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How do you know which career is right for you?

Should I just pick a career that can support me or make me happy?

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Subject: Career question for you

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Sara’s Answer

You will know which career is right for you when…..
1) getting up and going to work doesn’t feel like a chore,
2) when you want to learn all you can
3) being excited to learn new thing
5) when it’s a passion

My grandpa use to tell me “ do what you love and love what you do and you will never work a day in your life. So I did just that. I work in veterinarian medicine and specialized in shelter medicine I love my job. Just wish I had went to school straight out of high school.

Sara
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david’s Answer

Hi, Kathleen,
I strongly believe you can have both. If you're doing what makes you content and happy with yourself, you will live comfortably. You may not be rich in the sense of money, but you will be rich in life contentedness. People who enjoy their work are more productive, more likely to attract followers, and more capable of achieving unanticipated goals. I know people who work to get a higher paycheck, but that's selling your one life for extra money, and it's a life that is devoid of true contentment. Some people define success as earthly riches, but real success in life is doing what makes you feel valued and appreciated, and THAT will make you happy. And you will never have the sense that you are "working" , as you'll be doing what you enjoy. And that can happen anywhere. I recall, years ago, thinking that selling insurance would be dreadful, until I met a man who sold insurance and found it stimulating and rewarding and loved every minute of it. So, it's not a matter of what others think of your chosen career, it's what YOU think of it. Go for happiness. And thanks for asking, because I enjoyed responding. :)
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Vamshee’s Answer

one has to ask these questions while choosing the career.
Successful career is all about job Growth, Opportunities, Salary, Satisfaction.
For each of your interest, compare them how each one stands in relation to growth, opportunities, Salary and Satisfaction
My son was interested in photography when he was in his high school, I told him that he can pursue it as a hobby or second job but working in STEM would bring in more opportunities, better paying jobs with long career.I had asked him to talk to professional in different careers to get some idea and see what interests him most.
He found his interest in Graphics Information Technology and pursuing his undergrad right now.
Talk to someone who works in particular profession to know pros and cons, so you get an idea about it and helps you compare and guide you in deciding which career to choose.
Also, it's easy to switch careers in initial few years of a Carrer, so you can try out one and see what it brings.

You can choose a career/profession which make you happy and pays you well ...so you can get best of both.
Money is important in initial part of career for sure as it helps you pay off your college/debts and gives financial independence to be on your own ..start a family or own a car n House... In the later part of career happiness matters..
some will pursue the hobbies/interests after hours or in weekends to balance work/Money/Happiness.



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Staci’s Answer

Hi Kathleen:

You will know that a career is right for you when you would do it regardless of who is looking. That career choice will make you feel alive, purposeful, and powerful. It will make you feel like you can change the world. You get super excited if you see someone else doing it. When you close your eyes you can envision yourself 10 years from now dressed the part with a smile of confidence.

If you don't have the slightest idea what you want to do, don't stress over it---you are not alone. Start by figuring out:
1. What are you passionate about?
2. What do you like doing in your spare time?
3. What do you think you are good at?
4. What does the person you admire most do for a living?

Maybe you don't know the exact occupation you want to pursue, can you pinpoint it down to the industry? So maybe you know you like math and science and could picture yourself being an engineer. Well, what kind of engineer? Chemical, electric, mechanical, industrial... there are so many options.

Next, lucky for you we live in a world with information vomiting at us. So do your research. Hope on Google and find out:
1. Exactly what the occupation is?
2. Is it in demand now?
3. Will it be in demand 20 years from now?
4. How much education you will need?
5. How much money can you expect to earn?

