Many willingly admit that it is hard to pick a career path during your mid to late teenage years. Even people with decades of experience are making important career decisions. How do you make good choices?
Advice is always available. Everything from, do what your love and don’t worry about the money, to you must do this because that was the path of everyone in your family.
For good measure you can throw in the advice of, “You are too smart for that choice,” or “That will require you to make a life decision about where you will live.”
Tough choices, all of them. How do you know the correct path?
There are at least three philosophies on these choices:
- Let someone else make the choice. It sounds silly but it happens all the time. Parents have helped you save and guided you for a particular school. Now you feel you have no choice of your own. So, you follow a prescribed path.
- You are not good enough. You want to become a doctor, lawyer, or engineer, but it has been reinforced across the years that those jobs are for the elite. You’re not in that crowd so avoid it, you’ll never make it.
- Stay with the family. I’ve had personal conversations with dozens and dozens of people about career choices that involve maintaining continuity with the family unit. It may be a family business, a geographic area, or generations on a family estate.
Do you see any problems with these philosophies? Is there a pattern?
The pattern is simple because the input is consistent with others guiding the outcome. None of these are allowing you to choose for you.
There is a key to most career outcomes. You must decide what you want to live with. Not everything is about money, education, or the dreams of someone else.
Some people make a life of making others happy. That is great. Other people wish to take the family crest to a new level. That too, is great.
Your career decisions, whether you are seventeen, or forty-two, may not be so technical. It really boils down to how you want to live, because that is really what you do.
Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.