Choosing a job is always difficult – and it’s a question that it’s difficult to consider fully answered. Some people are lucky enough to know from a young age what they want to do, and can plan their whole lives around it until they retire. Others have no strong feelings about work, and finding something they can live with that pays the rent is their main concern. Many people labour away in jobs they hate, finding it hard to decide whether it would be more painful to admit they’ve made a misstep and start over, or to keep on in a career that isn’t working for them.
Whether you’re considering starting over yourself, or you’re at the very beginning of your working life, hoping to make the right choice the first time, we’re here to offer some help.
What Do You Value?
The most important question you can ask yourself is what you value. Success looks like different things for different people, and even if your definition for success is what the majority look for (financial security, a comfortable life without worries, the freedom to start a family if it feels right), there are many routes to that, and in this case the journey is definitely as important as the destination.
If you value a fast pace, and financial rewards for your individual efforts, then a career in sales might be the right thing for you. This could start with a recruitment firm, or an estate agents where key sales skills are earned before taking you into advertising, publishing, or any number of different industries, and potentially to an executive level as you gain experience.
If you get your rewards from the knowledge that your working day actually helps people, then working directly with them could be the answer. You don’t have to train for years to be a doctor or a nurse, physiotherapy jobs, a social work career, or a job as a therapist are all accessible.
It’s also important to engage in some honest reflection, and judge if you have the right qualities to match your chosen career. Working in medicine is rewarding, and directly helps people every day, but you need to think if you have the right mix of compassion and resilience to face the challenges of this job day after day.
Jobs that require exhaustive qualifications might not suit you if you’re not academically minded – that’s not just what you might think of as jobs in science. Even accountants have to regularly qualify and requalify to ensure they understand the law they’re working with.
When you know you’ve found the right job for you – not necessarily the highest paying one, but the one lets you enjoy long nights of sleep before bounding enthusiastically into work the following day – you need to persevere. Others might have an easier time getting into their chosen field, using connections or family allegiances. You may well only have commitment and quality to fall back, but these are the qualities that lead to long term success!