You’ve heard the saying that you don’t live to work, you work to live—but it really makes life all the more enjoyable if you feel some level of enthusiasm for your job.
How can you find a career that you are passionate about?
Begin by sitting down with a paper and pencil, or at your computer, and making notes about the things you like to do. You need to consider the following:
• What kind of work would you love to do? You spend an average of 40 hours per week, or 2,080 hours per year, at a full-time job. If you truly find yourself unable to decide on a career option, take a look at the website of the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS) – It does not matter if you are not based in the US. It offers information on careers in 25 broad categories. When you click on one of them, you find dozens of specific jobs described complete with the training necessary for that job and the median salary. Healthcare, for example, lists everything from Athletic Trainer to Veterinarian’s Assistant.
Veterinary Nurse Career
• While you’re still on the BLS website, check to see if the careers that interest you are predicted to sustain current growth levels or even increase.
• What do you value most when you think about a job? For some people, it’s all about the salary. Others value prestige, some people are humanitarians, and some are committed to utilising a specific skill they have. Be honest with yourself, and go after a career that will provide the money, the prestige, or the opportunity to use your skills.
• What are you trained to do? Most people would love to take home the pay check of a brain surgeon, but unfortunately they aren’t trained in the work. One of the biggest setbacks to working in your chosen career can be education. If you don’t have sufficient education to do the job you want, find out what kind of additional training you need. Options include traditional college or university classes, online classes, or a vocational-technical or trade school in your community.
• Do you like working with people? A career in sales or providing some kind of customer service won’t be a good choice for you if you don’t like dealing with all types of personalities. There are so many variations on broad careers that you can find a way to satisfy your comfort level with people no matter what you enjoy doing. If you want to be a beautician or cosmetologist, for example, options run the gamut from the social atmosphere of a beauty salon to the prep room of a mortuary applying make-up to clients who will never complain.
• Consider your specific salary requirements, and decide if your current skills are sufficient to earn the pay check you need for the lifestyle you’d like to have. If you don’t want to go back to school, then work out a budget to see if you can afford the job opportunities available to you by eliminating some of your regular expenses. Another option for finding just the right career is to seek an unpaid internship—test the waters of a given company, so to speak—but you must have some savings to stand you by if that’s your choice.
• Is distance an issue for you? Many people telecommute these days, but most jobs start out at a brick-and-mortar business. If you don’t have reliable transportation, is there an effective bussing system where you live?
• Are you interested in a job that offers fringe benefits such as paid vacation, a pension plan, and health insurance? Many people will sacrifice something from their salary if they find a place that’s close to where they live, thereby saving on transportation and parking expenses. Or they can negotiate a higher pay rate if they forego health insurance.
It’s All in the Plan Man (or Woman!)
Once you’ve decided on a career path, you need to write a personal career plan.
You will begin by writing your end goal—let’s say a job as a wedding photographer. In order to get a job as a wedding photographer, you will need to assembly the necessary equipment. You may need to take some classes, so write that in
Before you can take classes, you have to work out financial aid for your education, so add that to your page. Will you need to maintain your day job whilst attending evening classes?
Do you have a significant other who can support you financially whilst you attend school? Are you in good health so that you can bring the stamina necessary to attend classes and work? Once you’ve considered all these points, you will be on your way to finding a career that you’re passionate about.