future self. When you make the list, put it against your list of possible career opportunities. When you do that, you will be able to instantly eradicate a handful of opportunities that don’t sit well with the goals that you plan to accomplish.


This will narrow down your list further and you will end up with a list that fits your strengths, is within your interests, and can possibly help you accomplish your goals.

Look Into the Future

We all worry about our future and rightfully so. When coming up with a career path, you must know what its future may look like. For instance, there are several career paths that have gone obsolete and are no longer in demand. People might have taken up these paths with the same gusto you have right now. However, 10 years down the road and their careers may not hold the importance they thought it would.


You definitely don’t want that to happen to you, which is why you must look into the future of the career paths still left on your list. To find the answers, you need to reach out to industry experts and talk to them about their predictions. You can ask them different questions and understand the market trends to make better decisions.


For instance, an industry expert who has been working within a sector for 10 years will be qualified enough to explain what future trends may look like. They might be able to guide whether you should look into a certain field or jump off to the next one.


The future predictions and educated guesses you receive from experts will help you decide against some of the career opportunities. This will surely cut down your list to a handful of options that you must invest your energy into.

Do Your Research

Now that you are only left with a handful of options, you may not find it difficult to conduct extensive research on them. Start researching about each career path and look for answers to the following questions:

Do I need any training to apply?

Different jobs have different eligibility criteria. You might not have the right kind of degree or the right kind of training you need to apply. Search for the eligibility criteria and find out if you are eligible. Not being eligible will further cut down your list and specify your direction. If you really want to continue with a job that you are not eligible for, you can get the certifications you need before applying.

What kinds of positions are available?

You may not be looking for entry-level positions and are probably hoping for something bigger. Do your research and try to find career paths that can offer you positions that offer value. When you look for positions, also look at the requirements they demand the position you are interested in.

Do these jobs pay well?

Money matters and when looking for a career path, you must make sure that the option you want to explore pays well enough for you to have a decent living. More importantly, it should also show promise of a salary increase. You simply cannot work at the same pay for your entire life. This is why it is important to keep the salary in consideration when looking for a job.

Will I have to relocate?

Some companies require their employees to relocate. For instance, there might not be enough scope for a certain career where you live and you might have to relocate to a place that does. Only opt for such jobs if you are willing to relocate.

In Conclusion

Make sure you take your time thinking about your career path. Consider your options carefully and make sure that you stick to your choice so that you can channel your attention to succeed in your career.

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