5 Thoughts When Choosing a Career
Choosing a job or career can be extremely stressful. Whether you are trying to decide where to do it or you are still trying to find what it is you want to do, there seems to be a million things to consider and think about. Well hopefully this will help you organize your thoughts a little and let you make a more prepared confident decision when choosing a career. The crazy thing is this blog can be pertinent at any point in life. Throughout high school and college you’re told you’re deciding your future and what you will do for the rest of your life. Truth is you're not even an adult yet and no one should expect you to know what you want to do for the rest of your life. The proof of that is in the number of students who end up working in career fields that have little to nothing to do with what they majored in. Sure some kids know at an early point and if you’re one of the lucky ones that means you just have a little bit of a head start when it comes to entry level jobs after college. But like I said most people change companies or career types in general at some point in their life. So whether you’re picking your major or have been in the workforce for years and are yearning for a change of scenery this advice can apply. The good part about it is you can be wrong as many times as you want and you can always keep looking for the right one. I just compiled what I thought about before I chose to work at My Way Leases. These thoughts really made the decision easier and made me much more confident about my choice. So let me know what you guys think and if you have any questions or comments be sure to reach out!
If you’re going to be doing something 40 plus hours a week for the foreseeable future it should be something you enjoy. Sure you’re not gonna enjoy every hour of every week but overall there needs to be a passion and drive to keep you going. And this can work in 2 ways. You can have passion in the field that you’re working in and not necessarily the job. However the first lesson you’ll learn is if you want to do something you love it usually takes experience to get to the level you want to be. So you might have to spend early years doing less enjoyable jobs to get to the position you want. But as long as you are passionate about what it is you're doing and know what you're working for, those early year struggles will provide experience and make you appreciate the journey to the top. Or you might not be in the exact company you expected but you’re doing what you love. If you love marketing like I do that’s where the passion comes from. I could do marketing for the most boring company alive and I would still enjoy it, possibly even more because it would be that much more of a challenge. Also it can open up new interests for you. I never thought I’d be into interior design. I always wanted to do sports marketing but 2 years 3 years later and now I’m looking forward to Homegoods on a Saturday morning.
This is a big one. Even if you love what you’re doing, if you don’t think you’re being properly incentivized for the time and effort you put into it then most people will lose interest and not work as hard or look for a change of scenery.. Sure, most people probably think they are worth more than what they are making and in a perfect world I’m sure your boss would love to be able to pay you whatever you want but business is business and things work the way they do for a reason. However there is a pretty easy way to make sure you and your employer are on the same page and you find that middle ground of you being paid what is fair. Before the interviewing process make sure you research all the statistics about pay. You want to narrow it down with as many parameters as possible. Look up the pay for your position, in your area, in that job field. Find the median and mean pay. Look up the starting pay and average yearly increase. If you’re just starting this will be easier as you can find starting pay for your position pretty easily. If you have some years of experience this is where you discuss how much those years are worth but regardless you all will be in the same ballpark from the beginning and there will be no question as to why or how you got to those numbers.
Make sure there's room for advancement. Not saying you have to advance. If you want to do exactly the same thing till you retire then that’s awesome that you love something that much. But I believe you should at least leave yourself the option of promotion. It’s natural for humans to want growth and change. Plus you’re going to learn and get better and better at your job and want to have more responsibility and reward. At the very least make sure that even if there's a ceiling at where you currently work that the job provides transferable skills and experience that could lead to you advancing somewhere else down the line if you wanted to. This is all about giving yourself options.
This is hard. The only people you probably see more than your co-workers is your family. Now think about all the fights and arguments you have with your family. And those are people you love! Chances are you won’t be best friends with your co-workers. No one sees eye to eye all of the time. But it’s important to make sure that you are working for and with good people. Starting with the obvious, there’s many shady, corrupt people, businesses and owners and you don’t want to be involved or on the wrong end of it. You don’t want to be put in uncomfortable situations that have you choosing between your morals and your career. You also want to find people you can work with and help each other grow. It’s pretty easy to tell the overall mood or feeling you get from a place. Just make sure to ask your own questions during the interview and don’t hesitate to talk to your would-be co-workers to get a feel for how you would fit in.
If you are choosing a career this is a big part that’s often overlooked. Many people love what they do but end up hating where they do it and those feelings often mix and overlap causing you to lose interest in your job. Luckily more jobs are allowing people to work remotely or transfer to different locations so you can have options and if you grow to not like a place, make a change. Having a good support system of friends and family is important. Some people can do fine on their own but it's undoubtedly easier and more rewarding to work and live in a place you love.