How to choose a career?

25 replies
I am just feeling the waters what others think of this question. Your answers can help a lot of young people out there who are just starting up in their jobs unsure whether to make it their careers or just simply a job.
#career #choose
  • Profile picture of the author keith88
    Originally Posted by joesfortune View Post

    I am just feeling the waters what others think of this question. Your answers can help a lot of young people out there who are just starting up in their jobs unsure whether to make it their careers or just simply a job.
    The is the simplest answer anyone can give and that is...... THINK!!! REFLECT.!!!

    Picking a passion or career takes some deep thinking about yourself.

    Case in point I left university because I was pursuing something I had no interest in. After reflecting and thinking I was realized I like marketing. I had an interest in making money online. I continued to follow that and never looked back!

    They must slow down and take some time to learn about themselves.
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  • Profile picture of the author Odahh
    sometimes it is useful to understand how words developed

    career ..come form a word that mant a road for cars ..or a car .

    so you are asking.. what road should i take .. or what kind of car should i use .

    before you chose how to get there .. you should chose where you want to go .

    it doesn't matter what you drive or what road you take..if you have no or very little idea where you want to end up .
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    "I just wanted a good job ,but i could not find a good job, So i do it myself"-Jack Ma

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  • Profile picture of the author Odahh
    in the world we live in today ..the work you will be doing in 5 years may not be even imaginable right now .

    if you want a good career path always be developing new skills that allow you to do the once unimaginable
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    "I just wanted a good job ,but i could not find a good job, So i do it myself"-Jack Ma

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    • Profile picture of the author Windzal
      Find yourself a quiet place where you can relax with your journal (simple notebook) for a good 45-60 minutes uninterrupted Know Thyself Time.

      When you're nice and comfie, open your journal and write down 100 questions on anything you find interesting. Could be anything from "Why is the sky blue?" to "What is my purpose in life?". Just write whatever flows.

      Once you've written your 100 questions, look back over them and see if you notice any themes. You talk about your professional or creative pursuits a lot? Your health? Your family? Spirituality? What themes emerge for you? Notice them.

      Identify the Top 10 questions you find most inspiring. Which questions really fire you up? Write those down in a new place.

      Now it's time to make your life an answer to/expression of those questions!

      ***

      You can also answer to those 3 most important questions you can ask yourself:
      (you have 2 minutes for each question)

      1. What do I want to experience out of life?
      2. How do I want to grow?
      3. What do I want to contribute to the planet?

      Good luck!
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    Choosing a career is one of the most difficult things a person can do.

    In high school you're asked, "Where do you see yourself in five years?" Who knows?? Not many could answer that question--or answer it accurately.

    There are two issues today.

    First, an individual is likely to have several "careers" over their lifetime now. The 50s are long gone--people probably won't get a job with one firm and stay there for their working life. So get ready and start branding yourself...developing content online...get known for something...start a following.

    Nobody is going to do it for you.

    Go find Jeremy Rifkin's "The End of Work" and Tom Peters' "BrandYOU! 50" to get the idea.

    Second, I can tell you from personal experience that we've hit the 18th year of my involvement in the post-college workforce, and I STILL don't know what I want to be when I grow up. And I have a huge breadth of skills and experience. Five years from now, I can't tell you what I'll be doing.

    Fact: most professionals never use the degree they earn. I don't really use mine.

    So the only answer you can realistically get for yourself is to the question "What do I want to do next?"

    For now, I'm happy showing people how to honorably, ethically and effectively sell.

    I also know a lot about what I DON'T want to do.

    Much of that has come from experience. For instance, I DON'T want to manage people. When I was 26 I was a factory manager with 150+ people working for me, and I hated it. Line employees don't know why they're there, and you have to motivate them just to "show up" and do their job. No Thank You. Give me real professionals who are self-motivated and want to be here today.

    I've worked in many job functions: sales, marketing, production management, operations improvement, design, engineering, credit management, and more. I know what I like and what I don't like. But learning this way TOOK LOTS OF TIME.

    Too much time.

    So from this we can understand that getting a jumpstart would really help us out. But how can we learn what different jobs and fields are like, without having to commit years of our time?

