Everybody is different and no two people are alike. We all have different needs and wants and likes and dislikes. Considering that you spend most of your waking hours at work (sadly!) then it makes sense for you to choose a career that will give you satisfaction as well as money.
Though some people can work and do something just for the money, for others this can cause a huge amount of frustration. Either way, unless the money is otherwise going to be incredible then it always makes sense to try to do something that you will love.
I advocate the personality based approach. Although everyone is different, most people fall into pretty similar groups with similar needs. Let me explain this further.
Myers-Briggs Personality Types
You may have heard of the Myers-Briggs personality test. It is basically a series of questions that are used in order to classify you into one of 16 different personality types.
Some people scoff at such a test and think "how can a person be one of 16 types, that's too simplistic". Actually, although there are refinements to the test, it is still extremely useful if you know what you are doing.
I strongly advise you to not just do a test but to also read how the test works (which I go into below) because it will give you a much better understanding of who you are, deep down inside. It could be quite the revelation.
4 Dimensions Making Up 16 Types
The 16 types are really just a combination of 4 dimensions. When I refer to these 4 dimensions, what I mean is that we each lie on one side of the dimension. These dimensions are:
- Extraversion or Introversion
- Sensing or iNtuition
- Thinking or Feeling
- Judgement or Perception
So, for example, one possible combination is ENFP. Another might be ESFJ. As mentioned, there are a total of 16 types when you work out all the combinations (2 x 2 x 2 x 2 = 16).
Determining Your Dimensions And Therefore Your Type
The first thing you should do is to take a test. Although you may consider yourself to be "a little bit introvert and a little bit extravert", for example, this is hardly ever the case unless you have multiple personality or some other similar disorder.
The vast majority of people, if they are honest with themselves, fall on one side or the other for each dimension.
The simple way to test this is to ask yourself questions about particular situations. For example, is your desk always neat and tidy or is if frequently messy? Are you indecisive? Do you bounce from one thing to the next due to quickly losing interest or not? These sorts of questions have definitive answers for most people.
Some formal tests are poorly designed but others are good. I have tried many of them but my personal favourite is this one at Socionics. The questions are easy to answer and there is also a 50/50 option if you really are not sure. This site has nothing to do with me, I just found it to be among the better designed ones that are still easy to do in a few minutes of your spare time.
After you've done a test, I recommend reading around the subject and, at bare minimum, about your particular personality type. It should definitely strike a chord with you. Then do a Google search for "XXXX careers", where XXXX is your personality type. This will give you many ideas and explanations for careers that will fit you.