Kathleen, you are the only person who knows what is right for you. Good luck finding it. One thing for sure when you figure it out, you will know beyond a shadow of a doubt if you are in the right field. Let your God-given talent lead you to your destiny.
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Amy’s Answer

The good news is you don't have to know the answer to that question right now. You will change over the years, your interests and passions will evolve and the opportunity marketplace will certainly continue to present new options for your consideration. As long as you are interested, challenged and financially supported by your current career choice, you are on the right path.
Thank you comment icon Thanks for the help. Ivana
Thank you comment icon Nice! 100% in agreement! Dont expect to know exactly to know what career is right for you from the beginning. That will change as you go. Start with the basics and make sure you go into a field or industry that relates to you. Some of the best professionals I know have college degrees that have nothing to do with their jobs. Eduardo Moreno Sol
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Elyse’s Answer

Hi Kathleen,

Great question! I would like to encourage you to rephrase this question to be "What is a career that will support the lifestyle I want AND will make me happy?" It is possible to find both!

To help make these questions more manageable, here are some additional questions your can use to tease out your answers:
- What salary range will allow me the lifestyle I want?
- What are the costs I would have to pay to reach that salary range (years of education/training, experience paid at a lower salary level, sacrifices in schedule, etc)?
- How do I define happiness in my life and my career?
- What skills do I have that would allow me to work in proximity to the things that bring me the most happiness?

One thing that is important to remember is that work is an exchange of your time, energy, and skills for compensation. As such, our careers may or may not be the thing that brings us the most joy in life (though they can be!), and the compensation piece is a realistic part of building a life that we love to live. I believe if we prioritize these two pieces equally - our happiness in the career + it's ability to financially support our lifestyle - that is the best way to choose a career that is lasting and fulfilling!
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Marisa’s Answer, CareerVillage.org Team

Kathleen, this is such an important question. The fact that you're asking it tells me you will think critically and make intentional decisions about your career throughout your life! Every working adult will face this dilemma on some level at some point in their life. And my short answer is: you can have both!
Your career will be a huge part of your life and inevitably be a part of your identity. But that doesn't necessarily mean your career has to be your biggest passion in life. There are ways to find joy, meaning, and fulfillment in many different jobs. As you grow professionally and personally, it will be easier than you think to find a good balance between being supported and happy in your job.
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Thomas’s Answer

Finding the right career for you does not always mean having your dream job from day 1. Many times this could look like finding any job related to one of your interests. Also consider companies/organisations that interest you. For example " I would love to work for Apple" , maybe in this case you could go for any job Apple is offering and look to move towards your desired vocation over time at the company you feel connected with. Apple is one example, this could be any company in any industry. Once you are in the company/industry that interests you, you can talk to others doing the job you like and get advice. You will often find that you are not the first person to take that path and other people could help you to move across the company in different roles. For example, one of the first leaders I had in my career started off as the receptionist and eventually ended up being a Vice President in a customer facing business unit.

Ultimately, keep an open mind in the short term if it get's you closer to where you wan't to be long term.

Thomas recommends the following next steps:

Consider your vocational interest
Research companies in that area
Research their open roles and intern programs
Consider joining networking groups related to your interests
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Alan’s Answer

Great question Kathleen!

A few things to consider:
-What stimulates your mind and body?
-What are you most passionate about?
-Which of your natural strengths are you interested in tapping into most?
-What makes you happy?
-How important is financial stability and potential?

Highly recommend you reflect on these questions and align with job opportunities that help fulfill your needs, wants, and desires!

Cheers :)
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Lisa’s Answer

Hi Kathleen!

Career alone can't make you happy, but choosing the job that makes you the most money also won't fulfill you.
This takes some self reflection - what's most important to you? What are some goals you want to achieve (e.g. buy a house, have a family, travel)?

Often, landing somewhere in the middle is best. Build a career that can sustain you both financially and bring you enjoyment.

