November 6th, 2013 by schoolbound
Some folks are lucky enough to know at a very young age what they want to be “when they grow up”. And then there are those who end up going in a direction for a while and deciding later in life to change directions. Finding your career path, or the RIGHT career path for you is not necessarily an easy task for some people. And sometimes the career path chooses you, where you fall into something and keep going because of the money or responsibilities, and are scared to change. Maybe the path you really want would require a pay cut, or going back to school, taking a hiatus or all of the above. But what if it were worth it? What if… just imagine for a sec… that you actually ENJOYED your day… that work did not FEEL like work… that you looked forward to your work days and that you tried to learn new things to improve your work… that it INTERESTED you! What would your world and your life be like then?
Here are some good hard hitting questions to ask yourself when you are trying to find focus and that right career for you that makes you happy. What a concept right?:
Will I be happy at this career in ten years? Twenty? Thirty? You may not have the same job, position or work for the same company for thirty years, in fact most likely that will not be the case. But you should follow a career path that is relative with each step you take to advance yourself. Let’s take Marketing for example. Let’s say you start off as a Marketing assistant and end up thirty years later as a Director of Marketing for Nike, you are up to your neck in Marketing and it is what you live and breathe… will you be happy? Or do you hate Marketing and would rather be a Veterinarian? Choose wisely my friend… even though there are no crystal balls to tell you the right direction, be true to your heart and find something that feels right. There can be nothing worse than to wake up in your 50’s and realize you are miserable and the source is that you hate what you do for a living. Life is short, make the best of it and enjoy what you do! Again… can you imagine if work does not FEEL like work?
Will I be able to move forward and advance my position? If you decide to be an Emergency Medical Technician or EMT, is there room to advance in that career path and is that important to you? How important is it to you? Some professions require a lot of training and are rewarding in other ways than monetary, but do not offer a lot of advancement. Make sure to evaluate what you deem necessary to feel successful in your career and apply to that the choice you make for focus. If you only measure success by the title on your business card than possibly a good path for you is a business degree that can always trade up with more experience, new titles and possibly open doors to a CEO position at some point.
Will I enjoy my work day or will I watch the clock? To me there is nothing worse than watching the clock or as I like to say, burning daylight, one of my favorite expressions. The day goes so slowly when you are bored or uninterested in your work, unchallenged, and unfocused. The most important thing to consider is interest level of a chosen field. Will the work hold your interest and help you perform well, make you want to do a good job and challenge you? If not, change your mind and find something that will. Again, life is short and you should at least enjoy what you decide to do with your 40-50 hours of every week!
Will I be challenged and learn new things? Growing your skill set not only grows your mind and makes you more valuable, but keeps you young and healthy and can advance your career. You can learn a lot in school but you will learn even more on the job. And learning something you love will make you an expert in that realm, which is rewarding in many ways.
Will I be able to support myself and my family doing this? Working at Burger King is a great job when you are in school or even if you are just supporting yourself, but it is not a career unless you see yourself buying a franchise someday. And if you have a family and you work full time, your wage is probably not enough to support you and your family and your bills. Keep this in mind before you spend a long time in a job that goes nowhere for you. Always keep your eye on the future, plan ahead and decide if you see yourself doing this in ten years. It is important to have some sort of plan, and try your best to stick to it.
Does this career fit my skill set? What are you good at? I mean…. REALLY good at. What comes naturally to you that you enjoy? Are you great with animals? Children? Do friends and family members always come to you when they need something fixed in their house or their car? If they are buying a car do they ask you to come along because they know you can negotiate them a great deal? This is telling you something! Take heed! If you are great at negotiating or closing a deal then maybe sales or mergers and acquisitions is your calling. These are skills that can be learned of course, but if you are a natural at something then you will far succeed your competition.
The point of all of this is that you should not let change scare you into stagnation. You and only you know what is good for you, what you are really good at and what makes you smile. You may have to take a few steps back to move forward, but if that new path is the one you really want, then it is worth the brief sacrifice. Talk to your family, maybe with a bit of compromise and help from everyone the change you seek can be easier than you think.
You never know unless you try!
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