From birth, parents are preparing their children for the real world. Many will choose to live in certain school districts and will budget money for activities just to ensure their child has the best opportunities available to them.
When it’s time for high school, college bound kids are pressured to consider their future carefully with every class they take and extra-curricular they do. By the time college gets there, these kids know what’s expected of them.
Other kids are left to their own devices, trying to navigate careers, school, and choices all on their own. Their parents may or may not even care what they do after high school as long as they leave the house. Both scenarios can lead people on certain career paths for all the wrong reasons. No career is set in stone. You can almost always change it later in life.
But choosing the wrong path can lead to frustration, anger, depression, and anxiety. Here are some important questions to ask if you’re feeling stuck, you hate your job, and you’re not sure how to pick something new going forward.
Table of Contents
How Long Will Your Education Last?
Many kids dream of being doctors because in their mind they make a lot of money, they get to help people, and they probably have amazing lifestyles. The glorified view of TV doctors makes it easy to understand how young people might get this perspective. But one of the hardest things about pursuing this path is that the road to get there is long.
You might tell a young person that becoming a doctor is a long road, but it might not set in what they are getting themselves into until long after they finish studying their MCAT questions and start applying to medical schools. 8-12 years of college after you’ve been in school for 12 years is a long time.
Many medical school students feel an overwhelming amount of stress simply because it’s exhausting studying for that long without a break. Consider how long it’ll take you to get to your desired career path before you get on the road. An alternative may be Nursing or even a Career In Health Care Technology. These routes also result in much less student loans.
Does It Offer You the Lifestyle You Want To Live?
Becoming a business owner sounds great until you realize that you’ll need solid employees in place if you ever want to take a vacation. Becoming a startup might mean 60–80-hour weeks in the initial phases and it’s important to have a great team around you to ensure you are successful.
On that note, you may experience a lot of failure with your business ideas before you come up with the one that turns into the multi-million-dollar product or service. You need a lot of resilience to choose this path.
What Are Your Job Prospects?
Too many students start college with a cool sounding major in mind without ever looking at what kinds of jobs they can get with it. It’s more important to work backwards from the thing you want to do and then choose the education that will help you get there.
If it’s in an industry where the jobs are limited, you might want to choose something else.
Finding a career niche in a high demand role like computing or healthcare can ensure you pursue a path where you’ll always have a job no matter what the economy looks like. We all know that things like farming are essential, because let’s face it, everyone eats.
Is It Something You Enjoy?
While there are a lot of practical things to consider, it’s also important to choose something you like doing. If you’re good with your hands, becoming a mechanic might be great because you can make good money and build things and take them apart.
Some people choose farming because it gets them back to nature and into a role that helps everyone everywhere. Even if you didn’t grow up on a farm, there are plenty of educational opportunities to help you become one. Growing food is rewarding, but tough. There are a lot of variables to consider.
You’ll spend a lot of time doing your work over the course of your lifetime and if you hate the work, it’s too stressful for you, or it’ll take longer than you’d like to start earning an income, think outside the box.
There are so many career options that can give you life you want, doesn’t take long to learn, and you can find enjoyment in.
Greg is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) with 22+ years experience in Financial Services. He has held numerous FINRA Securities licenses (series 7, 63, 65, and 66), and is an expert on Investment Products and Financial Planning. Greg has 22+ years experience as a real estate investor and degrees in Psychology and Philosophy.
Greg has been quoted/interviewed in Yahoo Money, Yahoo Finance, USA Today, Authority Magazine, Realtor.com, Business Insider, and others.
Greg is an avid runner, and the father to identical twin girls and their awesome brother. His love of budgeting and his kids led him to join The Great Resignation in 2021.
Disclaimer: Any Financial Tips on ChaChingQueen are general and informational. Speak with a professional about your specific situation.