Find Your Path: These 3 Key Factors Will Help You Discover What Career Is Best For You

It's not difficult to find a nine to five job to keep the water running in your apartment. What is challenging, however, is finding a career that embodies who you are. Here are some things to consider during what can be a grueling journey.

A panicked job hunt fresh out of college is common for the majority of recent graduates looking to take their first steps into the real world.

Saying it's not acceptable to be picky would be naïve; a “hobby” you spend 40 hours a week committing your time to should be something you enjoy -- at least partially. Part of the process of finding your passion and future life's work is experience and learning as much as you can about yourself.

‘Jobs’ as opposed to ‘careers' should be seen as steppingstones -- ways to not only pay the bills and build that ever-important résumé, but also to learn as much as you can about yourself. How you perform under pressure, what captures your interest, things you could do without, and environments you thrive in, etc. So, here’s how you should embark on your journey:

Become A Self Expert

If you don't know who you are and what you love, it will be extremely difficult to know what direction you want your life to go. I love money just as much as the next person, but try to steer clear of thinking green when you make this personal assessment.

Look for that one thing you love to do -- with or without pay. This is a task you could wake up every morning for the rest of your life and do with a smile on your face. Every one of us has a unique strength we can tap into, and a lot of us have yet to find out what that is. Look a little deeper and really study what you're passionate about.

Analyze Your Experiences

Reflect on all of your experiences, all the time. Don't obsess over the mistakes, but take them in stride and learn from them effectively. Become preoccupied with your successes. What went right? Why did it go right? How can I repeat these things?

These are the types of questions that are going to lead you down the path of career discovery. Use your positive and negative experiences to make educated decisions that will help guide you toward your dream career.

Apply your experiences to potential career scenarios to make assessments of what you love. Experiences are really all that we have, so use them to your advantage when looking for what you want to do with your life.

Eliminate Complacency

Being happy with where you currently are is wonderful. If you are, good for you. But you're always capable of more. Keep that hunger alive so you steer clear of becoming complacent with the nine to five job you currently have -- if it isn't what you want to do for the rest of your life.

Don't become the lion at the zoo whose eyes have glazed over with a numb quiet and relief. If you get stuck doing something you don't love, then your life's work will be nothing but a scripted repeat of something someone else has done.

Do not get stuck. Stay motivated, and spend some time asking yourself where you want to be in 10 years. Make sure your actions reflect your goals.

I won’t claim to know exactly what I want my career or my life's work to be because, like many of you, I'm still searching. Generation-Y has an uncanny ability to be picky and throw away opportunities with a tunnel-vision view of what we think we want to do.

Just keep in mind the above three things to focus on while you explore the jungle of uncertainty that awaits you in your 20s. Don't get discouraged. You have so many more opportunities for success than you think. So, dwell on what you want the future to hold for you -- and then make it happen.

Top Photo Courtesy: Dangerous Complicity