Whether you’re fresh out of college or you’ve been working for a few years, landing your dream job may feel unattainable – especially if you’re not sure what you want to do. But regardless of how confused you are about the future or how disillusioned you may be with the current job market, you can make sure you get on a career path that will inspire and fulfill you for years to come. Here’s how:

Figure out what you want

When you close your eyes and picture your dream career, what do you see? Are you traveling the world on business, leading a fast-paced lifestyle, and making a ton of money? Maybe you’re enjoying flexible hours, a home office, and the ability to take time off for vacations. Or, perhaps you’re working for a company you believe in, where you’re mentored and have the opportunity to grow into a leadership position. Whatever it is that you want out of your career, identify your priorities and commit to finding a job that’s in alignment with your values.

Leverage your strengths

People who excel at work don’t try to change themselves to fit the job. Rather, they look for careers that suit their strengths, so that they can continue to improve upon their natural talents. To get started, write down your top 20 strengths and look for related job opportunities. For example, if you’re an extrovert who can talk to and connect with anyone, you might consider a job that requires the ability to lead and influence, such as a manager, attorney, or sales agent.

Follow your passions

As Confucius once said, “Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.” When it comes to your career, do what makes you happy. Identify the activities you’d do for free simply because you genuinely enjoy them, and look for ways to link those passions to a career.

Make strategic financial decisions

It can be difficult to follow your dreams when you feel pressured to take any job simply because you have bills to pay and student loan payments to make. If your student debt is holding you back, consider refinancing to negotiate a lower interest rate and a lower monthly payment. Doing so will free up room in your budget so that you can explore new career opportunities with less financial stress.

If student loans are taking up too much of your paycheck, take 3 minutes to see what you can save by refinancing into a lower rate with our partners at LendKey.

LendKey will throw in a $200 bonus just for NSCS Alumni who refinance their student loans (for free!) by visiting www.LKrefi.com/nscs-refi.