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Finding Your Right Career

Updated on July 22, 2013

Maybe you are in the college or university now, or perhaps you have entered the job market and are reviewing your career options. What are your considerations in choosing your career? Many people just continue pursuing the career path that has been laid out according to their majors in undergraduate study, since it seems to be the easiest path to chase after. Why would you bother to go to the hassle of settling down in another career? However, more often than not, the decision for choosing undergraduate major is made by our parents or by ourselves, a half-baked immature high school student. It may be a good choice, but may not be also. I find that there are three main considerations that I always think of as a guideline for choosing the right career path:

  1. Skills
    What are your primary skills and talents? You can have many ways of identifying them, and and they would serve as a very precious asset in your career. If you are very skillful in a particular field and you choose your career there, chances are you'll excel and climb up the career ladder easier than other people. Without the necessary skills, it may be significantly more difficult.
  2. Passion
    What do you like to do as your hobby? It may or may not be aligned with your undergraduate major or even your skill. I personally believe that one can be passionate in something without the inherent skill on it, e.g. many people likes music but they are not good at becoming musician. Passion adds up the spice to your career; you'll find yourself happier chasing after something that you are obsessed about.
  3. Reward
    Skills and passion are important. Yes, but let's be realistic about life: money is not everything but everything needs money. Would you do a job without getting paid at all? At least we need the rewards from our job sufficient to sustain our daily needs.

So, which one is more important than the others? Let's see what happen if we have only two out of three of the above:

  1. Skills + Passion (without rewards)
    This is when you get a job that you like and you're good at, but the reward on this career path is not so satisfying. The fulfillment that you get from choosing this career path will come mainly from the pleasure of doing the work itself. You may get additional penny by doing part time job, which may offset some happiness that you gain from pursuing your career. If you belong to this club, you may constantly contemplate on how to feed your family and provide a roof for them, especially if you are the sole breadwinner of the family.
  2. Skills + Reward (without passion)
    So, you are good at your work and you get handsome rewards for the job. You get promoted for your expertise but you find yourself worn out day-by-day, which may also affect your performance. When you board the bus to your office in the morning, you find your mind flying elsewhere and wondering about the meaning of your existence. You asked yourself what have you done to contribute to society and humanity. You find that you are not much different from an automaton or factory worker in the assembly line, or you consider yourself as moneymaking machine. When you enter your workplace, you feel the presence of some degenerating aura that takes the life force out of you. Well, some people experience this at some point in their life. To resolve this dilemma, either they find their joy elsewhere (family, hobby, food, etc) or they jumped to another career options that may quench their emotional thirsts. The first option is more common, despite the amount stress accumulated in the workplace. Well, if you choose food as your consolation, that whopping amount of stress will transfer to your belly.
  3. Passion + Reward (without skills)
    You get the job that you are passionate about and you make plenty of dollars with it. Your life seems to be blissful after you get the job. However, as time goes by, you find that you get scolded by your boss for your lack of performance. You spend additional few hours in the office to improve yourself but you are at your limit. Well, everyone have his or her own capacity and it cannot be inflated in a matter of days. Without the necessary skills, the time is ticking before you are kicked out from the job. Maybe it's time for you to find the innate skills that you possess and steer your career path towards it.

It seems to be very difficult to choose the right career? Maybe not, since we take the extreme scenario and life is not as difficult as it is. The best case, of course, if you happen to align your skill and passion together and you get proportionate amount of reward from doing that job or business. The principle for considering these three are simple: go for the ideal and then compromise, so you can come as close to the ideal as you can. Don't be afraid of trying something new or even to completely change your career track (many people do so). Good luck in finding your right career!


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      6 years ago

      Good hub! I graduated from Mass Communication major. Supposed to work in Media/ Newspaper/ Magazine/ TV field. But I worked for a footwear company for 3 years, and now I am working for a mining company. Apparently what we studied in the Uni doesn't always determine our career :)


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