The path to self-fulfillment does pass by your choice of career. Here are some tips on how to choose the right career for you...
“Look at her, bandaging her dolls – she’ll be a doctor for sure”; “He takes apart everything in this house – I know he’ll be an engineer!” Innocent remarks made by parents desperate for their children to achieve their unfulfilled dreams often lead to us having a career choice that’s not only a well-trodden path but also a path not chosen by us in the first place. Along with this, peer pressure, societal expectations, academic excellence and other such factors often propel us into making the incorrect career choice – leaving us dissatisfied, floundering and leading a mediocre work life. How then does one make the right career choice?
Ask yourself these five questions when you sign up for a career, or the course that eventually leads to it, to ensure a happy work life... And remember, like all roads, the journey of life does allow for U-turns. I may still be a struggling writer, but the fact is that education wise, I am a software engineer. I stuck to my course and got my degree, but knowing that I had ended up choosing wrong in my choice of profession, I chose to correct my mistake and become a writer, and despite all the highs and lows of having done so, not one day do I regret my choice.
Does it make you happy? You may be considered a star one day and be demoted to the status of a black hole the next – but these are the natural crests and troughs of a working life. At the end of the day, if you do look forward to ‘work,’ even if not your workplace, you have perhaps made the right career choice.
Does it give you monetary returns? Struggling actors, a threadbare journalist, an impoverished writer – movies and media have romanticized certain professions. At the end of the day if your career is not increasing your bank balance to a satisfactory degree, it may not be the right choice for you. That’s not to say that people don’t become writers or musicians – but perhaps it’s better to cultivate your dream job on the side while maintaining a job that does pay your bills until you’ve reached a point where your dream job can support you financially.
Does it help you achieve your dreams? Fame, recognition, that imported car, a hefty bank balance, peace of mind, creative freedom, the utter happiness of having helped someone, fulfillment – everybody has different expectations from a career. Think long and hard about your choice – is it giving you all, or mostly, everything that you want?
Does it use your talents? All of us have been born with innate talents – make sure your choice of career puts at least a couple of those talents to good use. Creative satisfaction is important; it’s no good being a banker if you broke your guitar strings and your heart down the line. Keep your job (to pay your bills) but do try to make some time for the things that you enjoy and the talents you have, in order to be a happy person.
Does it leave you with no regrets? One of our biggest fears is to think back when we are old and grey with nothing but a litany of regrets and what-ifs. Do go that extra bit to achieve your dreams – even if you fail, you will have the satisfaction of at least trying.
Our happiness is innately bound to our “success” in life, and our professional success plays a big part in it. So if your work makes you happy, it makes you a happier person on the whole…
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