Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

Which industry suits me? Which profession is the right one? These questions about the right career choice are on the minds of many career starters. But people who are looking for a new job in the middle of their career also have to ask themselves these questions. How can you find out which industry is right for you? Whether you have finished school or university or are about to change jobs, it is best to take some time to find the right industry.

First of all, you can ask around in your circle of friends. But it's also worth visiting a few websites for self-analysis. They can give you important ideas. After all, a self-analysis will give you honest and in-depth insights into your potential and your preferences.

There are various methods available for this. You can reach your goal with fairly general questions, with self-awareness tests or with work experience through internships.


Your Place in Industries and Professions

You can work out your areas of interest with eight very general questions. They will give you an indication of the right job for you. Although the results do not always provide specific industries or professions, they do show you the direction in which you can go professionally.

Analyze your previous experiences with the following questions. Write down your thoughts. You can read them later and continue working with them.

You can deal with these questions:

  • What work did you admire most as a child?
  • What did you enjoy most as a small child?
  • At school, during your apprenticeship or at university: what was your biggest success story?
  • What work have you been proud of?
  • What has filled you most with happiness?
  • Which tasks in your studies or job did you like the most and which the least?
  • What did you like most and least during the last semester, the last year of school or training?
  • What positive and negative experiences can you remember in connection with your last employer, the manager there and your colleagues?


Analysis of strengths and weaknesses

In the analysis of strengths and weaknesses, you can arrive at a very realistic assessment of your current situation.

You can start your analysis with the following questions:

  • What activities do I enjoy and what do I like to work on?
  • What am I really good at?
  • What are my areas of specialization?
  • Where could I really put my specialist knowledge to productive use?

The strengths and weaknesses analysis covers two areas: hard skills and soft skills. Hard skills include specialist knowledge and qualifications that can be objectively measured and documented.

Soft skills, on the other hand, refer to personal, social and methodological skills, i.e. interdisciplinary qualifications. They are the skills that facilitate professional collaboration. They help you gain the trust of your colleagues and superiors and make important contacts in order to perform well in a team. Soft skills include, for example, communication skills, self-discipline and empathy.

You can easily test your personal and social skills with the following questions:

  • What do my fellow human beings respect me for?
  • What do the people around me respect me for?
  • What activity do I enjoy?
  • Which hobby has earned me praise from my friends?
  • What can other people learn from me?
  • Which people do I like, particularly?
  • What characterizes these people?

Everyone really does have weaknesses. To find out yours, you can ask yourself the following or similar questions:

  • What do I not enjoy at all?
  • What puts me in a bad mood?
  • Do I know difficult people who annoy me? Why is that the case?
  • What conflict solutions can I bring about through my actions?
  • Which of my habits stand in the way of my development?

Gordon Allport's Big Five model is also widely used by recruiters. It is used in an attempt to assess applicants more accurately. We have presented this model in more detail elsewhere.

Find out which industry is right for you through internships

With an internship, you can gain professional experience and familiarize yourself with the internal processes that you can expect in your dream job. You will experience the processes in a company, get to know people and see how they work together.

Have you already found your dream industry? Then you can do an internship to check whether it meets your expectations. This may also give you a quick and easy introduction to a company. Employers will get to know you as a worker and as a person. A real win-win situation for both sides.

Finding the right industry and profession with online tests

Tests with more than 40 questions on the subject of career choice are offered online.

Check-U, the employment agency's exploration tool, examines your skills, finds out your social skills and interests and identifies what is important to you for your professional future.

To carry out such a test can take time. It requires patience and a sense of psychology, but can be carried out like a game. As a result, you usually receive a classification as an "individual type" or you are told what temperament you have. Some give a specific industry recommendation and job examples.

What is your idea of the industry?

Ask yourself how you want to be dressed in your professional life. Are you more casual or do you prefer suits and smart shoes?

How do the colleagues of your dreams talk to each other? Do they have casual conversations with each other or do they have a serious, formal conversational style? Depending on your preferences, some industries, certain company sizes or professional roles may be more suitable than others.



Mirror, mirror, what could you tell me?

How do your ideal colleagues talk to each other? Do they have casual conversations with each other or do they have a serious, formal conversational style? Depending on your preferences, some industries, certain company sizes or professional roles may be more suitable than others.

The self-analysis even has a second benefit: With the knowledge you gain, you can better address your strengths in your cover letter, CV and application video. You will be better prepared for the interview and leave a very self-confident, reflective impression.