There are hundreds of career options out there. How do you make a career choice when you don't really know what you want to do? Does it seem like an insurmountable task? It's not. Yes, you will have to put some time and energy into making your decision, but your effort will be well worth it in the end. Follow these steps to making a good career choice.

Assess Yourself

Before you can make the right career choice you have to learn about yourself. Your values, interests and skills, in combination with certain personality traits, will make some careers especially suitable for you and others particularly inappropriate. You can use self assessment tools, often called career tests, to gather information about your traits and, subsequently, to generate a list of occupations that are a good fit based on them. Some people choose to have career counselors or other career development professionals administer these tests but many opt to use free career tests that are available on the Web.

Make a List of Occupations to Explore

Look over the lists of occupations generated through your use of the self assessment tools. They are probably rather lengthy. You want to come up with a much shorter list, consisting of between five and ten occupations. Circle occupations that appear on multiple lists. Circle occupations you may have considered previously and that you find appealing. Write these occupations down on a separate list titled "Occupations to Explore."

Explore the Occupations on Your List

Now you need to learn about each of the occupations on your list. For each one, you will want to look at the job description,educational and other requirements, job outlook, advancement opportunities and earnings. You can now begin to eliminate those careers that you are no longer interested in based on what you now know.

Continue Narrowing Down your List

Pare down your list of possible occupations based on what you learned from your research. For example, you may not be willing to put the time and energy into preparing for an occupation for which an advanced degree is required, or you may consider the earnings for a particular occupation inadequate.

Conduct Informational Interviews

At this point you should only have a few occupations left on your list (two to four). You now have to gather more in-depth information. Your best source of it are people who have firsthand knowledge of the occupations in which you are interested. Identify who they are and conduct informational interviews with them.

Set Your Goals

By now you should have decided on one occupation you want to pursue. It's time to put a plan into place so you can eventuallyfind a job in that field, but first you will need to set some goals.

Write a Career Action Plan

Now that you have set your goals, you will need to decide how to reach them. Acareer action plan will help guide you as you pursue your long and short term goals.

Train for Your New Career

It is likely you will have to train for your new career. That could take the form of going to college or graduate school to earn a degree, doing an internship or taking courses to learn some new skills.