If an informal survey about career choices was being taken, chances are most people would answer that the words “career” and “choice” have little business being placed in the same sentence. Too often, people find themselves working where they must, rather than where they would like. Perhaps it all begins with the choosing of a college major. This is a choice often made when the individual is quite young, and once a few semesters or quarters of relevant classes are complete, it can easily feel as though this choice is set in stone, instead of being something that can be altered.
Other times people do not have the option of attending college. They enter the workforce directly out of high school, and with only the minimum of required education, they are forced to take on menial jobs, from which it is difficult to work up to better positions. Advancement comes only after long years of toil, but still the individual with no college education will generally not be able to earn salaries that are competitive with their college-educated counterparts.
Though most people do not take the time to notice it, they actually have more career choices available to them than they imagine. As in most choices, there will be a necessary trade off. The highly paid executive, who finds little satisfaction in her work, may need to sacrifice her attractive paycheck in order to work in a more fulfilling role. The adult worker without a college education may have to give up some time with his family in order to attend college courses at night in search of a more remunerative career.
Other career choices involve less sacrifice. With diligence and a great deal of research, some workers may find that they are largely qualified to take on a different role that would bring them greater satisfaction. Sometimes a change of venue is all that is required. Working at a law firm that takes on a majority of pro bono cases generally has a much different atmosphere than one that represents large corporations in business litigation.
The essence is that there are more choices out there than may immediately meet the eye. However, they are extremely unlikely to simply fall into a person’s lap. The individual considering beginning a career, or switching to a different career focus, must weigh the pros and cons of each available option. Working at a pro bono law firm may bring personal fulfillment and a sense of being able to make a difference in the lives of others, but the pay is likely to be small. The corporate law firm will pay well, but leave the individual trapped working on cases where powerful executives are arguing over money. In other words, there are positive and negative aspects inherent in all choices and each individual must decide for themselves which aspects they value most.
Career choices are more common than most people realize. However, they must be on the lookout for them and, in many cases, they must work to create the opportunities for themselves by seeking more education or sacrificing a lucrative paycheck. Although any choice will involve both positive and negative factors, the individual who sincerely reflects on such aspects will generally find themselves to be satisfied with the choices they have made.