There’s definitely something to be said for working backward from the idea of a career. Admittedly, there are always going to be people who suggest that you take what you’re passionate about and move forward from there, but what unfortunately happens to many adults when they do that is they find that the end goal of their passions doesn’t mean their practical goal of money and function.
So, along with the idea of have a professional passion, it’s not a bad idea to first look at where professions end up, and then see which of those most match with your ideals and ideas as well. Consider, for instance, salary, length of school, longevity, family friendliness, and what potential academic counselors are going to say.
Thinking In Terms of Salary
You can want to be an underwater basket weaver because you love the skill set and the people, but how much money does that profession really make? That’s one reason you should start at the end in terms of career choices right there. Once you see how much lawyers make, or how much doctors make, you might reconsider that doing a job that gets better pay might be in your interest.
How Long Will School Take?
Length of schooling is another big factor. You might want to be a rocket scientist, but knowing that you have to go to school for 20 years might dissuade you from that, and rightfully. Having the option of online schools has given people slightly more flexibility when it comes to length of school, but with some professions, there’s just no way around how long you have to have experienced the discipline in question.
And not all jobs last as long as others, either. In extreme cases, think of things like the length of an average MLB player’s career. All that time, effort, and money into something that might last only six years? And you might be good with the money offered from the job, but then you’ll be left wondering what other work you can do.
Checking If It’s Family Friendly
And for those people interesting in raising a family, there are definitely jobs that make more sense than others. If you work as a contractor, or go on tour with an entertainment group, or do one-off, extremely interesting but far traveling group creative efforts, that might be tough on a family with newborns in the mix.
Talking To Academic Counselors
But, some of the best people to talk to about the working backward theory are going to be academic counselors in college. They have a good idea of how to mix your passion with viable jobs and job markets, and so the conversations that you have with them about your professional future are going to be some of the most beneficial.