Getting rid of the "what ifs" when choosing a career

Deciding what you want to do for the rest of your life can be rather scary.

Choosing a career can raise many "what ifs." For example:

  • What will happen if you don't like the career field?
  • What will you do if things change and there's not many jobs in the career field?
  • What if you get an education or training in a career and then decide you don't like the job?

Going to college, deciding on a career, and choosing the right school can be overwhelming. The good news is that if you are thinking about the "what ifs," then that is the first step in addressing some of these important life decisions.

Of course, the first step to addressing those "what ifs" is to find a career field that suits you. In doing this, there are three things to consider:

  1. What you enjoy doing
  2. What you are good at doing
  3. What you can do that will earn a living

Those are not easy questions to answer, and it can be challenging as many career fields are changing.

However, you can start by researching general career fields and not specific jobs. That will give you some flexibility and you will be able to pursue specific jobs under that general career field. For example, if you want to pursue a job in healthcare, you can study the field of medicine and then specialize as you learn more about what type of job specifically interests you.

If you aren't sure yet about the career field that suits you, then you may want to pursue a general studies degree or not declare a major until you have had an opportunity to decide what career is a good fit for you. However, it's important to use this strategy to inform your choices -- not as a way to delay making a decision. After all, you will eventually need to decide on a career and the delay may cost you if you spend more on tuition or delay career opportunities.

By giving yourself some flexibility while still focusing on a career field, you can control your fears and prepare for a future career with confidence.