Most people undergo a career change or two over their lifetime. FInding the right career for you can help to make your working years more pleasant and rewarding. If you’re going to spend 40+ hours each week doing something, it would be nice if you enjoyed it.
You might think that all jobs are for the birds. However, the path to freedom requires a source of income. Find one that pleases you.
Choose a career that meets your needs:
- How much money would you like to make? If you’re dead set on making 150,000 or more each year, becoming a high school math teacher doesn’t make much sense. There are plenty of websites with salary data. Use them and ensure you’re playing in the right ballpark.
- What else do you need?
- What type of working hours fit your family and lifestyle?
- Do you have small children?
- Does your partner work and how much?
- Do you need a job that’s low-stress or do you prefer a career with more drama?
- What are your long-term career plans? Do you want to rise to the top, or are you content to stay in the same job for the next couple of decades?
- What do you naturally like?
- Are you a fan of science?
- Do you like working with people?
- Do you like to sell?
- Would you rather sit in front of a computer all day by yourself?
- A job that fits your natural likes and inclinations makes sense.
- What do you naturally dislike? Avoid choosing a particular career just because it pays well or allows you to take the summers off. No amount of money or vacation time is worth doing something you can’t stand.
- What were your dreams as a child? Think about what you wanted to be when you were young. It’s likely your ideal career is something related to those earlier dreams.
- Most people have exciting dreams as a child, yet end up working in an office environment they find unenjoyable. Return to your childhood and see what you find.
- Consider previous positions you’ve held. Just as previous partners can provide clues to what your might want in a future partner, your past jobs can be hints toward the type of career you want or don’t want.
- Consider alternate solutions in an industry you love. If you’re 60 and dream of going to medical school, it’s probably too late to get started now. However, you can find something just as good! Medical school might be out of reach, but another position may offer similar benefits to you as being a doctor. For example:
- Help people. There are plenty of other careers that provide the opportunity to help people.
- High salary. Many careers pay better than a doctor, especially after eight years of hard effort.
- Respectability. Lots of careers are admirable.
- Challenge. Start a charity. Write a bestseller. Work with inner city children. Start a successful business. There are many other challenging careers.
- If your career choice isn’t feasible, ask yourself why you wanted that career and find a substitute that meets those needs.
Choosing the best career is important. You’ll spend many of your waking hours at work, so ensure that you’re getting the most out of it. Life is long and hard when you hate your job.
Finding the right career can be a daunting task, but it can be accomplished. Take the time to put your career on a path that you’ll find enjoyable and rewarding.
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