What career is best for me?” is a question that make most of us sweat and often takes our mind into hyper drive. Most of the time, our careers are preset by our parents and most of us walk the path to become what their parents have planned for them. But there are also who cannot decide which career is best for them. They bang their heads on walls trying to find out the answer, or try experimenting with different professions to find what they are best at. The result is that they either end up being frustrated or stuck in a profession that they would otherwise not even think of, had they had a choice.

  • Which is the best profession?
  • Which is the highest paying job?
  • What shall I do after my graduation or MBA? etc.

These questions are all linked. There is no such thing as a best profession or a perfect job or a highest job. It all depends on the individual and his inclinations towards the profession. And as for the question of highest paid job is concerned, it only depends upon the individual’s choice of what he wants in life. The answer to the question of best career depends on the individual’s choices.

Do what you love

In the words of a great scholar Confucius ,“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”. Loving what you do is the key to happiness and harmony at your work or doing what you love to do and converting it into a choice of a career will make your professional journey all a playground. You will never get bored or suffer job related stress because you won’t have to be compelled by someone else to do the work. You’ll work because you love to do it. I know of this individual who was passionate about dancing. Dance was the love of his life. Today he runs his dance classes teaching dance to kids. He chose what he loved to do, and followed it as the choice of his profession.

So, give some time to yourself. Think what you love to do or are good at. Are you good are drawing cartoons? Do you write exceptionally well? Are you a good speaker? Maybe you have a good eye for details and are a good observer? Do you like talking to people? Can you communicate with people easily? There are infinite opportunities available for individuals today. There are skills that you possess and can be applied to a variety of professions. For example, if you are a good sketch artist, you can probably work for a publishing house, or a new agency or a comics publisher and choose being a sketch artist as a profession. If you like talking to people or like being in front of an audience, you can become a public speaker or join a PR agency. Having a job focused on your skills makes your job fun since it match your skills and what you love to do.

 What is valuable to you?

How would you define “success”? What is more important to you? Is it having a lot of money? Expensive cars, big house? Or Travelling and meeting new people? Having lots of fun at work? Being with the family? These things impact the choice of your career. For example, if you want to travel around the world and at the same time want to stay with your family, they you’d probably have to chose among the two. If you are obsessed with expensive cars and big house, then you’d have to choose a career that lets you earn the amount of money that is needed to maintain these luxuries.

Confucius said “Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure.”

The expression “nothing is free, everything has a cost”, is true. If you are an investment banker or CEO of a multinational and are getting paid the big bucks, there is a great probability that you would not have any free time for yourself. If you are a wildlife photographer or an airline pilot, you’re probably spending a lot of time away from your home. If you are working into sales or advertising, then the idea or humility and patience will not be new to you as both these jobs requires an individual to have a lot of patience and creativity to convert the customers or clients. How much can you give in to the stress and humility of all these profiles and others? It really helps to analyze and know how much of it can you take. You need to sit and clearly think over what you really need from a job and what you are willing to sacrifice in the way of achieving your goal. These decisions are the tough ones to make.

When you have found the answer to these questions, there are other steps to make a decision what profession will suit you best based on what you love and what you are willing to sacrifice.

Write Down Your Skills

Starting a new career will be easier of you identify and focus on skills that you possess. Take some time and carefully introspect and write down your skills. Identify which set of skills you’d like you career path to proceed. There may be many professions that will match your set of skills, so select from those the most favorable one.

Do Your Research 

Learn about which skills or education you will need to switch to your desired career. Search for what kinds of jobs are available to you that match your skills. Analyze the salaries paid in those profiles and the kind of work done, analyze the amount of stress and pressure in those jobs and whether you will be able to handle that pressure or not. In short think carefully by analyzing the opportunities and sacrifices you’ll have to make in the profession of your choice and whether you are willing to make such a sacrifice.

Explore and Expand your Network

In the current market scenario, knowing the right person is the master key for professional doors. Those who know are the first ones to be your advocates when it comes to referring you to someone for work. Try to find out from your friends, relatives etc for references or possible job opportunities that match your skills. Try to expand your network by contacting and developing trusting professional relationship with people already in the profession.

Consider the following quote by Joseph Campbell:

When you follow your bliss… doors will open where you would not have thought there would be doors, and where there wouldn’t be a door for anyone else.”

There is no right or wrong career rather it is your choices, your preferences, your skills that make the difference. There are many professionals who are not happy or regret the career choices they have made. They wish if they get a chance, they would go back in time and change their careers. But there are somethings that once lost cannot come back and ‘lost opportunity and lost time’, are among them. Discovering who you truly are and what do you want to do in your life, is the first step to making a choice of a bright career.

The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential… these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.
                                                                                                          – Confucius