Avoid these mistakes when choosing a career

The next chapter of your life, and how successful, fulfilling, and lucrative it will be, depends on finding the right career. As a transitioning service member searching for a new career, this might feel like a lot of pressure. After all, you’re searching for a career that’s going to be successful in the long term and short term, and you want it to be something that keeps you fulfilled and happy.

That means that you should be looking for something that’s suitable now and will be financially viable in the future. Having been outside of the civilian job force for a while, this might feel overwhelming. Fortunately, knowing the mistakes to avoid can help better position you to find the ideal career based on your aptitude, interests, and personality.

Listening to everyone but yourself: It’s a great idea to take advice from mentors, others in your community and fellow veterans, but just because someone suggests an idea doesn’t mean you have to listen to what they say. Make sure you select a career that’s best for you and not for what everyone else thinks is best.

Following instead of leading: You’ve spent enough time following the pack, now it’s time to take the lead. That means it’s time to make your own choices about your future and not rely on what others expect of you. There’s a lot to be said for finding what makes you happy instead of what others think you should be doing.

Failing to research: It’s a bad idea to jump headfirst into a career without doing some research about it. That means that you need to carefully spend time vetting what the job entails, what kind of training you might need, and finding out if you will enjoy the work. You can do this by speaking with people already employed in the industry, networking, doing research online, and reading up about the job. This way, you’ll have a better idea of what to expect before you invest your time and money.

Only looking for a salary: Yes, money is important and vital to life. However, selecting a career based solely on the salary might not be the best idea. You could discover that the profession is something you hate. Instead of finding jobs based on what you might earn, consider looking for employment that will leave you satisfied and fulfilled. This means paying attention to who you are, both as an individual and as a worker. Using self-assessment tools and inventory tests can help you uncover the careers that might be best for you.

Think about the long term: Careers aren’t temporary, so consider what you want to be doing five to ten years from now. This means that you should have a clear understanding of the outlook of the industry of the career before you invest time and money into pursuing it. With the constant evolution of tech, it’s possible that a job that you love now might be outsourced in the future. There are ways to find out what jobs will be trending in the future by searching for labor statistics. This will help you find something that might offer the most promising future.

When you avoid these mistakes, your career search will be far less stressful and far more lucrative. This is an exciting time of your life, so make the most of it when you do your research and approach the search with a well thought out plan.

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