Suppose you're at the point where you're thinking about the next step on your career path, and you're considering a variety of alternatives. You're just at the beginning of the decision-making process, though, and you haven't made any commitment to a specific course of action.
There are several steps you can follow to help you make the best possible decision, including deciding what you want to do by performing self-inventory on your skills and interests, determining where you want to use those skills, and learning how to find your ideal situation.
Before you start this process, there's an important question to ask yourself, and that is: If you could wave your "magic wand," and do any kind of work that you wanted to, what would it be?
There are several reasons why this is a useful question for you. The first is to encourage yourself to dream. Too often, we convince ourselves that we need to be practical, and we keep ourselves from being open to a range of possibilities. It can be extremely helpful to visualize an ideal work situation, to encourage some positive visions of the future.
Another reason to ask ourselves what we'd most want to do is that such a vision contains a lot of good information. Having an idea of what our most enjoyable work situation could be can tell us the kinds of skills we might like to use, the kinds of working conditions we'd like to have, and a variety of other useful perspectives.
Even if that vision of our ideal work is of an opportunity that may actually be some distance down the road - requiring more work experience, or more education - it can serve as a beacon toward a more positive future.