Choosing a career not just a matter of how best to make a living... it’s deciding how best to integrate the next 40+ years of your career into your social and personal life. Some people know what they want to do from a very early age and follow a clear path, but many of us embark on careers just drift into jobs that ultimately prove to be unsatisfying. In some cases, career choices are based on the expectations of others, or decisions are made purely on financial rewards, but these choices often lead to 40 years of waiting for retirement.
Confucius said, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” These wise words represent sound advice whether you’re in school and have yet to choose a career path, or you're already working. Broadly speaking, it’s never too late to make a career change, but time and financial commitments can make switching extremely challenging once you’ve reached the point where you have family and other obligations. This highlights the importance of choosing a career path rather than leaving it to chance and drifting into whatever becomes available.
It can be tough to make a clear choice when you’re unsure of what you really want to do and this is when choosing which subjects to study needs careful thought. You may not have a crystal ball to help you see into the future but you can keep your options open by choosing a range of subjects that will give you a head start in the career fields that are of most interest to you.
Your personality has a large role to play in finding the right career for you. If you don’t like children, you’re unlikely to find satisfaction in a teaching career; if you struggle with math, you’re unlikely to make the grade in an accounting career, and if you hate getting your hands dirty, you’re unlikely to find fulfilment as a landscape gardener. Remember, choosing a career is so much more than considering how to make a living. You might be earning a six-figure salary, but money can’t buy you job satisfaction.