    And how do we learn and know "what we don't know"?

    The answer is information interviews.

    Call up (or if you're scared--but you'd better get past this if you want to be successful--email) people doing jobs you are interested in. Ask them if you can have 20 minutes to meet and talk about their work. Emphasize that you are NOT looking for a job, but are interested in finding out more about their day-to-day work so that you can determine if this is work you'd like to do.

    Many will agree. Go see them--do not bring a resume...don't get sucked into being interviewed. YOU are the one doing the interviewing. Tell them you can meet another time to talk about you if they try doing that.

    Ask them everything you can think of. What their day is like. What kind of people they work with. What they love most about their job. What or who irritates them the most. What their promotion prospects look like, and what happens in that case (my brother, for instance, got a promotion and had two options: continue his scientific investigations or start managing people. Very different outcomes depending on which path is taken!) Get as clear a picture as you can about how it is doing this job.

    Following this, if it seems like the role could very well be a good fit with you, ask if you can job shadow them for a day. They'll probably have to clear this with their boss--unless they are the boss (Aim High!).

    If you are strongly interested in a role after one interview, schedule another one with a different company. Things could vary quite a bit from firm to firm (just for an example, I lived in an apartment for two years. The day I moved out, I went up to the third floor to give my keys back to the manager, who was getting another suite ready for rent. I was shocked when I saw this other apartment: it was much nicer than mine. Same rent. Same building. Never knew. It sure pays to look around. Next search after that one I looked at about 30 apartments, and stayed in the one I picked for 9 years--until I moved to the US.)

    Now you can make an informed decision. Time commitment: probably less than 2 weeks.

    For the record, I did a ton of information interviews in my mid-20s when I was helping other people find work they enjoy through a non-profit program.

    But you know what? Nearly everyone I share this with never does a thing with it. And so they leave their career choice--one of the most important things in your life, and one of two or three determinators of your happiness--to chance. Which outcome do you want? Or do you just want to be lazy? Your choice. More jobhunting advice on my blog.
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  • Profile picture of the author HeadStartSEO
    Combine "what you see yourself doing on a day to day basis in 5 years" with "who you want to become", then find a mentor and learn from him/her.
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  • Profile picture of the author Aaron Doud
    Jason offered some solid advice before.

    To give a real world example of how you don't always choose careers they happen upon you let me tell you about myself.

    Growing up I was always among the smartest kids in school. I never had to study. The problem of course is that this caused me to be board at school when so much time is spent rehashing things and forcing people to do homework in hopes that something they didn't understand after one problem they magically learn by the 50th.

    Yet the advantage was from a young age I was told I could be anything I wanted. Sadly very few kids are told this. There is no harm in it as a kid who isn't good at math will never want to be a math teacher. Yet in life we take dreams away from kids.

    Growing up there were loads of things I wanted to be most having to do with science or teaching since I was good at school without trying. But as I got older and started to hate the busy work I decided I wanted to be a teacher for two reasons. First you get summers off. I hated school and knew I would hate working all the time and of major professions none gives you more time off than school teacher. Second I wanted to teach the kids better than I was taught. To really help each one learn vs. assigning homework that helps almost no one.

    When I got out of high school though i still wasn't sure so I took the year off. After all I had not had a year off since I was 5. I did take two community college classes with a friend but that was it.

    Life finally forced me to get a job that next summer. So at 19 (almost 20) I got my first job at Walmart. I started as an overnight unloader. $2 (or $2.50) above minimum wage and full time. Not bad for someone with no experience. Remember it's who you know not what you know.

    After a few weeks of that my back was killing me and I hated it. I literally went in and spoke with the Store Manager (not my boss though I told my boss I was going to) and told him I loved working there but unloading was not for me. Remember always get to the person who can help you but never go above your boss' head.

    So he had an opening for a full time Bike Assembler but I would love a $.50 in pay or $1.00 if I went to days. I took the job and staay at nights at first but soon moved to takes. Nothing like full time set day hours (bankers hours) for your first job. And even after losing the overnight and unloader bonuses I was still $1(or$1.5) over minimum wage. Lesson here is never let money direct you. Sometimes a step back is a step forward.

