Posted April 16, 2008 by

Choosing your career Part One: Knowing where you want to be

Going into college without direction is like setting sail in a ship with no rudder or steering mechanisms. You may eventually get to where you intended to go but the odds are very slim and, if you did happen to reach that destination, it is not very likely that your path would have been the most direct route possible. Understanding this point before going off to college gives you the ability to install that necessary direction, effectively putting a rudder on the ship of your career.
By planning and carefully ascertaining what things are important to you in both your entry level job and internships, as well as your long term career goals, you can do much to effectively steer your career path in the direction you want it to go.
Start this process by asking yourself where do I want to be, both in my career and my life, ten, twenty and even thirty years after graduation? By understanding what you want from life, you can plan a career that will coincide with those goals.
For instance, if you are wanting to stay near your hometown and community, you might choose a career that will sufficiently meet your financial obligations and will coincide with specific goals of the area, such as civil engineering or plant management. If you tend more towards the idea of seeing a larger portion of the globe, look towards careers which will allow this freedom of movement and offer opportunities for entry level jobs and internships with globally known companies thus opening the door for relocation as a part of your job.
Additionally, take your personal goals into account. Do you plan to raise a family early in life? Perhaps a career that offers entry level jobs with a good measure of stability and excellent benefits might be better suited to your needs than a higher paid job that requires weeks of time spent away from home. Do you plan to remain free of the encumbrances of family life until you are well settled in your career? Then a more lucrative entry level position that requires vast amounts of dedication and personal input in exchange for higher pay may help you to realize this goal faster or an internship at lower pay may help you to gain valuable work experience and on the job training that will further your career while you are financially able to support yourself without the extra expense of additional family members.
Knowing the answers to these questions gives you a direction for choosing your career but more is needed. In the next post, we will discuss another point that will help you steer your ship of career success in line with your needs.

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