Skip to main content
5 answers
5
Asked 938 views

What's the best advice you can give to help plan a career rather than just work to keep a job?

I have always envisioned myself having a successful career, except I don't know how to make a plan. I'm in college studying psychology and criminal justice and want to have a career that highlights both of these fields. How do I plan for my future? #career #success #career-counseling #career-plan #career-path #motivation #psychology #happiness #advice #planning #future #JULY20

+25 Karma if successful
From: You
To: Friend
Subject: Career question for you

5

5 answers


3
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Dhairya’s Answer

Hi Brittany,
Great question! I like that you're focusing on the difference between a career and a job, as many people often fall into the trap that their job is the end-all, even when its not a good fit.

Regardless of how much planning you do, life will throw curve balls at you and things may not go to plan. The single best thing you can do in being successful is developing self-confidence and knowing that in any adverse situation, you can trust that the future you will make the best possible decision in that situation and if things go poorly you will have the fortitude to carry through. That's much easier said than done. I know for myself, it's been a ten year journey overcoming my insecurities, fears of failing my parents and other's expectations and facing adversity along the way. You may make many mistakes and it will take a lot to be able to forgive yourself and develop confidence in yourself and the choices you make.

As you try to figure out your career, my advice is to experiment frequently and make as many mistakes as you can while the stakes are low. The beauty of your 20s is that you can explore, change jobs, take risks much more easily than when you're older, perhaps have a family, or have other expectations that need to be considered. Try working in as many different environments as you can (large companies, small companies, private vs public). If you find a situation is not working out, it's ok to bail and look for another opportunity. Just be sure to reflect as to why it didn't work out and in your next opportunity look to rectify that and/or explore a new setting in your next opportunity.

If you struggle or fail, don't think of it as a shortcoming of you as person (e.g. I'm no smart enough or good enough). Rather think of as signal as to what doesn't work for you. For example, my first few jobs were at large organizations ( a fortune 100 company and a large university). It turns I'm a terrible employee when in large structured organizations where there little room for creativity and agency. So I started seeking opportunities at smaller organizations until I finally found great success at growth stage startups. In the startup setting, I was had more freedom and agency to work many different problems and I felt my work mattered as I had direct impact the success and failure of our startup. Try to get as many diverse experiences as you can and eventually you'll be able to identify what kind of environment is best suited for making you successful and what kind of work you truly enjoy. Also each adversity and challenge you overcome will help you become more self-confident.

Good luck on your journey!
Thank you comment icon Hi Dhairya, Thank you for your answer, I really appreciate it! I like how you highlighted that it is good to work in different environments. I never thought of that before. I will definitely take your advice! Thank you again! Brittany
3
1
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Kim’s Answer

Hi Brittany!

Good question! Sometimes I think we put too much emphasis on this "plan." Perhaps it works better if you think of it in general terms, rather than, "I plan to be a police chief by the age of 40."

Nowadays people change jobs every 2-5 years, and, those who stay with the same company, even if they move up, are often considered stagnant.

My advice is simple. Keep your resume current. Keep your eyes and ears open for opportunity. Every 2-3 years actually search for jobs. Don't necessarily take them, but see what's out there.

Keep yourself available to change jobs. This means living below your means. Sometimes you have to take a paycut to create the next great opportunity. Financial management skills are a must! If you are open to the idea of relocating, think twice before buying a house. Contrary to what a realtor will tell you, values do not always go up, and, if yours goes down, you won't be able to sell it for what you owe on it! You will be stuck with it.

So, think of the plan as sort of fluid. After all, in our line of work, new positions are created all the time. It could be your position hasn't been created yet!

Also, think now about how you define "a successful career." It could be money, title, respect. Where does family time fit in, as you envision it? Will you be taking work home with you? Do you want a successful "life" too? What is that? What is happiness? I think I ask too many questions! But seriously, we often spend time chasing that which, if we'd slow down for a minute, we realize we already have.

Hope this helps!
Kim
Thank you comment icon Hi Kim, Thank you so much for your response. I will be asking myself those questions as I continue my life and career as I'm sure my answers to those questions will likely change. I definitely have a lot to consider and your answer did help! Thank you again! Brittany
1
1
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

James Constantine’s Answer

Dear Brittany,

**Crafting a Fulfilling Career Path, Not Just Securing a Job**

Embarking on a career journey, instead of merely holding down a job, demands deliberate effort, introspection, and a vision for the future. To aid you in realizing your career aspirations, here are some nuggets of wisdom to steer you on your path:

