Choosing A Career Path

Perhaps you are one of those people who has just always *known* what you wanted to do – even from an early age your goal was to be a Fireman, Nurse, Vet or Policeman. Perhaps you were a child with a passion for story telling who has gone onto a career in journalism, or a passion for building with Lego lead you to the world of architectural design or engineering.  If you are one of the lucky ones referred to above – you are in the minority.

For many of us sorting out or deciding what we want to do with our lives is confusing, scary and one faced with so many options….. Do you follow your heart and take on a career or job in a field you love? Or, do you take the more practical view and go for the job that offers a great salary – just *getting by* in a job you love vs financial security in a job you perhaps just tolerate.

Reality and passion – it can often come down to quite a difficult choice. If you chose a path that offers creative fulfilment and pursuing your dream of being the next great novelist, actress or singer it can involve a lot of sacrifices and risk.

Some people are very happy to indulge in their passions during their leisure time while still working fulltime  – to keep the money rolling in (and their head above water) while pursuing their dream in their spare time. At the end of the day you need to face facts and that is if you follow a career just for the money, or it’s been *expected of you* and you feel pressured you will only end up facing a future of unhappiness or even a mid-career crisis somewhere down the track. It’s hard to say *no* when your parents have sacrificed to get you through college insisting you should enter a particular career or field, but you need to ask yourself, who is going to suffer more.

choosing-a-career-pathPassion for what you want to do can lead to success, but you need to weigh up any and all risks that may be involved, work through any fears you have and come up with a contingency plan should something go wrong. If you find yourself starting out – having just left school, or you are standing at that crossroad trying to figure out what career path to chose you need to consider – what are the activities you really do enjoy doing? Is there a career out there that revolves around or utilises any of those skills? What are your strengths? What are you really good at?  What are important *features* about a career you like? – working on your own? Working with a team? Travelling?

Sit down with friends and family ask them to come up with any advice or ideas – what fields revolve around the items on your list? Try and find out as much as you can about the industries and jobs that appeal to you – research on online, read trade publications, look at company websites, attend any trade or career events and keep an eye on job advertisements. You can always consider working casually, part time or even as a volunteer to get a better idea of what is involved in your chosen field.

You will also need to consider things such as what is the job market really like? Is there a chance for advancement? Is the field stable? Is it on the rise; or on the way out? Where are the jobs located? Will you have to move or travel for work? You also need to consider any special or extra qualifications you might need.

Sometimes the best way to find out if you like a job is to give it ago – but be prepared to consider something else if you find what you want to do really isn’t *for you*. Has following your dreams worked for you??? Has it not worked for you, if you have any advice to share with our readers, we’d love to hear from you.


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