What Should We Ask Ourselves When Considering Our Career Path?
Written By: Simone Glassom-Pick
Obviously the first question to ask someone is: ‘What is your passion?” right? No! Most people find this question very difficult to answer and it causes a great deal of stress. Contrary to popular belief, trying to figure out what our passion is, in order to figure out our career direction, is not the answer. The concept of doing what you are passionate about for a job is well researched and the results are unable to prove that people are more successful doing jobs that they are interested in or like doing in their free time.
If you know someone is creative and loves working on computers, ‘knowing’ that the most ‘obvious’ job for them to do is graphic design could well be completely inaccurate. Perhaps spending all day staring at a screen for a job with deadlines and pressure would destroy the creativity and love of working on computers forever. Perhaps working in this manner is the furthest thing from what is really right for them.
Career direction must be considered in a holistically, with a big picture approach. One’s personality, values and preferred way of working need to be considered; as well as personal circumstances and priorities. Knowing what doesn’t work for you is just as important as knowing what does work for you.
Consider the lives of the people in the jobs you are considering as opposed to only the success of, salary of or work of a person in a career. Consider the after-hours requirements, the study or internships required to be successful in a career path, working hours and so forth. A career must work for who you are, be aligned with your values, personality and lifestyle. For example: being a famous novel writer sounds very attractive, working from home, writing, being creative and earning a good income when books are published. On the down side, writers are dependent on being inspired and creative to produce good content and sometimes remaining inspired and avoiding writer’s block is tough especially when they first start out and receive countless negative responses from publishers. Writers have a solitary work environment which does not work for everyone. It is an extremely long road to becoming a successful writer. Again, consider the lives of the people in the jobs.
Gaining work experience, doing volunteer work, an internship or similar is key to knowing what does and does not work for you. When young people who have never had a job before, suddenly have to move into the workforce it is a huge mindset shift for them. This is the reason why part-time or holiday jobs is so important for young adults, as it assists them to gain a working mindset which is invaluable both as an entrepreneur and employee.
Be mindful of signing up for a four-year degree and a huge student loan when unsure of what it is you really want to do. Spend time gaining experience, skills and researching jobs before making such a commitment. It is time well spent and will likely avoid spending time and money on the wrong career path.
In conclusion, gain experience, learn skills and do your research. Consider your career path with a big picture approach and if you are struggling to think things through get help as determining a career path that is right for you is a skill you will revisit many times in your life. The world is changing continuously and throughout your life, so will you. Get good at determining the career path that is right for you.
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