1. **Discover Yourself**: Grasping your strengths, weaknesses, passions, and principles is fundamental in carving out a successful career. Utilize personality tests, like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) or the StrengthsFinder assessment, to delve deeper into your personality and inclinations. Reflect on your past roles, such as internships, volunteering, or part-time work, to pinpoint what excites you and what you excel at.
2. **Investigate Career Paths**: Probe into various career trajectories that resonate with your interests, abilities, and principles. Connect with professionals in your chosen field to glean their experiences, hurdles, and guidance. Participate in career fairs, industry gatherings, and job shadowing opportunities to familiarize yourself with diverse career avenues.
3. **Establish SMART Goals**: Set out specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) objectives for your career. Break your overarching goals into smaller, manageable tasks. Set immediate goals that align with your long-term ambitions, such as completing a certain number of internships or acquiring a specific certification.
4. **Formulate a Career Blueprint**: Design a visual depiction of your career trajectory, spotlighting your immediate and long-term objectives. Incorporate potential hurdles and deviations, along with strategies to surmount them. Regularly update your blueprint to accommodate changes in your objectives or situation.
5. **Cultivate a Professional Network**: Engage with professionals in your chosen field through LinkedIn, industry gatherings, or networking groups. Foster relationships with mentors who can provide guidance, support, and invaluable insights. Attend conferences, workshops, and training sessions to boost your skills and knowledge.
6. **Hone Transferable Skills**: Develop skills that are pertinent across multiple career trajectories, such as communication, problem-solving, leadership, and adaptability. These skills will enhance your versatility and make you a more appealing candidate to potential employers.
7. **Champion Lifelong Learning**: The job market is perpetually evolving, and it's vital to keep pace with industry trends and technologies. Seek continuous education and professional development opportunities, such as online courses, certifications, or advanced degrees.
8. **Stay Open to Opportunities**: Maintain an open mind when investigating career options. Contemplate alternative career paths that resonate with your interests and abilities. Don't hesitate to take risks and welcome new challenges, as they can catalyze personal and professional growth.
9. **Prioritize Work-Life Harmony**: Seek a career that aligns with your personal values and facilitates a healthy work-life equilibrium. Prioritize self-care, stress management, and time management to sustain your well-being and productivity.
10. **Remain Positive and Tenacious**: Have faith in yourself and your capabilities, and uphold a positive outlook towards your career journey. Tenacity and resilience are key in surmounting hurdles and realizing your career aspirations.

References:

1. Holland, J. L. (1985). Making vocational choices: A theory of vocational personalities and work environments. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 26(2), 159-182.
2. Super, D. E. (1980). Careers and life styles: A psychosocial perspective. Journal of Vocational

Organic Web Results:
10 results

Various websites offer additional advice and resources to help you on your career journey.

GOD BLESS YOUR JOURNEY!
Thank you comment icon Hi James, Thank you for your response! I am currently in graduate school pursuing a Master's degree in mental health counseling. I have taken many of those nuggets of wisdom into action. I still have a long way to go, but I am feeling optimistic about my career journey. I also really appreciate the provided sources! Brittany
1
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Libby’s Answer

HI Brittany, you are way ahead of the game having narrowed down areas of interest. I would suggest that you schedule time with individuals who have focused on these fields and the pros and cons of such positions. It would be good to understand expectations in terms of pay, hours, etc. For example, would you want a 24/7/365 type of position with low pay? Or a 24/7/365 position with high pay? I would suggest a vision board in terms of your career and life expectations. What do you want from your life as a whole? Are you a traveler? A person who would want to have outside activities that would require significant hours? A mentor once told me that I would have to make some sort of sacrifice in one area of life. He opted to climb the corporate ladder and did not have time to devote to his children. That doesn't always happen, but it can. Are you tied to one area of the country because you like it, you have family and friends, etc? These are all important decisions. I chose my marriage, children and my home state as my priorities and sacrificed moving up the company. Please let me know if you have other questions.

Libby recommends the following next steps:

Set up appointments with people in careers you are interested in
Create a life vision board (as you best know it now)
Define your priorities and goals as best you can
Thank you comment icon Hi Libby! Thank you for your response! I never thought of reaching out to people in careers I had an interest in. I'm going to set up consultations sometime soon. I also really like your vision board idea. I appreciate your insight! I definitely have a lot to consider. Thank you again for your time and expertise. Brittany
0
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Stephanie’s Answer

Hello,
You are definitely asking great questions and thinking long term. I would encourage you to start looking into the different career fields where a psychology and criminal justice degree would be required. There are many different paths and sometimes graduate school may or may not be required. A great place to look is the bls.gov/ooh. You can see all career fields, pay, required training, etc. Start talking with professors and networking. LinkedIn is an awesome tool to start virtually connect with people working in some of your fields of interest. The best piece of advice is to know you are ahead of the game and to not get discouraged. Networking and informational interviewing is key! Best of luck to you!
Thank you comment icon Hi Stephanie, thank you for your response! I will definitely use that website and network with professionals. Thank you for your insight! Brittany
0