4 answers

How do you decide if a career is for you?

Asked Palm Harbor, Florida

Hi I am a sophomore and i was wondering about picking a career. A lot of people say you should NEVER pick a career based on the amount of money you make, but how are suppose to live off of a career that you barely make money off of? #career #money #career-choice #career-path #career-options #happiness

4 answers

Magali’s Answer

Updated

The short answer is since this is a really difficult job market, you might as well try for something you enjoy, and if it is something you are good at, you will be able to convince potential employers and get a job. If you are really really good at something, you might even be able to make a lot of money, whatever this something is.

The long answer is the following. The first thing to do when picking a carrer is to make a list of everything you are good at doing and everything you are really bad at. Include not only academic skills (writing, math, science...) but also more general skills not necessarily valued at school (physical skills, art skills, communication skills, organizational skills, social skills, adaptation to diverse cultural settings, etc...). Then, make a list of the major branches of the job market that you would be willing to consider (health care, education, business, art, small crafts, travel, etc....). Next, match your skills to specific positions within each of these large categories. Last, decide which of these you think would make you the happiest to study and later on to work at/on. Take every opportunity to consult with people working these jobs to figure out what they do all day long, what the most enjoyable and the most unpleasant parts of their jobs are, and what the things most appreciated for an entry position are.

Good luck !!

Updated
thank you!

Blaise’s Answer

Updated Boston, Massachusetts

It's important for the actual day-to-day work to fit your personality/interest/aptitude. People sometimes confuse "doing what you love" with "doing what you care about". The actual subject matter of your work can be mundane as long as you enjoy the kind of problem-solving that this job requires.

For example, if you work in sales you shouldn't need to be selling solar panels for your job to be rewarding. The process of interfacing with other people and finding a way to match that person's needs with a product is what gets sales persons out of bed in the morning. It's the process that they find exciting.

Here's another example. My wife became a veterinarian because she has cared about animals as long as she can remember. But when she finally got a job she realized that being a veterinarian doesn't mean you get to spend quality time with animals. Most of the animals she sees aren't happy to be there and she has the scratches to prove it. Really, most of her day is spent interfacing with clients (dog/cat owners), diagnosing illnesses, euthanizing or treating wounds, filling out paperwork, etc.

So when you're evaluating careers, pay attention to the day-to-day work. This is why internships are so helpful. Take that opportunity to see what these people actually spend their time on...

Updated
Excellent point: You should find a job with the <em>type</em> of problem solving that you enjoy.
Updated
thank you!

Will’s Answer

Updated

If you do something you love, chances are you can make a really good living off of it so the money point is moot. This is because if you love what you're doing, you'll "work" harder at it. The more time you put into something, the closer you get to the 10,000 hour "expert" mark (see Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell). I can't think of any starving "experts" (unless they're starving because they blew their money, then I can think of a lot).

Now you might want to try a field that you don't particularly like if you can make a lot of money for a few years without a lot of schooling. Having a little nest egg to live off of will allow you to devote yourself full-time to whatever it is you love so that you get those 10,000 hours faster.

These fields include web development (salaries as high as $85k after exiting a 2 month training course, check out places like apprentice.io) and anything in the financial services industry (brokers, traders, etc).

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thank you!

Imane’s Answer

Updated Casablanca, Grand Casablanca, Morocco

Hi there, The first advice I would give here is to do different internships. Internships give you a taste of how the business life is and can help you a lot to have some orientation and know what really interest you, this will also have a great added value into you CV. When thinking about your future career try to establish a list with all the things that you are good at. this will help you a lot and narrow your search. In addition, this list should refer to the things that you really like and enjoy doing. This is because if you love what you're doing, you'll "work" harder at it. In addition,you would easily convice your future employer ( interviewer) if you show you motivation to do the job you like. Again, having some experience (internships) will help a lot here.