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Written by Arlene Chandler. Arlene acquired her experience in a Seattle real estate firm. After spending her days writing articles for Suncorp, she enjoys evenings and weekends trying out new restaurants and taking long walks.
There is a difference between having a job and having a career, and it’s not always the hours you have to put in or the money you get out. A job is an occupation that you do, unhappily or not, because you have to put bread on the table and pay the bills. A career is something you excel at and find fulfilling in every aspect. If you’re unemployed and need the money, take a job, it can keep you afloat until you can make the right move into a fulfilling career.
Confucius said it best; “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
Which career is right for me?
That’s an excellent question and can be answered by digging a little deeper. What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- Do you naturally take control of things?
If you are a doer and don’t have to wait for others to tell you what to do, you might have what it takes to lead and take it all the way to the top.
- Are your insecure?
If you are insecure it will show and you are probably better fit to follow, than to lead. Insecurity in oneself reflects on ones actions as well. This is not a negative thing, au contraire, where would the leaders be without followers?
- Are you focused?
Having focus is a great attribute when you are dealing with detail oriented positions, such as found in accounting, controlling etc.
- Do you know what you want?
The kind of person that has a goal and will do everything in their power to reach it, is a winner in every sense of the word. Only when you know what you want can you find out what needs to be done to achieve it.
- Do you change your mind often?
Changing your mind indicates that you don’t have a set goal and are still searching for that one thing that will blow your mind away. Searching means, that careers aren’t going to be top choice, in this case a job is the way to go.
- Are you emotional?
A career in the arts would probably best suit you. These are careers where you learn to channel your emotions into your work. You will need discipline and you will probably have to learn to deal with rejection, but it’s just another emotion you can use in your art oriented career.
- Can you empathize?
Empathy, not to be confused with sympathy and emotionality, is a key component for a person working in social careers, such as nursing, social workers etc.
How can I be sure?
The best way to see if you are looking at the right career for yourself is to get your feet wet. If you’re still in college while contemplating these questions, you can volunteer during your semester breaks. Not only will you know if it’s the right move for you, it will also give you the possibility to show an employer that you have what it takes for this career.
If you’re already working, unhappy with your job and want to make a change, there are possibilities as well. Visit a company website of the sector you’re interested in. Many companies have job descriptions accompanying open positions. Reading through these will give you an idea of what the positions require and if it’s something you can see yourself doing for the unforeseeable future.
The main issue, with any decision that brings about change, is to know what you want and where you want it to lead you. You can’t build a house without a foundation and you can’t build a career on a position you aren’t happy with. Choose wisely!
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Good luck in your search.