How to Know You are on the Right Career Track
Choosing a career is one of the most important decisions you will make as a young adult. As children, we are taught which professions are suitable and which ones are not. These teachings somehow become ingrained in our subconscious and we unwittingly gravitate towards the said suitable professions, as we’ve been taught. Ask a primary school child what he/she wants to become career-wise, and you’re likely to hear things like “I want to be a lawyer…I want to be a doctor… I want to be an engineer…” Now come back in another fifteen years, and the answers you get will most likely leave you confused. The reason is simply because, by the time we get to our twenties, finish college, and have to choose a career path, we realize that we do not know what we want to do in the much nearer future, and that the career path we are on, is most likely as a result of parental and societal influence.
There are some people who are quite sure they are on the right career track, and have found their own answers to career questions that works for them. They are well on their way to finding fulfillment, happiness and financial stability. If you are just starting out on a career path and are not sure if it’s the very right one for you, please take careful note of the next few points:
Is it work you enjoy doing?
The first thing you should have in mind when choosing a career is that your job shouldn’t ONLY be a means to an end. It should also be something you enjoy doing. This is most important because, while we all want to make money and be the next Bill Gates, that should not be the first thing on your mind if you want a sustainable and fulfilling career. No matter the amount of money a job or a business pays you, if you do not find fulfillment in it; if you’re not excited to wake up every Monday morning, then you’re most likely at it for the wrong reasons and will soon get burnt out.
Do you see yourself on that path for a long term?
Before you embark on a new career path or if you’re just starting out fresh out from school, take a deep breath and picture yourself in the next five or ten years, if you can’t see yourself in that office, crunching numbers, then that accounting position is not for you. If you cannot see yourself in scrubs, as you rush into the emergency room to save that dying person, then you most likely have no business being a medical doctor in the first place. If you cannot picture yourself on that stage in 10 years’ time, performing to a large audience at the MUSON center, then you should rethink that music career you’re about to start. Starting a new career might seem exciting at the beginning, but sustaining that fire, is the real trick. If you do not see yourself doing that same job (in a higher position of course) in ten years’ time, then it isn’t what you should be doing because, starting is a lot easier than continuing.
Are you willing to take the risk?
I was reading a book the other day, “THE THIRD DOOR” by Alex Banayan and what struck me the most about the book, was the fact that even though he did not know if he would be successful as a writer, he just knew that he was not happy as a then pre-med student, in college.
Please know that every profession has its hurdles and you might not become world famous, doing that particular work. The question again is, are you willing to take the risk anyway? This also applies to those who want to embark on the entrepreneurial path. The life of an entrepreneur might not be as rosy as you think or as it looks.
In his book “SMALL BUSINESS BIG MONEY”, Oloye Akin Alabi (CEO/Founder of NairaBet), makes it clear that you might start ten businesses and only one would succeed. The interesting thing is you don’t know if it’s the first one or the ninth one that would be the successful. According to Alabi, “nobody tells you that you might lose everything you own and still not be a successful business owner, but what makes you stand out as an entrepreneur is your willingness to take the risk, regardless”
Note that every career choice you make, comes with its highs and lows, but if you choose one that brings you fulfillment and satisfaction, even at your lowest, you would still look forward to the next Monday morning because you simply love what you do, and that in itself, is a whole kind of success.