Female student sitting on floor with laptop in her lap searching for jobs

Some lucky people are born knowing what they want to do for a living. For the rest of us, it’s not so simple. If you’re here, it’s probably because you’re having trouble deciding on a career path and don’t know where to turn. 

Here’s a piece of news to cheer you up: you’re not alone. It’s incredibly common to feel uncertain about which profession to pursue, whether you’re fresh out of college and looking for your first job or are many years into your career and considering a switch. 

Here are 17 jobs that are a good fit for people who don’t know what to do. We selected these roles because one or more of the following is true: they have a low barrier to entry, are accessible to people with little prior experience, or are highly paid.

17 jobs to consider if you do not know what to pursue

1. Cruise ship worker

From servers and chefs to deckhands and safety officers, cruise ships need dependable people to fill dozens of diverse roles. As a cruise line employee, you’ll have the opportunity to earn a paycheck while seeing exotic locations around the world. The work can be demanding and the hours long, but in exchange, you’ll receive a major perk: your living expenses, like lodging and food, are covered by your employer. 

Median Annual Wage: $66,100

2. Flight attendant 

If you prefer to travel by air rather than sea, consider signing on as a flight attendant. You’ll crisscross the globe while ensuring that passengers have a safe and smooth travel experience. Flight attendants typically work variable schedules amounting to about 12 to 15 working days per month, making this a great position for those looking to break free from the confines of a 9-to-5 office job. 

Median Annual Wage: $63,760

3. Security guard

Security guards work in a wide range of settings, protecting people and property. The field has strong demand, high growth potential, and low formal education requirements, making it an attractive option for those unsure about which career to pursue. You can parlay experience as a security guard into several other paths, including security management, law enforcement and cybersecurity. 

Median Annual Wage: $34,770

4. Dental hygienist

If you’re looking for a high-paying career with strong job security that doesn’t require a four-year degree, a job as a dental hygienist might be for you. Dental hygienists assist dentists with patient care, cleaning teeth, checking for signs of disease, and providing educational information. To become a dental hygienist, you’ll need an associate’s degree and a license from your state, which you can obtain by passing a certification exam. 

Median Annual Wage: $81,400

5. Rideshare driver

Want to work flexible hours and choose your own schedule? If you have a reliable vehicle, you can turn it into a paycheck as a driver for rideshare services like Uber and Lyft. The beauty of these services is that you can work as many or as few hours as you want and essentially be your own boss, so long as you maintain a clean driving record and keep your vehicle up to par. 

Median Wage: $18.75/hour

6. Claims adjuster

When an accident or natural disaster results in property damage, a claims adjuster determines how much of the damage will be covered by insurance. To become an insurance adjuster, you don’t typically need a degree; all you need is a high school diploma or equivalent and to have completed an insurance licensing course and exam.

Median Annual Wage: $72,040

7. Executive assistant

Executive assistants help keep companies running smoothly by managing scheduling and communications for one or more key executives. As the point person for the company’s leader(s), you’ll have the chance to make valuable professional connections while advancing your organizational and logistics skills. In certain locations and industries, and with high-profile execs, executive assistants can earn over $100,000 annually. 

Median Annual Wage: $65,980

8. Developer 

One of the most in-demand tech jobs is also one that doesn’t necessarily require a formal education: developer. Developers write the code that makes software and applications function, and the role is expected to see massive job growth over the next decade. While many people attend software development school, many developers are self-taught or learn their skills through independent learning programs like coding boot camps. 

Median Annual Wage: $124,200

9. Professional organizer

Who said all that time spent organizing your closet wasn’t worthwhile? If you live by the motto “a place for everything and everything in its place,” you could earn a living helping others get organized. A professional organizer guides clients in decluttering their belongings and maximizing the functionality of their space. Many professional organizers are self-employed, meaning you can set your own hours and rates. 

Median Annual Wage: $62,296

10. Property manager

A property manager oversees the daily operations of a piece of property like a rental home, an apartment complex, or a commercial space. They handle activities like communicating with tenants, collecting rent, coordinating necessary maintenance, and marketing the property. A good property manager should be organized and be able to manage basic accounting, such as keeping track of income and expenses. 

Median Annual Wage: $60,670

11. Dog walker

This might not be the highest-paying job on our list, but it’s definitely the cutest. As a dog walker, you’ll ensure clients’ canine companions get their daily exercise and any other necessary care while their owners are away. You’ll be rewarded by the ability to dictate your own prices and workload (and receive lots of slobbery kisses, too).  

