“What career should I pursue?” is one of the toughest questions that many of us will ever have to ask ourselves. With people set to work longer before retiring, this question is becoming more important than ever. After all, it’s possible that today’s graduates will spend as long as 55 years in the workforce.
The best course of action, as with any problem, is to break the question down into a series of smaller questions. That way, you can reveal the best career path for you.
What’s your passion?
This is by far the most important factor in deciding on a career path and yet is one of the crucial questions that your high school careers adviser probably never asked.
Thankfully, it is a question that philosopher Alan Watts asked himself. His answer has been turned into an inspirational video called “What If Money Was No Object?” – this is a great place to start if you’re struggling to decide which way your career should go in.
Watts believed that those who follow their passion will naturally find a way to make money from doing what they love – rather than focusing on money first and wondering why they’re unhappy in their job. Ask yourself, “What do I enjoy doing in my spare time?” and “What would I do with my time if I had no bills to pay?” That will at least give you a great starting point so that you can start thinking about the avenues of study that may help you to do more of what you love in your eventual career path.
What do you enjoy learning about?
Everyone had a favorite subject at high school. At the same time, everyone had that subject that they couldn’t stand.
It therefore makes sense to make a list of the subjects that you enjoyed the most – but also capture what it was about the subject that you enjoyed. That way, you’ll start to build a picture of your particular learning style, as well as being able to find similarities in the topics that engage you most.
Do the same thing for the subjects that you didn’t enjoy at school. Maybe the subject that you hated was purely down to a poor teacher. Perhaps you’re a lot better at math than you thought but you underachieved due to a course that didn’t suit your learning style.
Either way, an online degree may be the answer. They’re far better tailored to individual learning styles than traditional on-campus courses and offer better flexibility in general. Start by browsing through a list of courses –such as Maryville’s online bachelor’s degree programs – and make a note of what sounds interesting to you. If you can see yourself enjoying studying the subject, then it’s likely that you would also enjoy a career in the same field.
How important is money and security?
Not everyone wants the white picket fence, 2.5 kids, and a pile of spare cash. Yet for much of our lives, we’re pushed down the route of finding a career that prioritizes money, security, and a traditional life. This is mainly a hangover from the baby boomers’ parents’ values – they grew up in challenging times and pushed their children to seek security and money in a career.
It’s a deep-rooted societal attitude that’s now starting to change, with Generation Y prioritizing career fulfillment over job security. However, it’s also the reason why so many people choose to leave unfulfilling jobs and seek a midlife career change.
For others, the ability to provide and to buy nice things is an important part of their career aspirations – and they’d like nothing better than the white picket fence and everything that comes with it. Whichever of these two diametrically opposed mantras applies to you, it woulddefinitely beworth looking for a career that will help you reach the level of financial security that you want.
Do you really want to go away to college?
Going away to college has long been the default next step for many people upon graduating high school – perhaps with some travel in between.
However, not everyone is excited by the prospect of leaving family and friends behind to study in a new and unfamiliar city, and as a result, they may choose a course at a local college that isn’t right for them.
If going away for school isn’t for you, then it’s again worth investigating an online degree course. The number and range of courses available is always increasing, so you can find the right course for you without having to move away