Choosing a career might be one of the most difficult decisions you ever take and one which will impact your life the most, therefore you want to make sure that you will be happy with your decision, while also making a good living.
One of the biggest mistakes that young people do is follow other people’s dreams when choosing a career.
Be it parents, friends, idols, etc., they follow a path that might not necessarily fit their set of skills or personality.
They go to college and study something that they are not passionate about, because “this is the future”, “it pays well”, “your father and I would be so proud”, just to find themselves 4 years later that they have a degree in something they never wished to pursue.
I’ve seen it happen way too many times and, unfortunately, many people are living miserable lives because of taking the wrong decision when it comes to choosing a career.
What things do you need to take into consideration when choosing a career?
It might sound like a cliché; however, passion plays an important role to being happy in your career.
When being passionate about what you do, your chances of making a good living are much higher. Why? Because you will be able to learn things much faster, therefore climbing the corporate ladder faster.
You will be more dedicated to your job, more invested and therefore you will become more successful, as opposed to doing something that does not interest you, or worse, something that you hate.
If you are lost about what your passions are, you need to think outside of the box. What are your hobbies and which of them can be marketed? It might be cooking, drawing, writing, doing research etc.
The question that you need to ask yourself when choosing a career is, “Would I be doing this for free?”. The answer you need to aim for is, of course, “Yes”.
While passion is one of the most important factors when choosing a career, skills come second, as skills can be taught.
Someone, who is passionate about something but doesn’t have the skills, can become so much better than someone who does have the skills, however, lacks passion.
It is important though, to be realistic. Let’s continue with the cooking example. If you are passionate about cooking, however, you can’t create any edible dish you can take a cooking course and try again.
Maybe you don’t have the basic knowledge of cooking time for different ingredients or no knowledge about how to mix them.
Again, if you are really passionate about this, you can learn the skills.
In these times of instability, it’s always good to try to secure a good-paying job or a career path that leads to making a good living.
In order to do that, the smartest thing to do is create a list of passions and marketable skills that you have and then research jobs that require those skills, along with growth opportunities starting with those jobs.
For example, if you are young and you spend a lot of time on social media while being passionate about creating good content (text, videos, pictures), this might be a good choice, as all companies are switching to a more digital strategy and are using social media as their main channels.
You can start as a Social Media Executive and then grow to Social Media Manager and depending on what other skills you acquire along the way; you can then become a Digital Marketing Director or even open a Digital Marketing agency.
Check out: In demand Digital Marketing Skills in 2020
4. Certifications Required
Nowadays all companies require a degree for any type of job, however, at the same time, there are many people, like myself, who climbed quite fast on the corporate ladder and secured high paying jobs at a young age, without a degree.
It depends of course on the company and industry. If for example, you are passionate about building things, it’s safe to say that you can become a passionate engineer.
For this type of job, you will need a degree, there’s no way around it. The same applies to becoming a doctor, architect, etc.
You need to take this into consideration, according to your personal financial situation. Can you afford to pay the college fees? Can you wait for 3-6 years, depending on the degree, until you start working and actually making money? Will you be able to take a part-time job, while pursuing your degree?
Is it better to take a short course that is more affordable? Will that enable you to pursue your dream career?
You need to have answers to all these questions, before taking any decision.
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Trends in the job market change from year to year.
Depending on where you live, it would be advised to do a little research or talk to people in the work field, about current trends.
You don’t want to pursue a degree in Engineering, just to find yourself in 4 years that there are so many Engineering graduates and not enough jobs, that the pay is really not worth it.
You can also research, how many people can be enrolled in a number of universities in your area, for the same degree that you are interested in.
This is a good indicator of what to expect in a few years.
Another factor to consider is the environment that you will be working in.
Take a look at your current behavior in your free time.
Are you spending most of your time on your computer or in front of the TV? Then maybe an office job will be more suitable for you.
Are you spending a lot of time outdoors and are you hyperactive? Then a career that allows you to travel or have meetings outside of the office might be a better choice.
You need to take into consideration your personality before choosing a career. You can talk to different senior people and ask them how does a workday look like for them.
Ask them about the things that they like and don’t like. This should give a better perspective of how a day in that job would be spent.
Also, being an employee might not be for you.
Did you know that there is a University that teaches you how to become a freelancer?
Yes, you read that right. If you don’t see yourself working for someone, or better said, you see yourself having your own business, this might be a better choice for you.
Starting your own business nowadays is not costly and sometimes the only thing you need to have is a good internet connection. You can start your own business from home for as little as $100.
Freelance University has helped more than 16,000 students worldwide to acquire new skills and start their own business from the comfort of their own home.
Gain access to more than 80 specialized certifications and courses that will help you regardless of the path you choose to take: corporate or entrepreneurship.
Whichever career you choose, you need to take into consideration which skills does that job require and which skills will you learn along the way.
You need to look at skills that can be easily transferable to another industry, if you consider, let’s say, to make a career change in 10 years from now.
Bottom line is to remember that almost nothing goes as planned and your life might be completely different 5 years from now.
You might not have a clue what your passions are and what you want to do in life, and that is absolutely fine.
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. You will discover what is your passion along the way.
Take it easy and enjoy life, one day at a time!
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