From our earliest childhoods, we are constantly asked what we want to be one day when we grow up. Sometimes these questions are innocent enough, coming from relatives trying to get to know us better. At other times, they are pointed, asked by close friends picking our brains for their ideas, or parents and guardians trying to advise and guide us. Today, unlike in the past, a career isn’t something you only get to choose once and be done with it, but picking the right career is difficult. So here’s what you should know before you do it:
Education and training opportunities
Any career you choose will require that you have some training or education. Even the entry positions these days require you to have completed some education to be able to do it. When you have a career in mind, think about how much studying and training you’re going to need to be able to do it one day. You can’t expect to be a doctor without spending years in school, and to be a nail tech; you need to practice like crazy to perfect the skill. Think about how much time you are willing to spend in school and how much time you have to learn a trade, and go from there.
Sorting out your priorities
Making a list of your top priorities when thinking about your future career is one of the great starting points. Achieving a work-life balance is never easy, and you should know just how much you’re willing to sacrifice in the future. For example, as an entrepreneur, if you don’t have time to do the interviews yourself, will you be willing to contact a recruitment agency to do it for you? Will you be willing to do overtime work when you have a family? Are you comfortable working on the weekends? Or is a freelancing position more to your taste to have time for your pets and hobbies? Understand what’s important for you – career advancement or your personal life. This realization will help you pick the right career in the future.
The best way to work
Similar to learning styles, we all have unique work styles as well. While some people thrive with strict deadlines and corporate structure, others thoroughly enjoy working with minimal guidance and management. When choosing a career path, make sure it is conducive to the environment in which you work best. There are also careers where your specific work style will get you noticed much more easily, so if you value creativity and individualism, pursue such careers.
How much socializing do you want?
While there are people who thrive in busy offices with dozens of people nearby, others can’t function unless they are left alone, and there aren’t any distractions. Before you choose a career, you have to know whether you’re a people person or an introvert. If you prefer peace, a career where you have to interact with hundreds of people every day will leave you feeling drained and tired by lunchtime. Similarly, working from home without getting any human interaction will leave you feeling depressed and lonely if you’re an extrovert. Try to pick a career with your personality in mind or be willing to compromise.
Does it spark joy?
Last but not least, you should focus on your feelings of happiness. Whether you like it or not, your career will be a huge part of your life and who you are, and unless you’re happy with it, your overall quality of life will steeply decline. Nothing beats excitement and fulfillment when you’re getting ready for work, and that is a feeling worth pursuing. If given a chance to pursue a career, you’re excited about or an education that will further propel your career, don’t miss it. Very few people have the opportunity to have careers that make them truly happy, regardless of what the said career might be, so strive to achieve that in the future.
Choosing a career path is sometimes set in stone, as there are people who are very determined and have dreams that won’t be changed. Still, there are times when our dream career turns out to be less than dreamy. It is then reasonable to have a backup plan or think about choosing a different one. Being aware of your strengths and weaknesses is a great starting point, and once you start there, there is nothing to stop you.