Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s Superman!
Fantasy is what drives the mind of a child. It is these formative years that catalyse the roller-coaster adventure of shaping their future career. As one matures into a teenager, their fantasies incline more towards reality where they seek inspiration from a considerable number of sources. After all with age comes wisdom; the child is better able to discern reality from fantasy and take rational steps to realize his dream.
Culture, tradition, geography, familial conditions, influence, and financial conditions play a paramount role in cultivating this vision. Conventionally one is expected to make this single, big decision by the end of high school. But this no longer stands. A recent survey on LinkedIn revealed that millennials change their careers 7 times during their 20s on average. This has also been observed in Baby Boomers during their 20s. It goes without saying that the trend will follow with the Generation Z workforce. Being a career butterfly during your prime time (20s early 30s) will prove advantageous for you as you accumulate ample job experience and could earn a higher wage.
What gets you ticking?
You get a good idea of where to direct your energy while career hunting when you shift your focus to jobs that inculcate your interests. This would enable your profession to seem less like a job and more like an enjoyable hobby. Nobody likes spending long mundane hours at a job that gets you as excited as having to watch paint dry. Or you could always take after your family business. The bottom line is, you need to find what makes you happy. What your peers find boring may, in fact, be what makes your heart sing with glee. In order to pursue this dream job, you may have to begin your career planning at least from the 8th grade. It will help you get a better sense of your prospective career field and give you more time to conduct research to prep yourself for exams, university applications, job requirements etc.
Your pursuit of happiness
What does success mean to you? Is it popularity and respect or materialist gain or does it have a more deep-rooted meaning like long-lasting relationships. Are you someone who gets restless when you are not engaged in projects or are you someone who likes taking long breaks. Many websites suggest taking the RIASEC test to determine which of the six occupational themes you are well suited for. It gives you a vague idea of where to begin your search. Speaking from experience, psychometric tests are a good investment as they provide a detailed profile of your strengths and weaknesses and pinpoint jobs that would most likely suit your character.
Seize the opportunity (Drown the negativity)
Your prime time to set sail and alter your journey’s course is from your early twenties to early thirties. During this tenure, opportunities knock at your door a dime a dozen. You need to use your presence of mind to decide which projects will have you grow and which will stunt or leave your professional life at a standstill. Do not hesitate to constantly take advice from elders and higher-ranking colleagues. There could be a hidden gem or you could be introduced to a new network of people that just might get your ship sailing. Keeping this in mind, while it is good to understand different perspectives, do not be like sheep. Sieve the good advice from the bad and follow your intuition. What is cliché may not always be the right way.
When considering the college with the course of your choice, money also plays an important role. If you are not financially well to do, the only way to get into college is on merit. Forcing your parents to afford something that is out of their reach is selfish. If you really want to get into a college, you could also consider self-financing and student loans. Getting a Diploma is also an option to look out for if you’re not financially stable. It’ll allow you to land a job and rack up cash until you have enough to finance yourself towards procuring the degree of your choice.