Choosing your career wisely
A job is loosely defined as work done in exchange for compensation.
Pretty straightforward. You do something for someone and then that someone pays you. Every job has a set of tasks and if you’re good at getting those tasks done you’re good at your job.
Assuming you are currently employed or will be employed in the near future, you’re familiar with how this works. Because everyone needs money, everyone has a job.
Now, everyone also has a career. A career is a collection of jobs that you hold throughout your life.
The path that one’s career path takes varies greatly. Some paths are smooth and planned while others are jagged and seemingly haphazard.
Since they are paths they can only be looked upon with accuracy in hindsight; meaning we can only know how smooth and successful our career paths were when looking back on them.
But that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be planned. The key is in understanding the relationship between jobs and careers. If a job is tasks done in the present and a career is a collection of jobs, then it would make sense to think about your career path in terms of what tasks you can do today in order to get where you want to go in the future.
So imagine your dream career is to manage an insurance company (are there any other dreams 😉). With that as your objective, it’s your responsibility along your career journey to start collecting skills, experiences and connections to lead you to that aspiration. So you may want to intern for a respected executive at a successful firm. Then you may want to get a job at a few different firms specializing in different types of insurance (i.e. commercials vs personal, auto vs life…etc) so that you can obtain a well-rounded view of the industry.
Reading between the lines, thinking this way requires taking a long-term view on your career prospects. Sometimes sacrificing short-term gains for long-term results.
When you take a long-term view and have a career plan, the learnings and experience that you take away from each job start to compound. That’s the way to plan for your career.
That’s our opinion. Here’s a list of 10 quotes from people much smarter and more successful than us that may help you in your quest to choose the right career:
- “Insist on yourself. Never imitate.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
- “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” – Milton Berle
- “The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.” – Steve Jobs
- “If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask what seat! Just get on.” – Sheryl Sandberg
- “If it scares you, it might be a good thing to try.” – Seth Godin
- “The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.” Vince Lombardi
- “Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” Tony Robins
- “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.” –Dr. Seuss
- “The harder you work, the luckier you get.” Gary Player
- “All our dreams can come true – if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney