Do I enjoy social interaction?

Do you like working with others or as part of a team? Are you motivated by the needs of others and your ability to provide a solution?

This is critical because some people shy away from that connection and would rather deliver value behind the scenes—without the complications of interacting with colleagues and clients. Know your social needs so you can choose a career that matches them.

How important is work-life balance?

Do you value a short commute and a home-cooked meal every night? Do you live for weekends out at the soccer field watching your kids play?

If you need those creature comforts on a regular basis, pick a career that will give you the time to enjoy them. Look for jobs with regular hours and little to no requirements to work overtime or on weekends.


Am I comfortable in the public eye?

Certain careers encourage or even require employees to have a public persona. You may become known in your local community.

If you’re a spokesperson, that recognition could extend to a nation level. Or if you serve as your company’s representative at trade shows or special events, you may become known in that niche community.

How does this strike you—as an opportunity or an obligation? If you thrive on recognition and the chance to build a personal brand while promoting your company’s work, look for careers that allow you to stand out front.

How do I deal well with stress?

Some of us thrive on big deadlines, or being on the hook for important projects. We like being the glue that holds everything together.

In this role, people trust you and expect that you’ll suck it up and deal well with the pressure. Of course, we all have different stress thresholds. If you thrive under the gun, you may do well in a high-stress career. But if stress makes you want to run the other way, look for jobs that are more laid-back.

And they caution, don't just sign up for a major that's popular. Make sure there will be a job waiting after graduation.