5 Things To Consider When Deciding On A Career
Here you are, a young butterfly fresh out of your cocoon and already you are being asked to choose what you want to do for the rest of your life. So where should you even start? Here are 5 tips to help you decide.
FOLLOW YOUR HEART OR YOUR BRAIN?
Do you want immediate financial stability or you don’t mind hustling until you reach your goal? Granted, no job is easy to get, but some require a little more time and patience and effort.
With some jobs you might be able to land an internship and progress up at a steady pace, while other will take years until an opportunity comes through (the arts, we are looking at you).
Although some may argue that “if you do what you love you’ll never have to work a day in your life”, it is very important, not to romanticize the idea. Be realistic, and understand that money will be an issue and bills have to be paid.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY vs. WHAT ARE YOU GOOD AT?
This goes hand in hand with the previous point. You might love animals, even if you’re not the best at biology and chemistry; and that’s wonderful and it makes for a great hobby but… realistically, that might make it harder for you to become a vet.
The truth is, you have to set yourself reasonable expectations and ask yourself if you really want to do something because you genuinely like it, or because you like the idea of it.
If you go for something you love but aren’t particularity good at, in time you might find yourself realizing you are the wrong fit, and this frustration will lead to a hate for the thing you once really enjoyed.
CONSIDER ALL AREAS OF A SUBJECT
If you are good at something but the general subject doesn’t immediately match your interest, remember there at lots of other branches falling under the same category. For example, if you enjoyed chemistry you can also look into careers as a forensic scientist, environmental consultant, toxicologist or even science writer, among others!
Don’t limit yourself to one thing, and do your research properly. Deciding on a single career just because you didn’t know others existed (perhaps some that suit your skills, personality and likes much better) sucks, and it’s a mistake people make all too often.
Do you enjoy routine and don’t mind an ‘indoor’ job, or do you prefer something that is hands on, where your environment changes day by day and where you are required to be “on the field”? Another way to look at it is: do you enjoy routine, or do you want spontaneity?
Although job requirements can’t be foreseen, the nature of some careers can assume their pace: if you’re a marine biologist you might need to be in the ocean all the time.
If you’re a cooperate lawyer, you might need to fly to conferences every week. If you’re in the medical field, you’ll probably deal with night shifts.
Most importantly (and if you can) try to volunteer in the working environment of the career you are thinking of choosing, just to get an idea of what it is actually like.
SHORT AND LONG-TERM FUTURE
Here comes the hard part: where do you see yourself in 5 years? Do you want to settle down and have a family, or do you see yourself travelling the world, moving from place to place and always having a new experience?
Of course you can’t predict the future and goals you thought were set in stone can change, but right now, the direction you want to follow is what’s important.
Everybody wants to be successful. But successful doesn’t mean the same to everybody. Define what it means to you and, while allowing room for flexibility, gravitate towards a career that will be best suited to help your attain them.
Xiomara Meyer is a drama and creative writing graduate with an interest in psychology and the slightly bizarre. She is part of Hitting Heads Productions.