Clearly, money matters when choosing a career path. Your chosen career is the means you will use to support yourself and your family in the years ahead, and it’s important to choose a lucrative option. Money isn’t everything, however, and it’s important to consider more than salary when looking for the right career.
Whenever possible, choose a vocation that involves something you love deeply or enjoy doing. Every job will generate good days and bad, but doing something that matters to you will help you have more of the good. You will be getting up and going to work every day for many years, so do something fun. If it drains your spirit, you’ll be unhappy no matter how well it pays.
Always consider how far you want to go and how far you can in a given field. Nurses, for instance, are able to expand their skills through RN to msn programs, leading to higher pay and increased responsibility on the job. Some careers, however, though rewarding, don’t provide as much upward mobility.
My father always told me that the world has need of funeral directors and garbage collectors no matter how bad the economy gets. Though I chose neither path, his point remains valid. Being the best at offering a particular service won’t help if no one needs the service. Do some research and look for a career that is expected to be in high demand over the next decade. In the computer age, for example, it is wiser to learn network repair than typewriter repair.
Your working years will be less stressful and more productive if you do something you’re good at. Many skills can be learned, but a people person may be better suited to working with patients while an introvert prefers to work in a medical lab. Anyone can learn how to create an advertising spread, but those with some natural artistic talent will find it easier. Know what you’re good at and put that talent to work for you.
Some people live large and aren’t happy unless they’re on the go. Others prefer a more mellow existence. Some are early risers and others night owls. Talk to people working in careers you are considering to get a feel for the work environment. Some jobs require working nights or weekends while others may require you to be on call at certain times. Be honest about what you are prepared to do.
Though salary is an important aspect of any career choice, don’t let it be your only guide. Your earning potential matters, but so do your happiness and personal development.