New Year's Resolutions: Finding a Direction

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When new year’s rolls around, you’ll probably be looking to your future. What does that future hold? Maybe you’re young, and trying to pick your education, and the career that goes with it. It’s a question you shouldn’t rush to find an answer for, but it makes for a good new year’s resolution. Centennial College can help you get started with the answer, thanks to a feature called myCareer Guide, a questionnaire that can point you in the direction of a career that suits you. From there, it’s a matter of picking a program from our offerings. But before you make that choice, it’s important to pick a career that suits you, and that’s a bit broader than just “What are you good at?” Based on my own experiences, here’s some life factors you should consider when you’re picking that career.

What makes you happy

There tends to be a backlash against this, with many saying job prospects and money are important, but if you pick a career you don’t like simply because it pays well, that can be just as bad. Your personal well-being is just as important as your economic well-being, and frankly, can wind up being tied to it. If you’re not happy at your work, you won’t perform as well, and won’t advance in your career. There’s a practical aspect to choosing a path you like: You’ll do better at it, advance faster, and earn more financial stability. You can start by taking a look at your interests, and seeing which of them can be turned into jobs. Or, you can tie it to your skills, and find something you’re naturally talented at. Enjoying something because you’re good at it can also result in career happiness, and the fact that you have that skill means you probably like it.

What pays

“Money doesn’t buy happiness” is only a partial truth. Money does buy stability and security, and peace of mind along with it. You’ll always need food on your table and a roof over your head, after all. So while it’s not the be-all, end-all of career choice, you should have an honest look at what the careers you’re thinking of earn on average, and decide if that’s a pay scale you’re comfortable living with it. The Government of Canada includes research on a number of professions, as does PayScale.com (in Canadian dollars, no less). So, while it’s not the only thing that should inform your career choices, it’s certainly something to think about.

Who’s hiring

This one’s a bit trickier, as the answer changes over time, but it’s a good idea to pick a profession that both has a good job market and will be expanding or staying stable in the future. So, if you have your heart set on something, do some research and figure out what the climate for getting hired is really like. If it’s a field that’s shrinking, or is just extremely competitive to get into, you may have to take an honest look at whether or not you want to try your hand at it.

Finding a balance

There’s no one career path that satisfies all of these qualities, so on a broader level, it’s important to decide what your priorities are, and what kind of balance of happiness, money, stability and other factors you’re looking for. Maybe a job isn’t the most exciting thing, but it pays well and has expansive job prospects. Or maybe it’s a small, competitive market, but it’s something you’re very passionate about, and you’re willing to risk a bit of financial stability to make it happen. There’s no right answer, and to figure it out, you need to decide on what’s important for you. The holiday break is the perfect time to make this analysis, and go into the new year with a plan to make that career happen. One thing’s for sure: Centennial College can help you earn that career.

By Anthony Geremia

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