Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Jobs, Careers & Success - Part 1




At your age it is easy to dream big! It's so exciting! And sadly for some kids, it is easier to not dream - to feel lost and have low expectations. The hardest part of being a teen is to dream realistic, while still dreaming of success and reaching for greatness.

People often end up working for jobs they didn’t plan for and didn’t enjoy, but later they discover the experiences were beneficial – professionally or socially. So be patient if your first, second or third job feels like a dead-end because it may get you where you need to be to fulfill your dreams. (Never underestimate the power of networking in any situation!)


Mistake Number 1: Having goals that don't align and that don't actually lead TO YOUR DREAM!

What are your goals for age 25 or 30? Where do you want to live? Is owning a house important to you? Or do you want the city life with an apartment and lots of lights and activity around you? (Don't worry, this isn't a total commitment. What you want at 30 may change dramatically but the point right now is to align your goals.)

What type of career do you want to have by age 25 or 30? Does this career make sense with where you want to live? If not, you may need to be flexible and move to where you're most likely to find the path to your career? (For example, does the career you want require you to live by the ocean, or by a University, or in the countryside?)

Do you have an artistic or athletic hobby that you might turn into a career? What do you need to do so that you might be successful with your hobby? Maybe that should be your career back-up plan? Is it something you can nurture and earn a living from? Do you think you'd grow to dislike it if it were a 'career' and no longer a casual hobby?

What are your career back-up plans A, B & C? Are they related to your first career choice or completely different?


Write down the steps it would take to make your number 1 career choice happen. Next, do the same for back-up plans A, B & C. And finally, do the same thing for your hobby.

Hint - Do some research! Get on the Internet or ask around - are your ideas about these career choices realistic? Do you think you'd enjoy the steps required to reach these goals? Do you think you'd enjoy the actual work once you've reached these goals?

Do the steps to each of these goals align with one another? Do any of the goals require the same step(s)? For example, do they all require you to go to a four year college? A trade school? Private training? What type of internships or activities can you do to gain experience that will help you achieve these steps? Do any of the steps contradict the other?

Mistake Number 2: Are you being honest about your personality when dreaming of these goals?

  • Do you want to be a doctor but you faint at the site of blood?
  • Do you want to be a psychiatrist but you have no patience for listening to others drone on about their problems?
  • Do you want to work with animals but your heart would break into pieces if you lost an animal to disease or abuse?

Don't be discouraged if you're falling into the traps of Mistake Number 2! You may still find a way to these goals, but you might need to shift your ideas around a little. Maybe you would love to be a professional football player but you can't meet the physical demands, well are you a good leader? Would you want to coach instead? Or maybe you should research and interview pro ball players and then write books about them!

There are always choices! You just have to be creative and persistent. More on that soon -

Bye for now curious cats,


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