How can you decide what career is for you? Consider these five points when looking at potential future careers.

Roles and Responsibilities—Think about your talents and what do you enjoy doing most. If you like math, look for a job involving numbers and problem-solving.  If your favorite part of the day is being around people, look for a job that requires you to interact with others on a daily basis. When you find a job that aligns with your interests, it won’t feel so much like work.  As the famous saying goes, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”  Find a job you will enjoy and get paid for what you love to do.

Pay and Benefits—For some, the most important part of a job is the wage tied to the job. Which brings up a good question to ponder. What kind of lifestyle do you want to live? Know certain lifestyles require a certain amount of income and stress.  It’s important to understand what your goals are and the standard of living you want to sustain.

Location—Getting a job as a marine biologist in South Dakota may be hard.  Why? It may be obvious, but the Midwest is not surrounded by water, which makes studying crustaceans more difficult and the number of jobs limited. In order to work as a marine biologist, or say a high-end fashion designer, you may have to go where the work is. For some that might mean living on the coasts. So, do you mind moving to a different location to pursue work, or do you prefer working in your hometown?  These are the types of questions you have to ask yourself when looking at careers.

Education and Qualifications—As you know, some careers require more education than others. For instance if you want to be a surgeon, you are going to have to go through more schooling than a nurse. If you aspire to work in a specific position, consider the amount of education you would need. There are tons are well-paying careers out there that may require anything from a certificate to a four-year degree, to graduate school.  Our community is full of great resources and scholarships to assist you along your way. Reach out to your school counselor to learn more about the opportunities available.

Motivation—Motivation is the WHY behind what you do.  Do you want to save lives? Teach others new ideas and skills? Build new products to enhance others’ lives? Invent the latest technology? Win a noble peace prize? When you understand your passion, you can better understand your motivation for working and doing amazing things.

One important thing to mention is you are not confined to one career. As time goes on, it’s okay to re-evaluate your decision and find something you enjoy doing more. Life is full of changes. We should expect to change too. It’s okay to go back to school, retrain for a specific department, or move into a management position.  Life is too short to stick to one job just because we think we have to. Work hard and do great things.