Doctor, Teacher, Farmer...

Choosing career for happiness

 

High-school graduation is just around the corner, and you have no clue yet as to what you're going to do. Should you proceed to college? Should you become a teacher? A doctor? A singer?

One of your friends decided a long time ago to apply to college. And then he plans to go on to the law school. Another friend wants to be a kindergarten teacher. Even one of your classmates who was never known for the best grades has already applied for beauty college and plans to become a hairstylist.

Your parents and teacher have been asking you. So now you're asking yourself, What are my plans for the future?

Well, don't despair. Here are a few ideas to help you choose a lifelong career that will suit your personality and needs, and help you decide.

First, do these three things:

1. Make a list of your likes and dislikes. The first thing to do is ask yourself some questions, such as What are my likes and dislikes? What am I really passionate about? What types of activities really excite me? Make a list of five things you love to do, and then make a list of a few things you dont like to do.

Here are a few examples. Let's look at your classmate who applied for beauty college. Her list may look like this:

a. I love looking through glamour magazines.

b. I love doing people's hair.

c. I love applying makeup and helping people look good and feel good about themselves.

Maybe her "don't like" list would include:

a. I don't like studying science.

b. I don't like outdoor activities.

c. I don't like math.

Get the idea?

Now lets look at a few teens and the career they chose. Kyle always loved playing basketball, baseball, volleyball, and running track. When he sat down to make his list, it became clear that he wanted to do something with his life where he could be outdoors playing sports. Kyle also enjoyed helping others discover the fun of playing sports. He decided to study to become a physical education teacher.

Carla was the nurturing type. She loved animals; loved rescuing them and then nursing them back to health. She's known since first year high school that she wanted to become a veterinarian when she gets to college.

2. Take a college aptitude test.

Ask your local college aptitude test.

Ask your local college about taking a college aptitude test. It's usually free to those who enroll, there may be a small fee. The test is fun and will reveal a lot about yourself that you may not have known before. It will show you what your interest are and may suggest career choices that you hadn't even thought of before. It will place your interest in categories, such as communications, business, clerical, sciences, sports, the arts, or the like.

3. Find mentor in the fields you choose. After you narrow your choices down to a few selections,  who is already a professional in the field you have chosen.

Ask him about his job. For example, if your choice is to become a kindergarten teacher, find a teacher and ask a few questions. Don't be nervous. Usually people love talking about themselves and what they do. Present them with such questions as "What would I need to know before getting into this this field?" And then ask yourself, "Will this career suit my personality?" In my personal life, do I find myself naturally learning toward this profession?" Do I like young children?"

Some things to considering choosing a career may include: If you're a morning person, choosing a job where you'd work mainly at night may not be the right career for you. Also, if you're a person who prefers to work alone, choosing a job that involves being around a lot of people might not be something that will suit you.

Just for fun, lets look at a few celebrities and how they discovered what they wanted to do.

This man never felt accepted by his peers. He always felt out of place, and school was hard for him; in fact, he nearly failed school. His parents were quite concerned when he became a senior and hadn't yet applied to college. However, there was one place that he felt "at home," and that was on the stage. He could become any character he wanted, and he felt instantly accepted by his classmates. He found he was quite good and excelled in theater school. He knew in his heart that his chosen field was acting. He went on to become a success in this field. This celebrity is Henry Winkler.

Another story is of a young woman was given a guitar as a Christmas present when she was 12. She fell in love with the instrument so much that she would sleep with it at night. She knew in her heart that she wanted to play the guitar for a living when she grew up. This celebrity is Nancy Wilson of the female group Heart.

As a kid, this fellow loved organizing the neighborhood kids into acting in his plays, and he would film everyone. When he was still a teenager he would sneak onto the Universal Studios lot in Los Angeles and hang around and watch how television shows where being filmed. He was finally caught and kicked out of the studio, but that didn't stop him. A few years later he went back with examples of his films, and the rest is history. This celebrity is Steven Spielberg.

You may already know in your heart what you want to be, just as these celebrities did. If there is something you really want to do but feel like you don't have enough talent to do that, think again. It might be just exactly what you are supposed to do. Ask yourself, "What makes me happy? What would be the one thing I would love to do even if I didn't get paid for it? What do I feel I'm really good at?"

No matter what career you choose, you want it to provide more than just money to enable you to live comfortably - you want it to bring happiness and to enable you to bring happiness to others as well. That would be your ultimate career choice.

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