How to Choose Your Ideal Career
by: Skye Thomas
say that most people do complete and total career changes at least once often
twice in their lifetimes. Very few people chose the ideal perfect career for
themselves when they're in high school and blissfully happily work those same
jobs for the rest of their lives. With the way that technology and everything
else changes so fast, I think it's ridiculous to expect to stay in one job from
the time you leave school until you retire. Even staying in the same company
can be a huge challenge. So how will you pick your first career? Your next
major career change?
first thing I want you to look at is what kinds of things do
you enjoy doing and what you are naturally good at. Imagine that you
just won the lottery and you will never have to work again for another day of
your life. How would you spend your time? After the shopping sprees and
traveling and such grows old, you're going to have to
fill your days up doing something so that you aren't bored out of your mind.
What would you do? What would consume your attention if you could freely bury
yourself in it? Is there a way to make a living at that now? Is there a way to
incorporate some of that into your current career? Could you begin doing it now
as a hobby and grow it into a second income and eventually quit your 'real job'
to play full time at your new hobby/career?
obviously have to look at practicality issues. Truth be known my very favorite
thing to do is drive convertibles and suntan at the beach. That's not likely
going to ever become a career and it sure as heck isn't going to pay my bills!
You have to look at what you like to do and take a realistic look at whether
the market is ever going to pay you an income for doing it. Just because you
love doing something doesn't mean that the world is going to love giving you
money for doing it. There are plenty of musicians and artists out there who
can't earn enough to support themselves. It takes more then just a love of your
work. Pick a number of different things that you love and narrow the list down
by deciding which ones would realistically finance you at the level that you
thing to consider, especially when you're choosing your first job is how much
education or special training is required. How many kids think that because
they love to play basketball that they'll be the next Michael Jordan? How many
put in the kind of work and practice that he did? If you want to be a doctor,
then you better seriously contemplate the years of college and the extremely
high cost of going to medical school. Down the road, a lot of the experience
you get in one career can be transferred to your next career. Customer service
skills that you learn while waiting tables will still serve you later when
you're an entrepreneur. If you have a lot of the skills from previous work
experience, but not all of them, then you have to figure out how to finance
going to night school or whatever else you need to do to change careers.
Additional education and skills shouldn't stop you from changing to a great job
that you know you'll love, but you do need to take it into serious
consideration while making the choice.
the community colleges have these cool placement tests that tell you what kinds
of work you'd be happy doing. They ask you a bunch of multiple choice questions
like if you'd rather work indoors or outside. Do you want to travel as part of
your career or stay home? How much weight are you willing to lift? How
introverted or extroverted are you? How much money do you want to make? After
you answer these questions and a bunch more, the computer system spits out a
list of careers that you would be suited to. Keep in mind that what interested
you at twenty isn't likely to be the same as what interests you at forty. I
would think that you could do an online search and find some of those tests
online. These will give you some ideas you may have never considered. I
remember taking one when I was in my early twenties and I ranked extremely high
at "Clergy." I laughed and thought that was the stupidest thing I'd
ever heard of. I wanted to be a motivational speaker and it took me a couple of
days before I realized that it's a very similar job description. Whether I'm
telling you about God or I'm telling you how to pull yourself up by your
bootstraps, it's the same skills and many of the same daily tasks. I'm
preaching a different topic, but I'm still up on my soapbox telling you what to
do and telling you how to live, aren't I? So be open minded to what the test results show.
start out by brainstorming ideas of things that you would love to do if money
was not an issue. Then add to it the results of one of those placement tests.
Take the ideas from those two exercises and start looking at the practicalities
of marketability and how much education and training are necessary. If you can
find a way to do what you love and make a living at it, then you've got the key
ingredients to creating a life of abundance and prosperity that the rest of the
world only dreams of. You don't have to stay with something just because you
used to love it and now you make a lot of money doing it. If
you are bored and ready for something new, then start dreaming and planning
your next adventure.
2004, Skye Thomas, Tomorrow's Edge
Thomas is the CEO of Tomorrow's Edge, an Internet leader in inspiring leaps
of faith. She became a writer in 1999 after twenty years of studying
spirituality, metaphysics, astrology, personal growth, motivation, soulmates, and parenting. Her books, articles, and
astrological forecasts have inspired people of all ages and faiths to
recommit themselves to the pursuit of happiness. To read more of her articles
and to sign up to receive her free weekly newsletter, go to www.TomorrowsEdge.net. To download free previews of her
books, go to www.SkyeThomas.com.
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