Choosing a career can be hard, but it’s even harder when you are multi-passionate and interested in everything. It can be so difficult to choose only one option, what if it’s the wrong option? I know this dilemma all too well because I have changed career paths too many times to count. I’ve worked in government, travel, academia, non-profit, IT services, security services, retail, food services, intellectual property…I’ve even interviewed to be a Canadian spy (I’m not kidding). So yes, choosing a career path is difficult, but it doesn’t have to be that complicated.
In this episode of the Money In Integrity podcast, I walk you through how to choose a career path when you can’t decide what to do. Listen to the podcast episode for the full details but let’s get started!
1. Take Career Aptitude Test At Face Value, Not As Answers
I know this is controversial, but I don’t believe in following any career aptitude test or the “Ikigai.” If you don’t know what “Ikigai” is, it’s a Japanese concept meaning “Reason for Being” and is widely used by many career coaches and counsellors.
While all of these concepts can be helpful tools in researching career options, they are very limiting. What you need to do is find a career that aligns with your work, life, money balance. What does that mean? You need to find a career that allows you to have fulfilling work, pays you enough money to sustain your lifestyle and works with your lifestyle priorities and needs (working hours, kids, working environment, etc.)
2. Understand What You Need In Your Work-Life-Money Balance
You are not your career. A fundamental part of learning and finding a meaningful career is understanding how it works with your life in your individual circumstance and life. What do you need from your career? Higher salary, creativity, working conditions (i.e. work from home)? What can you allocate to different areas of your life? Can you do volunteer work/donations if you want to work in a non-profit but struggle with the pay/location requirements? Can you have a creative side hustle? If you need help figuring out your work-life-money balance, make sure to check out my coaching program.
3. A Side Hustle Can Be A Part of Your Career
Open your mind to having a side hustle be a part of your career. You are not one thing, but in order to have a successful career, you have to be focused on one area. You can allocate different passions, interests and skills into a different area of your life like a side hustle if it does not fit in your primary career choice.
4. Do not limit yourself to what you are “good at”.
“Do what your good at” is well-meaning advice, but it’s very limiting when you looking at choosing a career for many reasons:
i) You may not like what you are good at. I am good at organizing, filing, and scheduling tasks which makes me a great administrative assistant, but that doesn’t mean it should be what I pursue what I’m good at
ii) It doesn’t promote a growth mindset. Why should we do what we are good at? You can learn any skill or topic; you can’t learn to love a job you hate.
iii) You can only be good at something you’ve tried before. If you pigeonhole yourself into a career because you already have that skill and have tried it, you stop yourself from discovering new skills and new career options.
5. Make A Decision Without Fear Of Wasted Effort
It’s easy to stay overwhelmed and continue doing research on different career paths, but it doesn’t get you anywhere but overwhelmed.
Many people don’t want to change careers because they don’t want to “waste” time in the wrong career path, but the time will pass either way. It’s not wasted effort if you learn new skills and you have a better idea of what you need from your career. Make a decision and trust that you have resilience and resourcefulness to change if needed.
6. Know That You Can Change Your Mind (And Probably Will)
Statistics show that people change their careers between 3 and 7 times throughout their lifetime, and that number is only going up with the Millennial and Gen Z culture. So if you wait to decide to change careers, you are delaying your own growth. Even if you enter into one career path, you can use the skills you learned in your last. Also, as a part of understanding your work life money balance is understanding that a “perfect” career can only be perfect for that time or circumstance in your life. Your life can change and so can your idea of a dream career.
Choosing a career path is a lifelong journey. You can (and probably)If you need help, I invite you to sign up for my 1:1 coaching program to find your work, life, money balance!