#027 Choosing Your Career Path for Graduating College Students

Choosing Your Career Path for Graduating College Students

here are three main perspectives I want to share with upcoming (or recent) college graduates related to your career this week:

Don’t expect to find your dream job right out of college.

Instead, think of your career as a dart board, and your first job as the outer ring of the dart board. It will likely take three-four jobs, and possibly additional education and/or credentials, to land in the bull’s eye.

This is not to say that you won’t like…even love…your first job. After all, you are on your dart board.

Your degree does not have to equal your career.

Some careers require a specific degree (think accounting, nursing, education), but even then you don’t have to follow that career path just because that’s what you majored in.

You can pursue virtually any career path with any major.

One of the exercises I have clients do is find 4-5 job descriptions that interest them, and then analyze why. This information can be incredibly insightful in telling you what job duties most interest you…and can help you move away from a pre-conceived notion of a job title that you’re “supposed” to seek.

Follow your bliss, and the money will follow.

I just spoke this morning to a college student who is doing an internship this summer in social work (her degree is in social work). When I asked her if the population she will be working with this summer—homeless teens—is the population she wants to work with in her career, she immediately began talking about how little social workers make, especially those who work with teens.

We talked about how many people follow the money…only to find themselves stuck in a career that pays well but in no way feeds their soul. And 10-15 years down the road, it is much more challenging to give up that good paying career to follow your bliss, which often means a considerable cut in pay.

Here’s a good evaluation tool: You want your job to preferably fulfill two of these three things:

Money……………………….Intellectual Challenge……………………..Job Satisfaction

So, following the money if there is no intellectual challenge or job satisfaction won’t make you happy.

Conversely, an intellectually challenging job that doesn’t pay well and doesn’t fuel your soul won’t make you happy.

I will argue that a job that fuels your soul and gives you job satisfaction will inherently have enough intellectual challenge…you will find a way to get the intellectual challenge you require. So, will you make enough money to live?

Keep in mind that you’re much more likely to be successful in a job you love, and success usually leads to promotions and raises.

As opposed to a job you’ve taken just for the money, but you are an average performer at (because your heart really isn’t in it) and often passed over for raises and promotions.

Meaning you get to spend longer doing the same job you don’t like.

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