To pick a career you love, make sure you are a good fit for the lifestyle it entails.
The advantages of picking a career you love are obvious, so why do many people dislike their jobs? The answer often lies in human nature. People frequently guess wrong when they envision what they’d like to do. So, follow the next few steps to pick a career you will love.
1. Look at lifestyle instead of job title. What is required to attain the career you think you want? Can you do it? Will you love doing what it takes? Consider factors such as your personality and where your work-life balance preferences fall. Being a movie star, startup founder or surgeon sounds great on paper, but investigate what happens behind the scenes and how to get there.
2. Know what motivates you. If you are promotion-focused, then creativity, risk and quick work get you ticking. If you are prevention-focused, you love paying attention to details, thinking through your moves and being accurate. (You can also be a mix of both.) Take what motivates you, and apply these factors to your possible job fields. For example, if you are promotion-focused, your chances of happiness increase if you find a career that offers plenty of progression, challenge and variety.
3. Take stuff easy. If you think you’d like to do something, by all means, explore it. Sign up for a class, and talk with someone in that field. However, hold off on over-commitments such as enrolling in a graduate course of study. You may quickly find out that what you thought you’d like actually does not much appeal to you, and you’ll still have plenty of time and resources to explore other options.
4. Think laterally. For example, if you are in a job that you don’t feel strongly about but you do like the company and know you are valued, discuss branching out. This could mean receiving cross-training, spearheading additional projects or applying for a different position with the company.