It’s common for children of all ages, including adult children, to want to please their parents or guardians. For example, many of us participate in extracurricular activities and study to get good grades in high school so that we can get accepted into great colleges and make our parents proud. Nothing wrong with that!
But there comes a time when you must start identifying what fulfills you. When you’re picking your college major and career path, keep yourself open to the great insight others with world experience give you, but listen to your inner voice too.
I speak on this from experience. Growing up, my family wanted me to pursue a career in medicine or engineering. They considered these respectable, stable, and high-paying career paths that would keep me financially secure.
Their logic and intentions weren’t wrong. It’s just that I wasn’t interested in these fields at ALL. Even as a child, I liked helping people overcome personal problems. I knew I wanted to do some version of that same thing one day and get paid for it.
Fortunately, with my mother on my side supporting my ambitions, I was able to study psychology in college. Eventually, I landed in a career helping others grow professionally. I landed in the right career for me.
That’s What I Want For You: To Find The Right Career FOR YOU.
Why? Too often, people who enter careers that others wanted them to pursue are unhappy and unproductive at work. This may be because they have no passion for their job and the job doesn’t play to their strengths. Not doing well in school can be a bad thing, but the consequences of not doing well at work can be far more severe: It can mean not reaching your earning potential or getting put on probation for poor performance and eventually fired if it does not improve.
Keep this in mind when your parents or other adults encourage you to follow a college or career path you’re passionately not interested in. They’ll probably share with you why they think this other career is better. Their reasons will likely include that the career has a lot of “economic security” or “job advancement,” perhaps more than what’s offered in the career you wish to pursue. Your parents love you and want to see you financially secure, which is why they’ll likely make some of these recommendations. Respectfully listen to their suggestions, but take from those recommendations what works for you.
Choosing Your Career Path Is A Highly Personal Decision
Write down what you’re passionate about, what you like to do, what you believe your life priorities may be (money, home ownership, marriage, children, travel, for example), and what careers you think would help you fulfill your passions, likes, and life priorities. Write down what you think you’d like to do careerwise.
Be a reporter. Research careers in your areas of interest. Seek out people in those careers and ask them about what they do. What are their hours? What kind of projects do they work on? What, if any, impact does their job have on the community at large? If you want to do a job that makes a significant difference in others’ lives, but the person you’re interviewing tells you their job doesn’t allow for that, then their career may not be the best option for you.
Remember, you’re in this to find the right career for you. You’re an adult now, or soon to be one. It’s time to make decisions that will help you become a fulfilled person in the long run!