Thursday, July 07, 2011

10 Bits of Advice to Young People Choosing a Career

  1. Find some solitude and ask yourself if you feel any pressure to please parents or others by selecting a particular path that would truly be your second or third choice. If that is the case, what is your first choice and why can't you do it?

  2. If you are leaning toward one career path because you believe it leads to a separate one that you greatly prefer, ask yourself how happy you will be if you wind up on the first path and cannot get to the second.

  3. Review your choices one more time. You don't want to be illogical, but have you too quickly ruled out a secret dream?

  4. How much do you know about these choices? Have you ever talked to anyone who is working in the field? Ask them what they like about the job and what they dislike. Try to talk to more than one practitioner. Don't make a choice based on the image of the job. Base it on the reality.

  5. Consider the odds. How hard is it to get your dream job? Yes, you may become an NBA star but what will you do if you don't?

  6. Consider the work. Are you willing to put in the hard work to succeed in your choice? Do you know the sacrifices you may have to make?

  7. Recognize that you may have more than one career either through choice or circumstances. Are there skills that you can gain in one that will be supportive of another?

  8. Build your values. There are core values - such as honesty, courtesy, respect for others - that you will want in any endeavor. Do you feel they will be jeopardized or eroded if you make a particular choice?

  9. Look for meaning. A calling may have the potential to produce a lot of money but little else. If you sense that you wouldn't respect yourself, that's not the one for you.

  10. Be prepared for setbacks. Few careers are an unbridled ascent to the top. You may have to make lateral moves. You may have to wait for years for the right opportunity to arise. Unexpected events may roll boulders in your way. Your ability to sustain your values and your perspective in those periods will be crucial. If you work on anything, work on that.


John said...

Sorry, Michael. Way over 140 characters each.
Young people have processors like lightening but tiny little ROM cards.

Michael Wade said...


Good point. May only work with captive audiences.


Bob said...

Oh what wisdom time brings. Unfortunately the young don't have the give of time yet :)