For a lucky few, passion for one's career comes naturally. We've all heard stories of legendary musicians, writers, and tech CEOs who spent their childhoods devoted to the growth of their talent, and eventually, careers. For many of us, though, a career is simply a means to pay bills each month. In fact, less than half of all Americans say they feel "very satisfied" with their jobs. While you might not be winning a Grammy award anytime soon, your job doesn't have to be perfunctory. There are a wide array of career paths that can fulfill you emotionally and put money in your pocket. Need some guidance? Check out our tips below:
As you begin pondering your career options, it's important to keep a few key factors in mind. Consider how you like to spend your free time. If you love the outdoors and work best when you're out in the sunshine, for instance, you may not be happy in a career that requires you to sit at a desk eight hours a day. While you're at it, reflect on whether you work better with groups or independently. Understanding your collaboration preferences is a good way to eliminate career options that aren't a good fit.
Of course, your talents and education will be factored into a majority of jobs you apply for, so keep that information in mind as you search. If you're hoping to break into a new line of work entirely, consider whether or not you'd be willing to return to school. Keep salary expectations in mind and make sure your financial goals are in line with industry standards.
Some career searchers look to psychology to help inform their job hunt. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator has been helping people understand themselves better since its creation in the 1940s. After answering a series of questions about their preferences, values, and attitudes, examinees receive detailed reports on their personality types. The results are sometimes surprising, often reassuring, and, in some cases, challenge a person's understanding of themselves.
MBTI results are often used by career coaches to help clients find the right line of work. Introverted, analytical thinkers who score ISFJ on the MBTI, for example, may find satisfaction working as librarians or financial planners. Extroverted creatives who are categorized as ENFPs, on the other hand, may thrive as politicians or newscasters. A career counselor can help connect you with the personality test and help you understand your results, but there are a number of online resources to get you started with MBTI information.
In a perfect world, teachers would be paid the same as movie stars and nobody would struggle financially. Unfortunately, though, salaries run the gamut in the real world. While it's tempting to make a high salary the number one goal of your career search, try to factor in other important benefits when making your decision. Job security, an interest in the work, and the culture of your place of employment can all trump salary â€“ so long as your basic financial needs are met! Don't disregard money entirely, just make sure it's not the only factor you're considering when searching for the perfect career.