You may have some ideas for what you want to do as an occupation, but are struggling to determine what your career should really be. Perhaps you have taken different jobs just because the opportunity was there. Whether you are a college student trying to figure out what you want to do for your career or a person with years of experience feeling unfulfilled with your job, knowing how to choose a good career is important. It can make the difference between being happy and doing what you are passionate about or just going through life unsatisfied and simply working for a paycheck.
In order to choose a good career, there are some important concepts that you need to know. Here are some suggestions to help you as you look towards your future. When it comes to your career, you must take 100 percent charge of what you do. Here are some questions to ask yourself when thinking about your career:
Do you understand the difference between a job and a career?
It is important to make this distinction. If you don't recognize the difference between the two, you could find yourself jumping from job to job, getting terminated from jobs or spending countless hours applying for every job you see on a job board. A career is something that you see yourself doing long-term and enjoying. It is the type of employment where you see growth, opportunity, satisfaction and genuine happiness. A job is something you do because that was what you could find to meet your financial obligations. We all will have jobs in our life and that is a necessity. Be humble and willing enough to take a job to help make ends meet, but have enough pride and determination to find your career.
Do you know where you want to go in your career?
In order for you to find a career that will bring you fulfillment, you must have some clear direction of where you want to go with your career. The English author, Lewis Carroll (Alice in Wonderland) stated, “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.” This statement is very relevant to those who are looking to find the right career that will bring satisfaction and fulfillment. Knowing where you want to go means you have some idea of what your strengths are, what you like to do and what you are passionate about.
What are you truly passionate about?
When we are passionate about something, we are truly motivated to achieve our goals. Many people struggle to know what they are passionate about and get frustrated. To help identify your passions, write down your responses to the following questions: 1. What do you like to do in your free time? 2. What talents or skills come easily to you? 3. What people do you admire? 4. What subject areas and classes did you enjoy while growing up? 5. What types of people do you prefer to be around? The answers you provide to these questions will sharpen your focus on what you are truly passionate about. It is important to understand a simple piece of advice, chase your passion, not your paycheck.
It is important to have people you trust that you can confide in when deciding on a good career. For some, this could be a colleague, boss, professor, a religious leader, a mentor or a friend. For me, I like to call these influencers. These are people you feel will provide you with honest and helpful direction. One thing many people are using is a professional business or life coach. These are experienced professionals who work one-on-one to help you with your professional development processes. The investment can be priceless as they can provide you with the information and direction in a much more effective and quicker manner.
As you take the time to really answer the above questions, you will find great strength in knowing that you are moving forward. When it comes to your career, your focus should always be on making the greatest positive impact. This means that you are moving forward to developing a great career.
Seth Saunders is an executive business consultant and leadership coach. Seth has been married 20 years to his amazing wife, Amber, and is the proud father of three wonderful sons. He is passionate about helping others succeed.