“The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up.” – Paul Valery
It’s the million-dollar question everyone is asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” There are a fortunate few who were born knowing, but the majority of us have no idea. And that’s okay – choosing a career path is not easy.
It takes time and a willingness to dig deep to reveal what is at the core of one of life’s greatest decisions. Try not to be overwhelmed, but see the excitement in finding the perfect solution.
Here are five questions to get the ball rolling and help you to clarify your thoughts.
1. Who are you? It may be a daunting question, but it holds the secret to how you will be happiest. Who are you? What do you like to do? And most notably, what are you passionate about?
If there is a list of passionate things, write them down and consider what they are. Can they provide you income? Can you develop a career around one? This list will be beneficial, so write it honestly and discuss it with those you trust. Ask your family and friends for their input – what do they think you are passionate about?
Passion may sound unstable when considering a career, but if you love what you do then you will be more willing to stick it out.
2. Are you an extrovert or an introvert? I fell in love with web design, but working at an agency made it clear my extrovert personality needs more interaction and activity to feel satisfied.
You may be passionate about something, but consider what the work environment is like. Will you be happy there? Do you need people around? Or are you perfectly fine working on your own?
3. Do you want to work for yourself or for someone else? Entrepreneurs and start-ups are sprouting up everywhere, but that doesn’t mean it’s right for you.
Working for a company full-time generally provides benefits, retirement packages and a sense of security to some, while being an entrepreneur gives others the freedom to make decisions and plan their own schedule.
4. What do you want out of your career? Some people prefer to view their job as a paycheck and use their free time to do as they please, while others seek to find personal fulfillment in their position.
Perhaps you want to change the world or just want to work within the confines of your world – both decisions are good ones if they bring happiness. Considering what success means to you may also help in figuring out what you want from a career.
5. What do you do when you’re procrastinating? Recently, I saw a quote that said we should make a living doing the things we do when procrastinating. For me, it was life-changing because all my free time was spent in social media. I find bliss through interacting with others – why was I not doing more in social media?
Procrastination can be a drain on your time and schedule, but take the time to look at it closely – you may be surprised what you see.
Don’t spend too long reflecting….
The most important part of choosing a career is to not get caught up in the decision. If there are a few things you enjoy, choose one and go for it – you cannot learn unless you try and you will not find it unless you are willing to be wrong.
Regardless of what you choose, make sure it satisfies you as an individual. Do not choose it for someone else and do not make a decision based on what the outside world believes to be cool. We spend close to 80% of our lives working, so invest in yourself and choose wisely.
Ahna Hendrix is currently an Interactive Designer and writes for a teacher sponsored website on the best ways to get an education degree.
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Good luck in your search.