    I stayed there for over two years and in that time learned much about retail. I also learned not only did I love retail but I loved retail management. Plus retail management paid a lot more than being a teacher. But being a manager at Walmart meant being moved around the country and I didn't want that.

    So I left Walmart for my first retail management job at a video store. Remember that you often have to change jobs to get ahead in the way you want.

    There I started as an Assistant Manager but was promoted fast. First in three months to a Store Manager and then a month later to an Acting Area Manager over seeing 3 stores. But I found out that my boss' boss did not know I was doing that job. So instead of training to be a District Manager I was being used. After a few weeks of learning this I decided to quit, no job lined up. To this day I don't think Karen, the District Manager, believes I didn't have a job lined up. Lesson here is to do what you think is right even if others don't believe you.

    So I took two weeks off and then decided I better get a job. After all I had a house and car payment. So I started looking. Then about 3 days later I walked into a BK and saw they were hiring managers. My girlfriend was also out of work so we both inquired about it.

    The Store Manager asked if we had time to both fill out an application and have a short interview with him. After the interview he told us he would call us after speaking with the District Manager. About 10 minutes later my cell phone rang. It was him and he wanted to know if we could come back in one hour to interview with the District Manager. I said yes knowing I was just in a polo and shorts wouldn't have time to change. We were both hired on the spot. And even though they didn't have any Store Manager positions open she matched my salary from my last job but at the lower position of Assistant Manager and would give me a raise once a Store Position came open. Lesson here is opportunities happen to those who are looking for them. The only luck is what you make for yourself.

    I enjoyed working for her and had a bright future as she made it clear she wanted to get me promoted the next time a District Management position came open. But I didn't like food. Working with food wasn't for me even if I ran the best store in the district. I got to the point when I dreaded going to work every day. Finally I sat down with her and explained I could do this anymore. She tried to get me to stay but I told her it wasn't the right fit. So once again I quit a job with nothing lined up. I literally had two car payments (including my $450/mo Corvette Payment) and a house payment yet I trusted myself. Lesson here is just because you are good at a job doesn't mean it is the right job for you.

    For the next six months I didn't look for a job. I took the time to figure out what was best for me. I lived off credit cards, my wife's pay, and her dad who lived with us paid a bit on bills as well. So never be afraid to take time to figure things out.

    Finally I had to go back to work but had trouble finding work. This was 2002 so the post 9/11 recession so I took mutiple jobs over the next year for way less than I had been making finally ending up back at Walmart as a Department Manager.

    I wanted to work for Walmart again to decide if being a Walmart Salaried Manager (which I would have gotten in a few months) would be for me. I spoke to all the managers and why they loved it and you no longer got moved as much I decided it wasn't for me.

    I wanted to do multi-unit management like I had started to do at Hollywood Video. So I started to apply for District Manager jobs. I would get a few interviews but always lose out to people with more multi-unit experience. Finally a corporate hiring rep from Blockbuster video called. They wanted to interview me for a Store Manager. And if that worked out they would hopefully get me into a District within 2 to 3 years.

    I took the interview and the job. They even gave me the salary I asked for which I later found out was more than all but two managers in the district made. I really loved Blockbuster but I was there when they launch the Movie Pass and then the Online Movie Pass. They were so worried about Netflix that they started to hurt their own business. Me and the District Manager talked about it a lot as we were both new to the company and much better paid than most of our peers. We both agreed the writing was on the wall. Blockbuster was going to fail. The question was when not if. Seeing that I had no future with the company and that I had one person in front of me to get the promotion I started looking for another job. She got promoted about 6 months after I left and had to move to get the position.

    I ended up as a Sales Manager for a local furniture, appliance, and electronics store. It was the best paying job I ever had and the first time in my career I could earn a commission and I managed commissioned people. I was always good at selling but after a failed interview with a car dealership (I told them I needed a minimum of $30k for pay and the sales manager thought that meant i aimed too low) years before I decided to stay in management. Lesson here is don't let one bad interview hold you back from what you should be doing.

    Now as a Sales Manager I saw my true calling. I was wasting my time being a manager I could make more as a Sales Person. But I was done with retail hours. So I started to look for a Sales Job where I would have days hours and great pay.

