1. Money is a factor, but it’s not the only factor when it comes to deciding on a career. Doing something you genuinely enjoy every day will bring you more joy than any paycheck ever will if you are miserable in your job.

2. Job shadowing can be extremely helpful in deciding what you want to do with the rest of your life. Sometimes how you imagine a career isn’t at all what it is like in real life. Take all the opportunities you can to follow a professional around for a few hours to gain a deeper understanding of what the career really looks like. Talk to people who are in the field and learn from others what they like and dislike about their job. They will be able to give you valuable insight and better prepare you for what to expect.

3. You have options. Many people can rattle off the typical jobs you see every day, but there are so many careers out there that you might not even know exist. Take your time deciding what path is right for you. When you have a strong sense of what path interest you, you are bound to find something you love within the field.

4. It’s normal not to love your job every single minute of every single day. There are going to be stressful days and tasks you don’t enjoy doing at your job, but unfortunately, that is a part of every job. Ask anyone!  You should find a job that fills you with the utmost joy, but know there are going to be some things you have to do that are not always fun to do.

5. Use your resources. There are tons of scholarships and opportunities out there to help pay for your continuing education. It’s a good idea to research and apply for as many as you can. It will take time on the front end, but could save you a lot of money in the end. When thinking about scholarships, think about how you can make yourself the ideal applicant. How can you set yourself apart? Do you volunteer? Are you involved in any clubs at school? Were you elected to student council? Being involved in the community and showing you can work well with others look good on applications. Start thinking about different things you can do to boost your scholarship chances!

6. It’s okay to change your mind. Nowadays people are changing jobs and even industries more than ever before. Don’t feel like you have to stick with a career just because you thought you would like it. If you realize you hate sitting behind a computer all day, don’t. There are jobs available that allow you to work with your hands and be on your feet. Big career decisions can be scary, but they are worth taking if you need to pivot. Life is too short to be miserable. Find out what skills and interests you have and research careers that would be a good fit. Don’t sell yourself short. If you really want something, research and apply yourself. Learn new skills. Read more books. Watch more tutorials. You can learn new things and purse other passions!

7. Spend less time worrying about other people’s opinions. One of the biggest setbacks anyone can make when deciding on a career is valuing what other people want you to do rather than pursuing what you want to do yourself. Friends and family can be a big influence on your career decision, but ultimately it’s your decision. It is your career. Your future. Don’t let anyone else decide for you.

8. Envision the lifestyle you want to live. Does it look fast-paced and high stress? Do you want a career that allows you to spend time with your family? Do you want to travel a lot? Think about these questions and then eliminate the careers that don’t match up with your visions.

9. Know how you work best. Do you like working with people or do you find more productivity in working alone? Are you a morning person? Do you like working with customers or would you rather analyze the analytics. Ask yourself these questions to get a better understanding of what environment you would work best in and the type of culture could thrive in. Knowing your strengths can help your employer maximize your time, energy and talents!

10. Be open. Oftentimes, the first job people take is not going to be their dream job. Develop your skills, learn all that you can, and continue to move in the direction you want to go. Maybe your dream is another company or maybe it’s a promotion, whatever the case be open to different opportunities and the experience a first job can provide you. You never know the experience you had at one job or the person you meet at another could come in handy at the next! See everything as a learning opportunity to broaden your skill set and deepen your understanding of self. Life is a journey, enjoy the adventure.

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