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When deciding what job we want, should we opt for the one that pays more, or the one that you really want that pays little?

For example, I want to be a forensic scientist, but everyone is telling me that their salaries are too low so I shouldn't become one. So, I was thinking that instead, I could become a lawyer, but I don't feel that I would like it. I still have three years of high school left to decide what I wanna do, but its a question I frequently think about.

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Subject: Career question for you

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Desiree’s Answer

Hi Mariam! In my very personal opinion, you should look at both factors. Don't go for a job that pays a lot but you absolutely hate because at the end of the day you'll be unhappy and likely won't stay with it anyway. On the other hand, don't do something you like but can't make a living wage off of because you'll end up resenting it. Try to find a decent middle ground, or an option that you like and maybe starts at a lower wage but has the option to make more. Truth be told, you'll be doing whatever job you choose for most hours of the day, days of the week, and weeks out of the year. Try to find something you'll be happy or at least comfortable in for you own mental health.
Thank you comment icon This was super helpful, thank you! Mariam
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Eugene’s Answer

Great question! First off, this is an issue that you are going to come across again and again during your career and it's possible your answer may change each time... That's okay!

Try to remember that it's not about your job, it's about your career. You will likely have many jobs during the course of your career, so try to think about what you want out of your career first, then worry about what job is right for you. For instance, you are interested in being a forensic scientist. What is it about that job that interests you? Is it being a scientist? Is it finding clues? Solving mysteries? Once you can figure that out, you may find that there are lots of jobs out there that could be very fulfilling.

About the salary -- Yes, you should be career focused, but I get that you have to pay the bills at the same time. My opinion is that you should aim to make enough such that you don't think about your salary every day. Try not to think about it in terms of "too little". Figure out how much you actually need to make. Write up a budget that takes into account all the things you'd need to pay for (including savings, if possible). Then you've got your minimum bar for your salary and a real number for what's "too little." As for how much a forensic scientist makes, don't take people's word for it, go do your own research. Check out glassdoor.com to start (I'm sure there are other sites that could help too).
Thank you comment icon I appreciate this, thank you for the advice. Mariam
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Kitty’s Answer

I second Desiree's answer. Always go with a good middle! It could be that you do something in the same field as Forensic Science but in a different role that perhaps pays a bit more. I would also suggest you do more research on salaries for those positions on sites such as Glassdoor, etc. That should help with your insight. A second personal thought, try not to take other people's advice unless you've vetted what they have to say. I let go of my dream when I was younger because of family telling me I could never do it and I very much wish I had done my own research and continued pursuing that degree. Trust yourself and your own research.
Thank you comment icon Thank you! Mariam
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Sandra’s Answer

It's great you are thinking about this now, you have plenty of time to decide what is really important to you. I love Vincent's answer, I would follow your passion, do what you love or what you think you will love. It will get you through the toughest times in your career, more so than any money you will make. I always think if you do what you love it will open up possibilities you haven't even considered yet and those possibilities can create an amazing set of career opportunities for you. Do what you love, it make all the difference in the long run.
Thank you comment icon Thanks for the advice! Mariam
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Tina’s Answer

People who go into careers that are connected with what they really want to do are more apt to excel at them and advance more quickly than those who don't. This is because they enjoy what they are doing and put more time into it. They strive to be good at it. And their enthusiasm about it can attract rather than repel the people they deal with on a daily basis. Because they enjoy what they are doing, they are more content and that comes across to the people they are interacting with. Would you like to be waited on or attended to by a doctor who does not like what he/she is doing: who doesn't really want to help you; who doesn't care to stay abreast of new medical practices and remedies, but only does it for the money? Do you want to be taught by a teacher who doesn't like teaching and is discontent and grouchy all the time? Those are the people we avoid. Find a career path that matches your interests and abilities, one you are willing to put your all into and don't give up when the going gets tough.
There are many things you can do while in high school to find out more about yourself and the types of things that would be good career choices for you: job shadow people who are in the jobs that you are considering, volunteer as often as you can for things that sound fun and/or utilize your talents, talk to family and friends about their work, go to career web sites and read or watch videos on various careers, take career interest surveys, get to know your high school counselor and let him/her get to know you, so much so that when opportunities come along, you might be the one comes to mind to recommend for it. The more he/she knows about you, the more he/she can help you in your career search.
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Atul’s Answer

You are a freshman in high school. The courses you will take next 3 years and challenge yourself (take AP courses) will guide you on your career path.
Selecting a profession is important because at times if the salaries are low, you may have to take 2nd job to make ends meet.
It is easy to find out what type of salaries are offered for a different professions. Your high school guidance counselors and your favorite teacher can also assist you to make an informed decision.
Many people switch careers, I have seen an individual who had a degree in History. He was a school teacher who decided to pursue the high-tech (software) industry. He became successful because he was good at driving the point and presenting details succinctly to keep the audience engaged. FYI - his net worth was in 8 figures in 2000. The moral of the story - know your strength and apply them to be successful in life.
Thank you comment icon Thank you for taking the time to help. Mariam
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Dustin’s Answer

Not only should you consider a career that will keep you engaged, but also a career that will ensure your ability to support yourself and your family. However, one thing I think many forget when choosing a career is to look at the long term availability of the industry. You also would want to ensure there is overwhelming demand for the line of business. Meaning, 10-20 years ago everyone was looking to obtain an IT degree. Today there are several in the industry. Try to find yourself a niche you enjoy and will last a long time. Difficult but they're out there.
Thank you comment icon Thank you! Mariam
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David’s Answer

Miriam:
I get this question often. One thought is to attempt to discover what you really love to do and what you believe you will be good at doing. Once you determine that, invest yourself in being the best you can at it. You will genrally not have to worry about salary when you are passionate about what you do and very good at it.
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Vincent’s Answer

Money is already ready to follow u once you are ready..therefore, please go with your dream..
Thank you comment icon I appreciate you taking the time to answer this. Mariam
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