When I was a little girl I always thought I would grow up to be a vet. I loved animals, love playing Operation, it just made sense. As I grew into my teens and I faced my grade 10 biology exam of dissecting a frog, I realized that I just wouldn’t be able to stomach it. As I grew into an adult I changed my career choice as much as I changed my hair color (which trust me, in those days, was a lot).
Figuring out THE job, your chosen profession isn’t easy, especially when you are torn between several good options. If you decide one thing, you could get stuck there with little room for growth, choose another more risky career path and you might have to struggle financially for the rest of your life. It’s not Russian roulette; it’s your future. Considering that an average individual spends 33% of their week at work, and an additional 14 % thinking about work, it’s a pretty critical decision how you want to spend almost half of your time.
When you find yourself at a cross roads between two career paths, you have to consider many variables, for instance;
1. Where do I see myself 10 years from now, will this job give me the experience I need to get me there?
2. What skills do I have, How do these relate to my career choices?
3. What salary do I need to sustain my lifestyle?
4. Does this job have potential for growth and variety?
5. Compare location, travel time to and from work.
6. Think about the environment you want to work in. Would you fit better in a busy, pressurized environment or in a slower paced, supportive space.
7. Look at work hours and how they will affect your personal life.
All of these points should definitely be taken into consideration, but essentially it all comes down to you. You can ask friends and family for advice or talk to people in your desired profession, but human instinct is one of the most powerful factors of individual action, so go with your gut. If your heart isn’t in it, then the job you choose will become a chore and gradually you will become bored, even frustrated, and it will begin to affect your personal life. You have to choose a job that you will enjoy, or essentially the one that meets your needs and aspirations.
If you are presented with two great opportunities, weigh the pros and cons and look at the points above for guidance. It’s never an easy decision, and you will probably always wonder “What if?” The same as thinking about an old flame, you career is an inherent part of your future and helps shape who you are, but the choice you make to go forward will be the right one for you. If down the line you’re not happy, you can always change your mind and move in a different direction. Nothing is set in stone.
But for now weigh the options, take a leap of faith, and see where it takes you. Enjoy the journey…
Ashley Bentley is an employment advisor for Open Door group in Vancouver, British Columbia. Whilst supporting clients reach their employment goals, Ashley is also an active part of the community. She has volunteered for several women’s organization and taken part in fundraising activities for the Scotia Bank Aids walk. Ashley enjoys swimming, attending theatre and music performances and has an avid love for cheese.