What do you want to be when you grow up? It’s a big question and one that we receive regularly from a young age. Our answers, however, change somewhat as we get older. They get more realistic, less specific, and usually less confident. Not to mention, career changes are increasingly common in the modern workplace, with an estimated seven changes in a lifetime.
So what do you want to be? Unless you’re set up for one of the big-dream fame careers like a pop singer or a professional basketball player, here are a few tips to help you research and ponder your career possibilities.
The first, most important question is what are you passionate about?
For some people they are lucky enough that their passion can weave into their career. The child that asks a lot of questions and loves to write can grow up to be a hard-hitting journalist, the child that draws animals in maths class can be a corporate graphic designer, and the child that mixes concoctions in the kitchen can grow up to be a Michelin star chef.
Next where do your skills lie?
Whether these are inherent or academically inclined, what you’re good at now can be a guide for where you’d be successful. A nurturing person could make a thoughtful nurse or a patient childcare worker. Likewise a gifted public speaker could make a quick-witted comedian, a bold barrister, or a travelling motivational speaker.
Then you’ve got questions of career situation.
Do you want to work in an office or out in the field? Are you comfortable with travel? Is your chosen industry thriving in a distant city and would you move for work? Do you enjoy independent work or group work? Are you a leader? Basically, establish where and how you want to work before you invest yourself in a career that doesn’t suit your personality or lifestyle.
Another important point to add is what do you want out of your profession and what would you hate in a profession. For some people, they’re willing to sacrifice work/life balance for money, others are willing to undergo great deals of stress, some want creative challenges while others want work consistency. These priorities are likely to change at different points in your life but they are decisions, which dictate your happiness.
Talk to family, friends, and career advisors to help with your decision. Make sure you go deeper than sit-coms to understand a career. Reading possible career opportunities for degrees and talking to people in your prospective position are other informative ways to appreciate a job and what it entails. In the end, researching and thinking can help you gain much more than just a pay check.