The career you choose will have a seismic effect on the rest of your life, affecting not only your financial situation but your mental and physical well-being as well. As such, when choosing a career, you have to do your due diligence.
Not sure how to pick a career? Then read on. We're going to get into the specifics below.
Assess Your Passions
The first thing you'll want to do when trying to choose a career is to assess your passions. Do you like sports and exercise? Are you into the stock market? Does medical science tickle your fancy?
The sooner you can answer these questions, the sooner you can hone in on your desired industries. And once you've honed in on your desired industries, you can start perusing careers that exist within those industries.
Note, you're not necessarily going to find a career that aligns with your passions precisely. The goal is to find something that's at least partially intertwined with your interests.
After all, while you might want to play baseball for a living, you don't necessarily have the talent to play professionally. What you might have the talent for, however, is to be a sports broadcaster, or a sports psychologist, or an athletics groundskeeper.
Identify Your Strengths and Weaknesses
Everybody's got strengths and weaknesses; things they're good at and things they're bad at. And while weaknesses can be improved upon, they're not something on which you want to bank a career.
For this reason, when trying to choose a career, you need to sit down and truly think about your strengths and your weaknesses. If need be, write them down on a piece of paper.
Do you have a shy disposition? If so, you should probably avoid careers that would require you to be a boisterous leader.
Is math your worst subject? Then engineering careers are probably off the table for you.
Now, this doesn't mean you should put yourself in a box. What it does mean, however, is that you need to be realistic about what you're able to accomplish.
Remember, you're going to be doing this job for 20, 30, and maybe even 40 years. If it's forcing you to draw upon your biggest weaknesses as opposed to your biggest strengths, it's bound to make you pretty miserable.
Speak With Those Who Are Working in Careers You're Interested In
Like many things, the quality of a career often comes down to perspective. What a certain career appears to be to an outsider may not be what be it actually is to someone who's in the midst of it.
For instance, being a surgeon carries a lot of renown in society. Not to mention, surgeons get paid substantial amounts of money.
As such, many assume the career of a surgeon to be a terrific one. And while many surgeons might, indeed, consider their careers to be rewarding, many others might be overburdened by the stresses that the profession brings.
This is why, before you embark on a career, you're advised to speak with someone who's already embarked on it themselves. A person who's already in the midst of your prospective career will be able to provide you with a much more realistic perspective of it, allowing you to decide whether or not it's truly the career for you.
The alternative is to enter a career that's not as rewarding as it appears, only to discover that fact years down the road. The point is, before you sign up for a vocational program
of some kind, do your research.
Make Sure the Career Is Secure
Through time, careers have come and gone. After all, look at the coal mining industry; it's hanging on by a thread. As such, individuals who started their working lives as coal miners are being forced to switch careers.
You don't want this to happen to you. You want a career that has staying power. That way, when you're 50 years old, you won't have to make a sudden and huge life change.
The key here is to choose a career that's secure. Now, obviously you can't tell the future. So, it's not truly possible to know which careers will be around in 30 years.
That said, there are some careers that will almost certainly be thriving. These include
medical careers, computer science careers, education careers, and marketing careers, to name just a few.
Regardless of the career that you're thinking of choosing, do your research. See what the forecasters have to say about it. If its in any way capable of being eliminated, you would be well served by seeking another type of employment.
Take a Look at the Income Potential
When choosing a career, money should not be the end-all, be-all. Making a bunch of cash isn't worth it if it requires you to work a job that you hate.
That said, you have to make enough money to live. And, ideally, you'll make enough money to live comfortably. As such, when considering different careers, you need to take a look at their income potential.
Income potential information is available for essentially every job in existence. It can be found on sites such as Indeed, Glassdoor, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics website.
It's impossible to say how much income is enough for you and your situation, but it should be, at the very least, at the national median for a single individual. And make sure that there's an opportunity for growth in the future. Becoming stagnant at a single salary for the rest of your life can truly zap your motivation.
And That's How to Pick a Career
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