    I found the RV Dealership and over the nearly six years I have been here my job has changed from 100% Sales to nearly 100% Marketing.

    I am now 35 years old. I make well over the national average household income myself. I also have the 3 most important skills when it comes to a Service Based Economy (which the United States is). Those being Sales, Management, and Marketing. If you can sell you can go anywhere and get a job. If you have a track record of being a successful manager you can get a job as a manager often within a week of looking. And finally if you understand marketing especially internet marketing you can do so much.

    Thanks to the last 16 years of my life I can truly get a job I love at any time I want. Though I have decided that if I ever leave here it will be to work for myself. After all I will never be able to afford to buy a Lambo by working for someone else.

    Hopefully this long post yet short version of my career path will inspire you to worry less about the destination and have more faith that the path will lead you in the right direction.
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  • Profile picture of the author Odahh
    Jason,

    You filled out what i left vague ,

    honestly i don't think a career is what people should be thinking about anymore.many people who get married today won't even be married to the person in 5 or ten years.. frankly because they chose person they marry according to the first person who say yes .. while not going to deep in long term compatibility.

    i think the simple and the most complex answer would be to. always build skills so you can add value somewhere. and then always have a network of people who can open the door to get you in where you can add value ..

    most jobs will be short term in small companies . if you can sit in front of the person hiring you who may be the person running the company what you think you can do to help them make more money .
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    "I just wanted a good job ,but i could not find a good job, So i do it myself"-Jack Ma

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    • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
      Originally Posted by Odahh View Post

      Jason,

      You filled out what i left vague ,

      honestly i don't think a career is what people should be thinking about anymore.many people who get married today won't even be married to the person in 5 or ten years.. frankly because they chose person they marry according to the first person who say yes .. while not going to deep in long term compatibility.

      i think the simple and the most complex answer would be to. always build skills so you can add value somewhere. and then always have a network of people who can open the door to get you in where you can add value ..

      most jobs will be short term in small companies . if you can sit in front of the person hiring you who may be the person running the company what you think you can do to help them make more money .
      If you want to stay poor, work for someone else.

      You cannot get rich working for other people. The only possible exception is a commission salesperson; but after a point, why wouldn't you just go into business for yourself?

      What you said about the importance of being careful about your career choice is correct. I have more posts on my blog about this.

      I think at the end of your post you are saying that working close to an owner or leader will help you see how to create value? That is correct. Mimic what they do.

      Some people are just plain comfortable working for others and being directed. That's OK. They aren't entrepreneurs and shouldn't try to be. The world needs all kinds of people.
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  • Profile picture of the author Odahh
    i got spat out of the system 4 years ago ok under 4 years ago when you work with a hurt back for 2 years or more as bi polar disorder smack you hard .. then you spend 6 months of that anxiously expecting the doors of the place you are working for to be chained shut for good when you go into work one day .and then only after you have a complete nervus meltdown ..a week after you get word that they will be closing in 8 months and you may get layed of in 2 ,5 or 8 months . then you get ground down more in the next 8 months.

    being left with no marketable skills , unable to do the work you have done your working life..and no network to help get you into new paths .

    It become very clear what you need when you have nothing .

    when online apps want 3 job references and you have only had 2 long term ful time jobs..and the most resent has no phone number ..

    it is a pain ..

    now in six months to a year .. i will be able to explain how i got on the career path i am getting on from here .

    the cliff note explanation ..is it is in my nature to be a teacher so i had lit long list of failures a pretty nasty list of mental issues and a huge pile of physical and other problems . that i have to over come and transmute into success or carve my version of success from .

    so that if anyone i teach tries to fall back on their lists of can't do because .. i can point to the lists of how much more they have than i have been at .
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    "I just wanted a good job ,but i could not find a good job, So i do it myself"-Jack Ma

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  • Profile picture of the author adfinikin
    Originally Posted by joesfortune View Post

    I am just feeling the waters what others think of this question. Your answers can help a lot of young people out there who are just starting up in their jobs unsure whether to make it their careers or just simply a job.
    It is always a good idea to have a main career that can support you, but whilst doing this you can also be doing some type of online marketing to earn that extra income. Research carefully before committing to make sure its a good fit with yourself and re-invest in your online business until you reach the point where you can quit the main job if you so desire.
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  • Step 1: List what you love to do.
    Step 2: List what you're good at.
    Step 3: Find which job falls in both criteria.

