The Reality of Careers
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The Reality of Careers

Most people spend a lot of time wondering what they should do for a living while they're in school, after they graduate from school and, sometimes, at other times in their lives. Career coaches, myself included, suggest to clients that they think of what they're good at and what they enjoy doing and try to combine the two elements in their career choice.

Before investing a lot of money in education, it's wise to talk with people who are in the field you think you want to get into to find out exactly what they do, what they enjoy about what they do, and what they don't like about their careers. After doing your due diligence, you still won't know, for certain, whether a particular career is for you, but you'll have a better understanding of what you're getting into.

The reality is that you won't know how much you're going to enjoy your job or career until you've been doing it for a while. When you first start something you, typically, don't know much about it. It takes a while to develop expertise in anything.

It's also a good idea to research the growth that the career in which you're interested is expected to experience over the next decade or so.

I've had a few careers and can, therefore, offer a general assessment of careers. The following is what I'll call the reality of careers: (1) there is no perfect career; (2) if you're in the right career, for you, you'll enjoy what you're doing most of the time; (3) there will be days that you'll be bored or frustrated, or both; (4) there will be times that you'll envy someone else because you'll think that his career is more fulfilling than yours.

In bad economic times, it might be necessary to work at something that wouldn't be your first choice in order to continue to earn a living. There's nothing wrong with being practical. You might have to learn new skills to make yourself more marketable. You might even have to reinvent yourself. Some of this can be intimidating, initially, but none of it is impossible to do.

The key is to be aware of the developments in your field and to prepare for the inevitable changes that will come about. If the changes make it impossible for you to continue operating at the level at which you feel you should be operating, you need to decide whether you want to stay put or reinvent yourself.

Reinventing yourself is certainly challenging, but it is, also, exciting and energizing. It requires research, hard work, sometimes more education, and a lot of patience. Many people have reinvented themselves in the past and recently, and many more will continue to do so in the future as job markets change, technology continues to replace human functions, and new developments create new careers.

10 Comments to The Reality of Careers:

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