As you progress through your years of education you may notice that everyone wants to know the same thing: what do you want to do? This question is typically asked in relation to jobs you apply for and career choices. While this constant barrage of interrogation can seem tiring, it is actually a critical question to ask yourself. Choosing your career can mean the difference between dreading weekdays and enjoying yourself while making money. Included here are a few things you should consider when choosing your career.
Identify Your Skills
One of the most crucial steps on the journey to a successful career is figuring out your skill set. While it would be nice to exist simply on passion, everyone does have a natural talent and skill that will come out. Figuring out what you “are good at” can help you identify the best career paths for your future.
Find Your Passion
Secondary to a skill set, your passion is the deciding factor in your career choices. Your career is meant to be the unifying theme throughout your working days. Jobs and employment can change, but it should all have something to do with your passion and career choice.
When finding your passion, consider what you would enjoy doing every day, and what is tolerable as a job. If you end up in a career that lacks passion you will begin to feel burned out and unfulfilled by the lack of motivation other than money. Finding your passion means looking for a job that speaks to something you care about, such as social justice, environmental impacts or artistic expression.
Know the Market
There are few things worse than working your way through school only to find there are no job opportunities in your preferred field. Knowing the market is a great way to avoid sinking debt into an unusable degree. Many websites, including the Bureau of Labor Statistics, will have resources on their webpages to state which jobs are most likely to grow in the next few years. Pay attention to the geographical location of many of these jobs as well, so you know you are not pursuing an industry that is going to require you to move away from home when that is not an option.
Often, it is not possible to do actual work in your desired field before you pursue a degree, but it can be important to see what the typical workday will look like. This can mean finding a professional who has worked in your preferred field for a period and is willing to have you shadow them. Knowing the ins and outs of a day on the job can greatly assist you in making your decision.
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