    You'll usually be satisfied (don't love or hate it) if your job falls in one of the two categories, but you'll usually love waking up to go to work if it falls into both.
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    Jobtify: We'll deliver jobs to you while you relax!
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    • Profile picture of the author hardraysnight
      Originally Posted by ImtheBrilliantest View Post

      Step 1: List what you love to do.
      Step 2: List what you're good at.
      Step 3: Find which job falls in both criteria.

      You'll usually be satisfied (don't love or hate it) if your job falls in one of the two categories, but you'll usually love waking up to go to work if it falls into both.
      tomorrow i will buy a grand piano
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  • Profile picture of the author Mollywhite
    You need to know yourself for few questions:
    1. What do you like to do?
    2. What are you good at?
    3. What will you be if you do that?
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    • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
      Originally Posted by Mollywhite View Post

      You need to know yourself for few questions:
      1. What do you like to do?
      2. What are you good at?
      3. What will you be if you do that?
      Sounds good, but not realistic. Just like the majority of posts in this thread.

      When people are young, they have no idea what they like or what they can be good at. It takes experience to get this knowledge...or do what I suggested above.

      When you're 20, you don't know anything. You might think you do, but you don't. I know, I was there.
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  • Profile picture of the author streetpipscom
    Just think of career that you love and of course inline with your knowledge and expertise.
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  • Profile picture of the author Odahh
    yes most of the time while you are working for someone else. there is very little time or effort to get rich on the side. but you may agree . and i believe i got this from gordon ramsee the chef . that it is very import if you do work for other . to work where you will learn skill to eventually start your own business . or in the case of a chef learn as much about cooking and serving food as possible .

    i did a bit of this while i was employed and funny enough playing online games i have figured out what i prefer to do to earn money . it may seem silly but i have identified an area or two where i can build income streams ..once i can get going .

    i have just had to restore my physical health ..and mental stability first haha .

    though i pay attention to internet marketing . i have been in search of a real offline business i can get in . but use the internet to market and set up distribution . also work with low volume high margin products or component products .
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    "I just wanted a good job ,but i could not find a good job, So i do it myself"-Jack Ma

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  • Profile picture of the author sophiadixon
    I think that what everybody said before me is true, but I want to say that choosing a career is more about what you like to do and what you see yourself doing for a long period of time.
    For me, choosing a career was easy because I knew since I was little what I want to do with my life and now I live my dream. I hope that all of you live your dream and have the job that you wished so working won't seem like a labour but a pleasure.
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  • Know thyself!
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    Sophie Choung
    Solo Ad Queen

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  • Profile picture of the author Chosen2013
    Figure out what you like, do a research if you can make money online doing what you like, if you can then do it, if you can't think of ways you can get it to happen or look around and think of what you'd be interested to learn to earn money online and then do it.
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    I exchange E-Currencies(PP<>Payza<>PM<>Payoneer<>Skrill<>Paxum< >WMZ).
    My ICQ: 498*639*434, Skype: Chosen_FTS
    I will show you my references on request.
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  • Profile picture of the author GlenDev
    I'm a marketing student from Belgium and i'm already looking forward to my future. As a student I still need a lot of experience and I also want to improve, do you have any tips for me ?
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  • Profile picture of the author abdovic
    Some people will be more contented when they involve in a career that can bring broader good values to the society. For example, as an editor, you are the one who has almost full control on the contents of your magazine or book. You may find yourself more satisfied with this position than someone who has a routine job like proofreader.
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  • Profile picture of the author TerryX
    Find something you love doing everyday, then find a way to make money doing it.
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  • Profile picture of the author joesfortune
    I have a post concerning the subject. You can visit by blog and search for "Do You know the Right Career for You"
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    Joseph M. Dabon
    Blogger and freelance writer. I belong to Ezine's Expert Author, Diamond, level. Visit me at
    http://withinyouisyoursuccess.com/

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