Useful Tips For Selecting The Right Career
Choosing the right career kind of feels like a game of Russian roulette. You know that the world changes quickly. You know that you also change pretty rapidly. And you know a ton of people who hate their jobs. The pressure is brutal. Take a deep breath. The following is going to help you begin the process of choosing the right career for you.
Understand The Difference Between Career And Job
Before diving in, it’s vital that you understand there’s a major difference between careers and jobs. Your career is the totality of everything you’ve done for money throughout your life; this means it includes the babysitting gigs you did as a teenager and the customer service gig you had to pay for school and the summer job you had to save up for most recent vacation.
Especially in the modern era, careers are not single trajectories. They’re more like dances where you pick up random things when they’re interesting and put them down when they start getting old. You will have lots of jobs. Not all of these jobs will be in the same industry. Despite this, you will build a skill set that is entirely unique to you from the amalgamation of these jobs, and the end result will be your career. Everyone has a career, and everyone’s career is different.
Your career isn’t the job you do next or the one after that. No single job “makes” your career. Take the pressure off the individual choices and start thinking about your career as a whole. Look for pieces that you like the idea of. Try contract work that feels interesting, find scholarship opportunities that let you experience new situations, or ask people you like being around if they’re hiring. Follow whatever breadcrumbs call to you and see what you find along the way.
Focus On Your Wounds
The common advice is to follow your bliss, seek out what you love, and keep chasing it until it starts spitting money back at you. This is great if you know what your passion is, but the truth is that most young people (and middle-aged people, for that matter) haven’t been alive long enough to have found their passion; they just coincidentally haven’t bumped into that thing that fills them with childish wonder.
Another route to finding the right work for you doesn’t involve bliss or passion at all. It involves thinking about your wounds. No matter how young you are, you’ve felt pain. There have been things you’ve cried over, things that crawled under your skin and drove you mad. Focus on your greatest pains and see where that pain leads. You can take this literally and look for jobs that involve stopping people from getting wounded in the specific way you’ve been wounded or jobs that help people recover from the types of wounds you have, but you can also be abstract. Many of the world’s greatest artists, innovators, and top performers have found their passion via their pain. What does your suffering make you want to do? Write something? Build something? Create something? Run somewhere? Design something? Try doing whatever comes to mind. Does it bring you peace? Cool. Figure out how to get paid for it.
You Can Make Up Your Own Job
The internet means you’re connected to almost everyone on the planet. This means you can get into hyper-specific work and still find your audience or customer base. Don’t forget that you can make up your own job and start doing it, share it online, and find people who will pay you for it. There are almost no limits.
You Can Have More Than One Job
While part-time work used to be something for teenagers or those who couldn’t score full-time work, the tables have turned. Especially after studying the last twenty years from an economic perspective, more and more people are focusing on diversified income. This means having several smaller jobs instead of one big one. This offers a lot of financial security as it means that if something major happens that alters the workforce in some way resulting in someone losing a job (AI technology, pandemics, wars, etc.), that person still has several other income sources. This is also a fantastic option for people who have a lot of interests or who have conflicting priorities. If you’re struggling to choose between a stable path and a creative one, why not get a stable part-time job with a set number of hours per week and then start freelancing in your chosen creative field in the remaining hours?
The above information should have broadened your sense of what’s possible when it comes to career and given you several key mindset shifts that can help you approach the working world with openness and excitement. Try new things. Keep what you like, and then look for things to fill in the blanks.