The moment that you choose a career is one of the most important times in your life. Your decision will have an impact on how you will spend the rest of your life, how much money you will make, how much free time you will have, and ultimately how happy you will be. You may think that now you know what you want in life, but is it really something that you can see yourself doing 20 years from now and still be excited about? Before you make the choice here are some common mistakes people make.
Choosing Money Over Happiness
If you have heard the phrase “money does not buy happiness” then you should know that those words are the wisest you will ever hear. Money will allow you to do many things in life, but it will not make you happy. I will tell you the story of a friend who after finishing an associate’s degree as an occupational therapy assistant decided to change careers due to the fact that he was not making “enough” money. He received training as a stockbroker and passed his series 62, series 63 and series 7 exams and had a portfolio of clients which after a year that kept him busy.
He worked long hours at the beginning due to the fact that he had clients in Hawaii and Australia, and eventually he took out a new Alfa Romeo as a lease, lived in a nice apartment in New York and went on several vacations. A few months later he moved out of his apartment, and when his car lease was over he took out a Camry and quit his job. When we asked him about it he said that he was something that he was never meant to be. He found a job in his field and is happier than ever. It is easy to think that you want to get as much money as possible, but the reality is that all the money in the world means nothing if you have to go to therapy over stress so consider that when you choose a career.
Going With The Family Business
Sometimes the pressure to choose a career or a specific major comes from the family. For example you may hear that your father and mother went to law school and their fathers before that went to law school, so they want you to do the same thing. If you have gotten a good view of the field and you absolutely love it then you can choose that particular major and be happy about it. If however you would love to do something else, but you choose to stay with the family tradition you could be wasting several years of your life and hundreds of thousands of dollars for something you will regret. You are your own person so do not let others choose a major for you.
Not looking At The Career Outlook
It is important to go with something you absolutely love, that way you will be a lot more likely to have the best grades and job opportunities later, if those opportunities actually do exist. Take a look at what the job looks like now and what it will look like in the future. If you still want to major on something that does not have as many possibilities in the future, then make sure to also take some teaching courses. If you are one of the people that makes it in the field then great, but if not you can choose to teach others about it. A good idea is to look at the Occupational Outlook Handbook which is available through the U.S. Department of Labor. If you choose a career based on that knowledge then you will avoid unpleasant surprises once you have completed your studies