There comes a point in everybody's life where you feel like you have to choose between two things: following your heart or following your wallet. Choosing a career is never an easy thing to do. My personal aspirations have ranged from a gymnast doubling as a babysitter, right up to an astronaut – and beyond!
Name a career, and chances are I've aspired to do that at some point during my 18 years of life. Being a fairly creative person myself, I found it very difficult choosing a career that is suited to me. For you fellow arties out there, I know how challenging it can be to trying to find a career you are passionate about, that pays the bills at the same time – a little bit left over too wouldn't hurt. I know I'm the type girl who has her sights set high – when I finish university, I don't plan on stepping outside unless I'm wearing a pair Christian Louboutins, or on a less formal day Jimmy Choos.
So when it came to Jimmy-Choo-sing a degree, I found it extremely difficult picking something that I'm passionate about, that still satisfies my embarrassingly materialistic desires. Why do we have to choose between our hearts and our bank accounts? Well my latest theory is you don't have to. You only have to make the right choice.
TIP ONE: Find something you enjoy and something you're good at
For this step, you're going to have to think long and hard. What is it that you like to do when no ones watching? What is something you could do for hours on end? If you're answer to these two questions is watch TV, then perhaps you need to think a bit harder. Maybe someone has told you you're really good at something, or perhaps you did really well at an assignment in school. Whatever it is, pick something love you! Something that makes your heart sing.
TIP TWO: Make a list of potential careers Once you've found a few things you love to do, find some careers that these skills would transfer into. If you're a bit of a bookworm, law might be right up your alley. If you hit those notes like Mariah, perhaps singing is your muse. If you get a kick out of helping others, medicine might just be your calling. Don't forget to include other careers you've thought about on your list. Why did you want to do these? What attracts you to these? Think about it!
TIP THREE: Research, Research, Research! As fancy as the title "neuropsychologist" sounds, it just might not be for you. Try to find job descriptions of some careers that appeal to you. Important things to look out for are daily duties and responsibilities. Would you be happy doing these tasks everyday for the rest of your life? Don't forget to look into the educational requirements too. Do you need to go to uni or Tafe? How many years of training are required? Do they offer this training in your area, or will you have to pack your bags and go interstate or overseas? Just a few things we all too often forget to think about.
TIP FOUR: Stay away from looking up the pay. I admit it, I'm guilty of looking up job salaries on Google. And I'm sure you are too! We all want to make money right? So what's the harm in looking up the average salary of some potential jobs on Google? Well let me tell you, a lot. I have a friend who is desperate to become an actress, and let me tell you, she would definitely be good at it. The other day she came up to me and said, "I'm really worried Alice, the average earnings for an actress isn't very high." My answer to her – and anybody reading this who is also worried about this problem is that you're not an average person. You have your own talents and abilities. You are something different. So if you're not average, than this salary range clearly doesn't apply to you. That's the way I think about it, and it really makes me feel better. Don't let something as silly as number stop you from fulfilling your dreams.
TIP FIVE: Do it for yourself, not everybody else We all know somebody who is way too pushy, and won't leave us alone. Whether its Great Uncle Len who wants you to be an Engineer when you have a passion for graphic design, or your best friend Bethany who demands you become an accountant when your heart lies in writing. Whatever your case may be, never worry about what other people think, or say. You are the only person who truly knows what is best for you; so don't let other people make decisions for you. If I had a dollar for every time someone rolled their eyes at me when I told them I'm studying a Media degree, I'd be Donald Trump. Do what you love, and love what you do. People can say what they want now, but when you're successful, they'll be singing a different tune.
The biggest point I want to make in this article is that you can achieve anything, when you set your mind to it. I know, I'm just as cliché as the next guy, but I know from experience that you should never let other people or predicted salaries, stop you from doing the thing you love. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter what field your in – if you love your job, and you're good at what you do, you will always make good money out of it. Choose something that you're going to want to do everyday for the rest of your life. I found this nice little quote that I think accompanies this article nicely:
"Imagine there is a bank that credits your account each morning with $86,400. It carries over no balance from day to day. Every evening the bank deletes whatever part of the balance you failed to use during the day. What would you do? Draw out every cent, of course. Each of us has such a bank. Its name is TIME. Every morning, it credits you with 86,400 seconds. Every night it writes off, as lost, whatever of this you have failed to invest to good purpose. It carries over no balance. It allows no overdraft. Each day it opens a new account for you. Each night it burns the remains of the day. If you fail to use the day's deposits, the loss is yours." (SOURCE www.wallis.com/philosophy/thebank.html)
So do me a favour, and spend your time wisely. Do something you love. If you don't, the loss is yours.