July 10, 2017
Whether you are just getting started on your college career, you’re having second thoughts about the direction your schooling should take or you’re a new graduate, choosing a career doesn’t have to be a complicated and stressful task. With a bit of introspection and objectivity, you can narrow down your options and find a career that is fulfilling in all the right ways.
Regardless of which career path you choose, it’s important to remember that it doesn’t have to be permanent. You might discover that you’ve found your calling — a career that offers you an ample amount of money while still delivering personal satisfaction — the first time you tried. Chances are though, that you won’t get your college degree, go to work for a company and retire from that same company 40 years later. Instead, you’re more likely to work at different companies throughout your lifetime.
Yes, money is important. It shouldn’t be completely discounted in favor of following your passions. However, it shouldn’t be the only reason you choose a career. The ideal career choice is one that fulfills both your passionate side and your practical side.
Even if you’ve graduated with a degree in one area, it doesn’t mean that you are obligated to work in that industry for the rest of your life. Maybe you realize that your chosen career simply isn’t what you thought it would be like. You can always return to college to gain the knowledge necessary for a career change.
Your process of choosing a career likely begins with those that you learn about from the media and your family. However, those careers are just the beginning. There are typically hundreds — or even thousands — of jobs within a particular industry that you could do. If you have an idea of which industry you want to work in, then you can narrow down your choices that way. You can explore hundreds of potential careers by visiting our careers page (click here). Alternatively, many jobs are similar across industries so choosing one that is flexible offers you the ability to customize your career path.
Approach the process of choosing a career as an ongoing effort. If you are able to narrow down one of your passions and then turn it into a lucrative career, that doesn’t mean you have to do so for the rest of your life. Maybe you’ll discover that turning your passion into work saps the enjoyment from it for you. For a sports-oriented person, for example, the answer might not be owning your own fitness business. Instead, a better choice could be to work as an instructor part time while pursuing a different route on a full-time basis.
Part of adulting is always having a Plan B. What would you do if your first career choice didn’t work out as you expected? Would you go back for more schooling? Open your own business? Having an idea of what your next step might be in the event that something doesn’t work out can help you prepare.
One of the most important things you can do when choosing a career is get lots of information. In addition to talking to people within the field you’re interested in, make sure to take advantage of the career counseling at your college and the knowledge that your family and close friends have to offer. You can always change your mind later and refocus in another direction to find the right career.
Choosing a career is one of the most important decisions you can make. Don’t do it alone. At College Mouse, we can connect you to the right resources to help you make informed choices. Start by exploring our hundreds of careers right here on our site. Find out what it takes to break in, what you can expect to earn and what qualifications you will need. Or speak to a qualified career counselor, who can help you reflect on what career options best match your strengths and interests.