Work is called work for a reason. However, the right career can help make your life more fulfilling. Making a wise choice can enable you to avoid misery and find a lifestyle you enjoy.
The wrong choice can lead to financial challenges, and it’s not fun to go to a job you don’t like daily.
Use these ideas to choose a career that’s right for you:
- What do you like to do? Unless you’re fortunate, you’ll be working for quite a while. Finding a career that centers around something you enjoy would be wise. Imagine spending 40+ years doing something that you don’t want.
- While you don’t have to keep the same career for the rest of your life, you can lose ground each time you switch.
- For example, what do you like to do? How well do you know your interests? What could you do for a decade or more and be happy?
- What do you dislike? This question is just as important.
- What are your strengths? The best careers are enjoyable and take advantage of your strengths. Think about what you are naturally good at. What have you become good at because you’ve spent so much time learning or practicing?
- Although not all of your strengths will be transferable to a career, some will transfer quite nicely. Ask yourself what you can do better than most people.
- What are the long-term options? Some careers have better long-term prospects than others. Consequently, think about what you could do 20 years down a particular career path. Is there the possibility of advancing? Could you use the skills you build in that job and transfer them to another?
- Avoid only thinking about the next couple of years. As a matter of fact, you will likely be working more than just 3-5 years.
- What type of work environment do you prefer? Do you like the community feel of an endless series of cubicles? Your own office? Do you want to work outdoors? In a manufacturing setting? A laboratory? Suit and tie? Jeans and a T-shirt? What environment appeals to you?
- What lifestyle do you prefer? On the other hand, think about income, city, country, and living out of a suitcase versus going to the exact work location daily. Do you like to work nights so your days are free?
- More importantly, visualize your ideal lifestyle and consider the various careers available to you.
- Consider your educational credentials versus what a career requires. For example, doctors need to attend medical school. A teacher in a public school needs a teaching license to begin instructing.
- Determine how much additional education you’ll require for a particular career and whether or not you’re willing to acquire it. However, if you’re against additional schooling you will face certain limitations.
- What careers fit your answers? Considering the above, what careers seem like a good fit to you?
The perfect career will be something you love to do. It is what you are good at that also fits your dream lifestyle and work environment. Notably, doing what you love can provide plenty of opportunities in the future.
If none of your options appeal, consider returning to school for additional education. Another few years of schooling might sound dreadful, but a few years is a drop in the bucket compared to the rest of your life. On the other hand, a poor career choice can be costly down the road.
Take the time to make a wise decision. It will be time well-spent.