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Don't Just Choose a Job - Choose a Career That's Best for You

by Guest Author Rich DeMatteo

When you're starving for work and your options seem limited, it's easy to pick any old job and just go with it. I know how frustrating it can be, but by taking the first job that comes your way; there are many con's that come along with it such as:

  • You'll be bored since the job isn't what you want to/like to do
  • You'll see this job as a temporary solution and you'll end up just focusing on the money
  • You'll end up leaving too soon, causing your résumé to make you appear as a dreaded 'job hopper'
  • You'll eventually end up repeating the cycle

Sometimes it's hard to make a decision especially when someone tells you to wait for the perfect opportunity. Why wait for perfect when there's an OK job on the table? I know those thoughts and we've all been there. However, at some point; you need to think about your long-term career goals and what you want to be doing in the next 5, 10 years.

Happiness

Happiness is important and the type of job you choose can have a significant impact on your happiness and how you view yourself. Sure, collecting a paycheck is important, but if you're not benefitting from a job that is irrelevant to your passion or your skill set, then eventually that paycheck will go away.

A study conducted by Gallup shows that 50% of people are unhappy and disengaged with their jobs. Even people who are good at their jobs aren't always 100% satisfied with their jobs. Those people who were more engaged and are happy with their jobs were passionate about their work and felt a connection with the company. Too many people take jobs for the money, but don't take into consideration that the job should incorporate your passion and allow you to use your skill set and education to help you excel.

Salary

There are jobs that you'll come across that will pay you high wages now; maybe more than the starting range in your chosen career. However eventually, the money will not be important if you're not doing what you want to do. You'll start to move on and look for other jobs. You might end up taking another unfulfilling job or starting over in a career with a company you want to grow with.

It's ok to take a job that doesn't pay much, but remember to look at the important aspects such as: the experience you'll gain, the promotions and hands-on training you'll get, and that the job can help get you ready for the career. A job can be a short-term money fix, but a career is basically investing yourself for your future.

The key to being happy and finding the right career is to find a career that you love and are interested in rather than finding a job or career that just hands you a check.

Peace of Mind

What's great about having a career is that you know that there's always a place for you somewhere. You have a specialty. You have peers. You know what you want and you'll focus your energy on it. There's no more guesswork and dissatisfaction.

Having a job is exhausting; you can never be sure where you'd go if it would end suddenly. With a career you'll know what to do if it's time to move on from your current employer.

Always keep in mind the three important factors; Happiness, Salary and Peace of Mind when researching and studying towards your career. Having a job that will help you gain some experience is great, but at the end of the day, you should be working towards your dream career.

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