If you focus on the areas that you're passionate about today. And then be willing to take steps to change or pivot to get to where you need to be. It's ok if you don't have the answer right now. Start taking steps in the direction that you're most interested in. Be open to change!
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Claude’s Answer

Hi Kathleen,

First, definitely recommend identifying what your goals are. For you personally, do you prioritize long-term happiness, long-term financial stability, long-term job stability? Next, identify your passion. A helpful piece of advice I've heard about identifying passion is to keep a journal of things that make you happy. After a few months, go back and identify trends. Maybe drawing brings you happiness regularly, and if so, it's likely a passion of yours. Not everyone is naturally good at their passion, however, so after you've identified it, practice makes (near) perfect! Internships are a great way to test out different career paths and identify passions while honing your skills.

An additional thing to consider is where you want to be long-term. If you have a specific city/country in mind, understanding what that job market looks like is important. In San Francisco, for example, there's a bustling tech scene. But Milan or Paris has a bustling fashion scene, and New York and Chicago have strong advertising/marketing scenes.

Lastly, finding your dream job is a journey. For many people, they don't find their dream job immediately. There's a different path for everyone that often consists of trial and error. Don't be afraid to explore different jobs and roles in your journey!

Good luck!
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Inga’s Answer

I think you should look for something you enjoy and see yourself committing to and growing in, but also something that can provide you the life you want to have and financial independence. Especially today, given the economy you should consider both things and look for career and job and industry that has long term growth.
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Brianna’s Answer

Hi, Kathleen.

People spend around 1/3 of their life at work, so it's important to know what your relationship to "work" is and how it intersects with your idea of "happiness." Many people are able to find a job that supports them and that they are happy doing. Many people separate their job from the rest of their interests and don't feel the need for their job to be their source of fulfillment. Many people have a job that is somehow related to a passion of theirs but not the passion itself.

Where do you believe you are on that spectrum? What would make you "happy"? A big paycheck? A lot of vacation time? Flexibility? Structure? Room to grow and ladder climb? Learning opportunities? Travel opportunities? Being able to stay in one spot? Working with people? Working independently? Having a lot of free time to dedicate to other passions? Having your job be the thing you are passionate about?

Once you ask yourself these questions, it becomes easier to narrow down what job you're interested in. I, for example, learned very quickly that my happiness was more reliant on having shorter work hours and a more flexible schedule than on making as big a paycheck as possible.
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Ajin’s Answer

Hi Kathleen,

That's a really good question. Figuring out the answer to this, most definitely helps us enjoy our work and leads us to have a successful career and a fulfilling life. The first step to arrive at an answer is to first understand ones likes and dislikes in academics and also ones personality. You can get an idea of this by taking an assessment test such as https://www.truity.com/view/tests/personality-career. Once you get a basic understanding of one's preferences and aptitude in academics, consider looking into what are the pros and cons of choosing a specific career path. Its advisable to talk to folks who would have taken up a certain career path and get an idea of what a regular day entails for those professionals be it in media, healthcare, aviation, defense etc. Try to envision yourself in these industries and job roles and think, will you be happy doing this for the rest of your life, does this field ignite passion and interest within you, all the while considering what are your aspirations and goals are for the future. Further, do think about the financial aspect as you would want to know if this career path is sustainable in the long run.

Hoping this helps. Good Luck in choosing the right career path ahead.
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Chirayu’s Answer

Deciding on a career can be a challenging and personal process. Think about what you're good at, what you enjoy doing, and what's important to you. This can help you identify careers that align with your strengths and interests. Learn about different careers by talking to people who work in the field, reading job descriptions, and researching career information online. This can help you narrow down your options and find a career that aligns with your interests. While it's important to choose a career that you're interested in, you should also consider the job market and demand for that career. Look for careers that have growth potential, as well as a stable job market. Consider the type of work environment that you would thrive in. Do you prefer a fast-paced or slower-paced environment? Do you prefer to work independently or as part of a team? Do you want to work in an office or outdoors? These factors can help you find a career that aligns with your work style.
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Vítor’s Answer

It depends on the type of person you are.
Just identify your strengths and weakness and act accordingly.
If what you do brings you satisfaction, it means you are in the right path.
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