During your lifetime, there will be serious and not-so-serious career choices that you have to make. For the not-so-serious ones, you can afford to be a little bit more flexible, if not downright flippant. But before you embark on a serious career choice, there are a number of different aspects of your life that you should put in order.
Five examples of these items that should be on your pre-career checklist include getting your troubles in order, setting yourself a realistic budget, defining your long-term goals, discussing your potential career with friends and family, and thinking about educational opportunities that this career path will provide.
Get Your Troubles In Order
Everyone has troubles and stress, but some are more pervasive than others. In some cases, if you’re already dealing with addiction, you may want to handle all of the details of your efforts and successes before starting on a definitive career path. The last thing you want is to get blacklisted from your industry because your problems with drugs or alcohol become apparent early in your professional efforts.
Set a Budget
Before you jump into a new career, set yourself a life budget. And do a before and after of what it will mean to your income and expenses if this new career does come to fruition. Everyone wants to move up financially, but if you’re changing careers to be happier, and your new job will allow you to make less money, knowing that you’re going to have to tighten your belt in advance will help you make the right decisions.
Define a Long-Term Goal
Think about why you want to pursue this new career. And then find out how it matches with your long-term goals. If you find that there’s a discrepancy, you’ll be glad that you found this issue before you actually started moving toward a new professional path. By thinking things all the way through, you’ll understand your risks and rewards much earlier than otherwise .
Discuss Possibilities With Friends and Family
Choosing a career path doesn’t necessary mean figuring everything out on your own. The more you discuss your possibilities with friends and family, the broader of a spectrum of experience will be absorbed into your choice. Especially if you have a spouse who wants some input, be sure to include them in every step of your thoughts.
Think About Educational Opportunities
Are you a life-long student? If so, make sure that the career path you’re intending on taking has educational opportunities built in. Sometimes these are even things that your company will pay for as you make your way up the corporate ladder. And you should be able to tell even from the outside if a particular role in a business possesses this potential.