Career Path

The Worst Reasons To Pick A Career Path

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Selecting a career path is a major life decision. As with any long-term commitment, you need to take the time to consider your options and then make a decision with the best information that is available to you.

While it might be tempting or easy, picking a career based on the reasons below is a dangerous proposition. Give them a read, then share your own advice with us in the comments.

Picking A Career Based On Your Favorite TV Show

House is not a indicative of what it’s like to work at a hospital, nor is CSI an accurate portrayal of crime scene investigation (sad, I know). If a job piques your interest, then do your research in the real world. Check out the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook, talk to employees in the field, job shadow, and intern.

Picking A Career Based On Money

Yes, money should be a consideration when picking a career, but it should not be the deciding factor. Think about it. You’re better at the things you enjoy. You’re less likely get burnt out doing things you love. If you’re stuck doing something you’re not that passionate about, you run the risk of jeopardizing your personal and professional lives.

Besides, when your passion and abilities shine through because you’re doing something you love, you’ll be more likely to get a promotion (and thus a pay bump).

Picking A Career To Work With Your Friends

Just as you were advised against picking a university because of your friends, you should not pick a career because of them either. Even if you have a tremendous amount in common with someone, you are still your own person with your own skills and interests.

Picking A Career Because You’re Told You’ll Be Good At It

It’s flattering to have someone sing your praises and tell you that you’d be great at a certain job, but it’s not reason enough to choose that job. Say, for example, that you have great presentation skills and are able to explain things with tremendous clarity.

Multiple professors tell you that you should be a teacher. It’s possible that this is a good idea (you’ve always thought about teaching), but it’s also possible that it’s a terrible idea (you’re not that fond of kids). Just because you might excel at a career doesn’t mean you’ll enjoy it, so think carefully when you receive career suggestions.

As with any decision with this much riding on it, picking a career is not an easy feat. Still, there are much better ways to select a career path than those above, so be smart about your decision.

What advice do you have for those selecting their first (or a new) career? Please share it with us in the comments below.

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3 comments

  1. Too often we all try to focus on having jobs and careers that pay the day to day necessities and other financial necessities just in order to survive for ourselves and have our families as well as survival is important rather than all wealth accumulation. Wish it was realistic for anybody in any sector to do that so they can do what they love. I have always heard the question people ask such as “If you could do anything in the world fully what would it be?” I sure wish everybody would be equipped on how they can have themselves financially independent even while truly picking anything. Plus, it would be good if people are referred more to paying jobs rather than volunteering when interested for such causes bc a paying job at a nonprofit is more pragmatic.

  2. There are so many options and jobs available than most people know. To pick one based on a hunch and expect to see it through to the end could happen but it is more an exception to the rule. I myself am in the process of searching for what’s next and the best advice I can give is to develop any skills, talents, or interests you might have. It’ll take make your life less stressful and less about just working. It could also help you discover things about yourself that could potentially lead you to a new career. On top of that, you’ll meet more people along the way that you can connect with.

  3. I’ve spend most of my varsity level jumpin from one study field to another. Because I didn’t take the time to find what I really wanted , I say the is no rush if you not sure what you wanna study or become take some time off to figure it out , we all know how university is expensive , after doing IT and engineering ,I’ve found my path and I’m happy with my decision .

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