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Isn't it pretty?

Monday, June 12, 2006

Career Considerations

I've talked to several people recently about what made them decide on their particular career. I have been struck by how different people take such vastly different things into consideration when deciding what to do with their lives. (Just a warning - I haven't had a lot of sleep, so if this is only semi-coherent, that's why. I have a feeling that my sentence structure is going to leave something to be desired this morning.) I'm not talking about just a job here. My current job I have because it pays the bills - but really, it's not something I plan on keeping once I have the qualifications to do something meaningful with my life (hence the stressful workload of both work and school). But since I was in high school and began thinking about what kind of career I would like to have, I was always focused on doing something I enjoyed, that I would be interested in, or that I would be good at. It took me a lot of trys to figure out what exactly I wanted to do. In high school I tossed around a different idea every week, before deciding on the path of engineering. Yep, engineering. That's the major I started with when I first went to college. Because I was good at math, and I liked knowing how things worked. But I quickly realized that engineering was not for me, I wanted to focus more no people than structures. So, on to psychology with no real career in mind, just a dead-end degree to please my parents. Well, that didn't work out very well as I decided I was sick of college and would be better off just working in an office. (There were other factors involved as well.) After a few years of office work, I had enough of meaningless copying and typing, and decided to finish my degree. While finishing my Bachelor's I tossed around a lot of ideas before deciding on my current path of School Counseling, because I like the educational environment, I want to help kids one-on-one, and let's face it, school hours are great (summers off - woo hoo!). At no time was I practical about financial realities, did I consider the desires of my family (or even future family) or did I think about whether I would be able to find a job once I finished my degree. I'm not the practical type I guess, I always like to say I believe in dreams. So I was surprised when I asked someone the other day, what they would do if they could wipe the slate clean, start all over and pick whatever job in the world they would like to do. The answer - work for their family, doing whatever was needed. This person's family had a good business that made money, it would benefit their family, make everyone closer, so that was the ideal. In asking another person why they chose their field, the response was that they didn't really know what they wanted to do and the field of choice made good money. Why not? I was a little taken aback by all this, because I never really thought about people having such different considerations than myself. I know that some people go after money in their professions, but I always assumed they had some kind of interest in it as well. For me, the meaningfulness and the fact that I will be helping others is what's important. For others, the fact that they would help their families is what it's all about. What made you choose your career path?

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