Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Discerning the Correct Career Choice

What do you want to be when you grow up?” I ask my daughter and some of her friends this question on occasion, and I was asked this when I was young too. My daughter doesn’t know what she wants to be, nor do most of her friends. I wonder if I do either, or if I ever will.

You would think at my age, I would have it all figured out, that I would know what I want to do, what career path to take, where to focus my energies. I’ve worked in various industries, from banking to technology, real estate to retail sales, office administration to sales initiation. I’ve read books, including Do What You Are: Discover the Perfect Career for You through the Secrets of Personality Type by Paul D. Tieger & Barbara Barron-Tieger, which suggests career choices based on your Myers Briggs personality type. Yet I still don’t know, for sure.

So how does one discern the correct career choice in life?

The right career varies throughout a person’s life as their life unfolds and changes. If you don’t have kids for example, you might not mind travel or working the long hours required in many professions. But once kids are in the picture, your life transforms and so does your ideal job. So it’s a floating target, and throughout life you may make many changes (particularly true for women as they are oftentimes the primary caregivers).

The advice I offer my kids (and you, my readers) is this:

1.       Find a line of work in which you have interest. If you have a lot of interests, this isn’t going to narrow your choices so much as give you a broad lineup of options that will work and satisfy.
2.       Don’t go for a job simply because of the pay. Money isn’t the end all. Sure, it’s needed to afford necessities, but it also fuels wants. It doesn’t necessarily make your life richer.
3.       Pray, and then listen for God’s direction. God has a plan for you, so pray for wisdom and discernment, and most importantly, God’s will.

The litmus test as to whether you are in the right field can be done in the confines of your own home – no books or research required. And it’s simple. Do you wake up in the morning dreading work, or looking forward to another day?