Finding the Right Career Path
Very little in life defines you as much as your career. Whatever you decide to do will inform most major facets of your life, from where you live, to what sort of house you have, to the car you drive, to the friends you have, to how you spend your days, etc.
Some people say that a job is just that, a way to earn money, but the truth is that it is so much more. And while you might consider your job not a “career,” if you settle for a job that’s not what you want it to be, it still becomes your career, and will dictate your quality of life.
In fact, you spend more time working than doing almost anything else in your life, so your job essentially defines who you are. It’s important to choose wisely.
Since much of your happiness and your quality of life depend on your work, it is vital that you choose something that will bring you both satisfaction and rewards, whether intrinsic in the form of feeling that you are contributing or giving back, or extrinsically, meaning that you are rewarded with money and status commensurate with your output. Obviously, the ideal career is one that provides both intrinsic and extrinsic rewards, something that you feel good about for both what you are doing and how you are rewarded.
While many of your options may depend on the education and experience you have, there is always the opportunity to shape your career as you move forward. Allowing yourself to be stuck in a rut means that it’s unlikely you’ll feel fulfilled.
In addition, as you spend more time working, you become clearer about the type of work and structure that are important to you, whether it’s a large company or a small entrepreneurial environment. The more experience they have, the more many people realize they are in the wrong line of work. Perhaps it doesn’t challenge them sufficiently or it doesn’t provide the intrinsic or extrinsic rewards needed. Very few people spend their entire career in one place, as they used to long ago. The era of the pension and “gold watch” is gone. Today’s successful careerists no longer climb the corporate ladder at one company. More often than not, they are nimble, switching companies and possibly even industries when new opportunities present themselves. They may even make lateral changes instead of being 100 percent focused on constantly moving up.
With so much of your life defined by your career, it is vital that you take control and make sure that the career you choose and pursue is the one that will sustain you throughout your life. Changing, updating and upgrading are all ways to make sure your career meets your needs, for today and beyond.
Newly Added Articles on Career Advancement
Your Degree Subject Doesn’t Have to Carve Your Path for Life
If you went to university straight from college, you can be forgiven for not knowing exactly what you wanted to do for your future career. Chances are, you picked a course based on a subject you enjoy and now that you’ve finished it, you may be regretting your decision and want to change direction. If […]
Four Simple Things to Change That Can Make a Big Impact in Your Career
Many people assume that to launch ahead in their career, they need to make huge changes, like going back to school or landing a major new client. Of course, those things might be important, but what most people overlook are the tiny things you do every single day that add up to have a big […]
How Long Is Your Long Run? Four Tips for Long Term Career Success
Did you know running experts say the “long run” is the foundation of training exercises for short and long distance runners? They say there’s nothing like jogging along at your regular pace for longer than your regular distance to build your over-all capacity. In other words, it takes stamina to build stamina. This doesn’t sound […]
Top 5 Career Tips for Women
Today’s professional world is gender neutral: Women represent more than half of the educated U.S. population, and more than half of them are in the work force. But, while most career advice is therefore gender-neutral; as in, what’s good for women is good for men, there are some differences and areas where women need to […]
Brains, Guts, and the Capacity to Act
What allows a leader to take the steps needed to solve a problem or master a difficult situation? What keeps the desire to act from being impetuous and uninformed, as in “ready, fire, aim” behavior? The answer is that the capacity to act effectively and decisively is a complex mixture of brain and gut, a […]
Ten Ways to Get a Promotion
Many people would like to get a promotion at work, whether for recognition, change of job, or the additional pay. These days such opportunities can be hard to come by, as companies generally aren’t growing, and layers of management are being eliminated. Positioning yourself as the favored candidate for promotion takes time, though, so it’s good to get started well before a position opens up. That’s the same advice I give to job seekers as well – waiting until the job is posted puts you at the end of the line.