Choosing a Career

Choosing a Career

Contributed by
Eva Fleming

My nephew loves reading and by age 20 he had read a huge portion of the top recommended books in the U.S., having read a book a week for two years. So it came as no surprise when he announced that he was going to college to become an English professor.

This means that he will pursue a master’s degree once he completes his bachelor degree. His mother was so in tune with her son’s interests that she even said that she would not pay for a single college credit if he chose to pursue a career that did not align with his interests, like accounting.

My daughter, on the other hand, is an artist. She has always loved the arts, sculpture, painting and music, so when she announced she was going to the Art Institute to pursue technical training in Graphic Design, no one batted an eye.

My nieces and nephews have been fortunate because they know their strengths and with the support of their family they have been encouraged to pursue careers that are a good fit for them based on their strengths, values, personality and skills, not social status or social norms.

Choosing a career is one of the most important decisions an individual will make in his or her lifetime. We encourage parents to put aside their own ambition and encourage their children to pursue careers that fit their talents and passion.

The right kind of work provides us with an inner creative joy that no amount of leisure activities can replace. Dullness and boredom can turn work into a burden if we are not interested in what we do. Work can give us a sense of purpose and a channel for our passion.

This is why choosing a career requires some forethought. In order to choose well, you must first know yourself well. You need to get in touch with your strengths, values, personality and skills. Armed with that knowledge, you can then decide if a four-year college education or technical training will help you best embrace your life’s purpose.

Once you assess your likes and dislikes you can consider your options based on your interests. As you narrow down your choices, consider the impact your career choice will have on your life. Ask yourself, what is the financial impact of my career choice, what is the relational impact, and am I willing to live with those consequences?

Following a career path that suits you will enrich your spirit. The ancient proverb says, “the soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.” So be diligent, be purposeful, and choose wisely.

For more resources on personal and professional development,  you can follow Family Bridges on social media @familybridges.