Median Wage: $16/hour

12. Bartender

If you like meeting new people and work well under pressure, consider a full- or part-time gig serving drinks as a bartender. Though you’ll work nights and weekends, you’ll walk away from each shift with cold, hard cash. Plus, there are no minimum education requirements. 

Median Wage: $14/hour

13. Construction worker

The construction industry is booming, employing more than 8 million people and building over $2 trillion worth of structures every year in the U.S. alone. You’ll never spend your day sitting behind a desk as a construction worker. Instead, you’ll do physical work constructing homes, offices, infrastructure, and more on a job site. If you spend a few years honing your craft, you could advance into a foreman or manager position, which is highly lucrative. 

Median Annual Wage: $39,520

14. Law enforcement officer

As a police officer or sheriff’s deputy, you’ll provide a valuable service, keeping your community safe and crime-free. The requirements to become a law enforcement officer vary by location, but in most places, you’ll need to complete training in a law enforcement academy and pass an exam. Law enforcement can be a highly rewarding career that comes with robust government benefits. 

Median Wage: $19.50/hour

15. Administrative assistant

Administrative assistants complete clerical and organizational tasks that help their workplaces run smoothly. You could excel in this role if you’re a people person with a strong attention to detail. Positions can be found in nearly every industry, but there is a heavy volume of administrative roles in healthcare, education, and professional services.  

Median Annual Wage: $44,080

16. Vet tech

Veterinary technicians assist veterinarians in caring for animals in clinics, labs, and animal hospitals. The industry is currently experiencing a major staffing shortage, putting vet techs in high demand. Technicians usually need a two-year associate’s certificate. Still, many clinics have loosened this requirement or are willing to pay for candidates to complete the required training in light of the urgent need for qualified workers. 

Median Annual Wage: $38,240

17. HR specialist

If you enjoy networking and have high emotional intelligence, you might have a knack for connecting people with open jobs. HR specialists recruit, screen, and hire candidates for a company’s vacant positions. Common activities include creating attractive job postings, attending employment events, and meeting with prospective applicants.  

Median Annual Wage: $64,240

Tips for job searching when you don’t know what you want to do

Shift your focus

You’ve probably heard a lot of people tell you to “follow your passion.” If you can find a way to do that, great! However, it isn’t a very practical piece of advice for someone seeking career direction. Identifying how to translate a passion into a paycheck can be difficult. This is especially true if you’re interested in something like art or philosophy that doesn’t have a clearly defined path to success. 

Instead of getting caught up in searching for a job that ignites your passion, focus (for now) on finding one with a clearly defined set of duties you’re qualified to perform. This will allow you to hone useful skills while learning more about what tasks you enjoy and do not enjoy. For example, you might not be passionate about becoming an administrative assistant, but the role could show you that you love making sure an office runs smoothly. This could translate into a rewarding career as an operations or project manager.

By shifting your focus from passion to practicality, you’ll gain experience and fine-tune your interests–not to mention making money–instead of just spinning your wheels. You may be surprised to find that your passion becomes clearer when you’re applying your skills in a real-world setting rather than just looking for an elusive perfect job. 

Learn a trade

Jobs in the trades like plumbing, HVAC, and welding allow you to learn while you earn, and workers are in incredibly high demand. You can start with zero experience and work your way up to a full-time position through an apprenticeship or certified training program. Jobs in the skilled trades offer competitive salaries, strong job security, and comprehensive benefits. Check out 10 of the highest-paying trade jobs here. 

Seek help

There are many resources that can help you find the right career path. Meet with a career counselor to gain clarity on the positions that are a good match for your strengths. Schedule informational interviews to learn more about fields you’re interested in. Talk with friends and family to learn about what they do and ask what jobs they think would suit you. Take a career aptitude test online. 

Figuring out what to do with your life is a tough decision, but it’s not one you must make alone. It’s also not something you must make right this minute or even this year. It’s estimated that most people have around 12 different jobs in their lives, so you have plenty of room to try different things and see what you like best. 

Still, exploring your options? Check out our career guides for a comprehensive breakdown of hundreds of different jobs, and browse our career advice blog for articles and podcast episodes with more great information. 

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Pete Newsome is the founder of zengig, which he created after more than two decades in staffing and recruiting. He’s also President of 4 Corner Resources, the Forbes America's Best Staffing and Recruiting Firm he founded in 2005, and is a member of the American Staffing Association and TechServe Alliance. In addition to his passion for staffing, Pete is now committed to zengig becoming the most comprehensive source of expert advice, tools, and resources for career growth and happiness. When he’s not in the office or spending time with his family of six, you can find Pete sharing his career knowledge and expertise through public speaking, writing, and as the host of the Finding Career Zen & Hire Calling podcasts. Connect with Pete on LinkedIn