It's a Money Thing®
“When I grow up, I want to be a ___________.”
Depending on who you are, filling in the blank above can be an exciting, troubling or outright confusing task. If you happen to be a kindergartner, filling in the blank is awesome, because at that age, dinosaur and superhero are both perfectly viable career options. If you happen to be in high school, filling in the blank can be motivating because it takes all your talents and interests and captures them in a single goal that you can pursue through high school and past graduation day. If you happen to be an adult, filling in the blank can be a little bit terrifying because that could mean you’re now a grown-up (regardless of whether or not you feel like one) and here you are, still secretly looking for ideas.
Whatever job you choose, your income will be influenced by four interconnected factors. These include:
Be mindful of your goals—any job that helps you achieve them is a benchmark for success.
Remember that interests and skills change and develop over time, and therefore the need to make and reassess your career goals will continue through high school, college and beyond.
Your career is important, and it deserves some serious reflection time.
Your income is heavily influenced by what you actually do for work.
Even if you don't consider yourself career-driven, your choice of vocation will inevitably influence your lifestyle.
Income is only part of the equation - your career also has the ability to determine where you end up living, who you end up meeting, your stress level, and the activities you end up having time for.
To help break into a particular industry or field, look into volunteering at industry organizations and events.
This can expand your network and increase your visibility, while also improving your income prospects over time.
Your education level has a large effect on your potential income and can increase your access to opportunities within your chosen field.
Generally speaking, the more education that you obtain, the higher your income potential.
However, earning post-secondary degree(s) can be a big investment of time and money. You'll need to decide whether it is worth it to you to continue your education.
If you're not ready to commit to extended, formal education, you might consider e-learning opportunities. You can add to your skills by learning at your own speed, all from the comfort of home and on your own schedule.
Your income potential is also linked to your skills.
Your skills will increase based on your education, personal interests, natural talents, and unique experiences.
Examples of skills include:
- Problem Solving
- And more!
If you want to learn new skills, you have to work hard to acquire them. Consider workshops and hands-on seminars to push you forward. And remember, practice makes perfect!
The world is always changing; these changes affect the economy and therefore the job market.
Industries rise and fall with new technologies, natural resource constraints, and local and global policies (and so do incomes).
Think about it: there are successful careers today that did not exist 10 or 20 years ago!
To improve your income prospects, employ curiosity regarding economic trends. Read forward-thinking websites and magazines, and listen to mind-expanding podcasts to help you spot future opportunities.
Keep in mind this final thought: income is only part of what you should consider when deciding on a job. Whatever you decide to be when you grow up, make sure it makes you as happy as being a dinosaur would have made your kindergarten self.
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