Career Choice For Young Adults

A new career, a bright start and the hopes of doing something that will be a part of an amazing growth story is what any 18 -year-old dreams of. Be it applying to colleges or simply seeking a job that seems like a dream come true.  But before you commence or decide upon a career, there are some pros and cons that you should weight out. Doing so at an early stage would mean that you can put in more time, energy and effort in to something more concrete or something that is like to develop into a fruitful future. If you want to succeed in life, then it is vital that you also make decisions based on rationality, practicality, your competencies and of course considering volatility of jobs in the coming future.

Remember that as you set out to choose a career path or set up a vision for life, education plays a crucial role here. So you have to ensure that the subject or the degree you are pursuing in college is going to bring you closer to your goals. When choosing a degree, here are 4 things that you must keep in mind to ensure that you are coming closer to your career path.

Alternatives- What are the alternative careers you can make with a particular degree. If the dream job you landed is not really that great, then will your degree help you in getting an alternative career that is more lucrative?

Consequences- After narrowing down your choices, the next big step would be weighing the pros and cons of your degree because eventually this will be crucial in weighing the pros and cons of your career.

Information- Make sure that you have all the information needed for choosing a degree that helps in getting your viable career path.

Plan- Without a plan, education is not going to take you far. So plan out the different steps you want to implement that bring you closer to your goal. Internships or summer interning is a great way to measure the pros and cons of a prospective career.

When considering any job, you measure out pros and cons on the basis of multiple factors and not just one. Here is a list of things that you must evaluate in the process-


The People

When weighing your pros and cons, there is nothing more important than the people you choose to work with or the people you are working with i.e. colleagues and peers. Remember that a good team is all about cohesion and if you are not happy with the people you are working for, there is really not much prospect out there for you. It is the people at work who become your good friends in life and who are there to bail you out of situations. It is this cohesive team of co-workers, bosses and eventually even those who work under you that makes a difference.

Some companies may ask personal questions as well as professional ones. If they do, then you can understand that they care about personal life of the employee too. Remember if they take ages to call you back or just confirm your job within a 20-minute span. In both cases, cons add up to more. Remember 1-2 days or a week is the ideal time needed to plan and work out if an employee is worth hiring. Anything beyond that and this is not really going to be the company you like.

The Environment

Money is important but there are tons of other things that you want to weigh for long-term goals, especially if you are one of those people who likes to grow with the company. For most 18 year olds, the environment does matter because it is here that you would be given your first exposure to the professional world. So first, think about the type of environment they have - be it a huge corporation, an agency, a non-profit, or a startup. Remember that you can only thrive in the right kind of environment and sink in a bad one. So basically when you enter an office or workplace very, what kind of vibes do you get? The environment really matters here because it brings out your core competencies as an individual. So think of this that someone who is fond of structure and competition would want a fast-paced environment, which is more of the new age.

The Benefits

When you are kick-starting a career at the age of 18, money should be one of the primary things on your mind. But definitely not the first! Materialistic gains do matter and so that cannot be ignored, but other pros and cons are more likely to matter when you are considering a bright and optimistic future combined with the blend of success. Benefits and perks that you get from a company are not restricted to just finances. You need to think of other benefits – health and dental insurance, retirement, and flexible spending plans. At the end of the year, what’s your bonus going to be like. With a start-up you might get the flexibility of working from home, enjoying some benefits like Happy Fridays or getting home earlier. On the other hand, an established company can be a little stringent on these aspects. So on the whole, it is you who should decide what are the benefits that you seek and choose a career path that supports the same.

Stability

A crucial aspect of choosing any kind of career would be the stability you get out of it. True that when you are 18 there are many more years ahead to worry about stability. Right now you are just looking for some experiments – or may be not. A start-up cannot be very rewarding initially but they could have the prospect of a bright and happy future. In the same way, there are a lot established companies that might be doing great now, but will they be able to acclimatize to the demands of the future. With technology changing paces at the blink of an eyelid, there is a need to keep growing and thriving. And being too stable might not really be your mantra now. So think about walking away from a hazardous environment and a job that could be gone within a year. Sure you would have a lot of options at a younger age but remember that job hopping too much would reflect badly on a resume.

The Money

Finally – you must be wondering what is this all about. The truth is that money is one of the most vital things that people consider when looking for a job. But that is not really the right approach. Think of it this way – a company offers you 25% lower package – but it is a start-up that has the potential to give a turnover of millions in the coming years. A place where you can pursue your passion, get amazing perks and benefits and enjoy something that you really do. On the other hand a company that is already established – say an MNC where you get a whole lot of money, but don’t like the people you work with or have to deal with strenuous working hours, leaving you no room on the weekends too. Happiness is not something that money can buy so would you be able to compromise on a perfectly good and secure future for the sake of money. That surely is a personal call but you should remember to think about the pros and cons associated with the above factors that matter more than just your monthly paycheck.

Instincts

Remember that instinct you have at the back of your mind that tells you ‘take the umbrella today’. But the mind goes like it is sunny what do we need an umbrella for”? And a few hours later as you are getting soaked running from one class to the other at your university, your curse yourself for not going by your instincts. Having said that, the same principle applies when it comes to measuring the pros and cons of a career path. No matter how much you go into the depth of things and do your research and analysis, don’t let go of your instincts. At the end of it, you will realize that perhaps it is one of the best bets you made. So ask yourself, did it feel right when you walked into the office. Or did you start feeling something really negative.

Company size

According to Freud, size is something that people always obsess about and this applies to any kind of larger corporation. And though it is tempting to get into this huge crowd, do yourself a favor by asking will your talent get lost here? Remember that there are challenges and opportunities all around you. A company that has hundreds of employees would also mean newer challenges, more stability and also higher growth chances. But it also means more of politics, risks of losing jobs to cut costs, etc. On the other hand a smaller company or a start-up means you grow with the company and don’t get lost in the crowd. It means more of responsibility and opportunity to grow intellectually and career wise. Cons here could mean lower wages, risks of instability, etc. Again, a call that you can sensibly take post college.

So these are some of the pros and cons that you must weigh before choosing a lucrative career path. And if somewhere you seem to be stuck for choices, ask yourself these questions and make a list. This action plan will help you to rationalize and get more sense out of taking up a career or avoiding the same-

Are you taking a good job or just avoiding a bad one?

You have 2 offers only and though both seem to be quite terrible you are choosing the best amongst the worst. Not a good idea. You are young, you have time in hand so don’t just rush into any crazy job that you are getting. It would be a big mistake to pick a career path on this note. It would mean that you are looking forward to making an early exit. But the problem here is that you will take the next worst offer available and before you know – this becomes a vicious cycle. So after weighing the pros and cons if the job doesn’t seem right, do wait it out.

Did you really weigh the pros and cons?

Often you try to cheat yourself into weighing the pros and cons and tilting the scales in the favor of something that you really don’t want. Flattered as you are, remember that you should accentuate the positives of the people who are trying to recruit you. The first instinct of going by the money or getting lured is a mistake. So because you are getting a heftier pay package, your pros suddenly make a drastic tilt. Don’t just do this because the grass always seems green on the other side. Do your homework and research before rushing into such decisions. Finally the culture, financial stability and leadership opportunities should be matter.

Paid for peanuts

Okay, so you are measuring the pros and cons and except money, everything seems to be in favor of this job. So you decide to work for peanuts. Well that is also something that won’t take you a long way. You eventually want a career that gives you more pros but not at the cost of you not eating out or living in a shoddy studio apartment because you are underpaid. Again, if you start with a job that underpays, your prospects of getting a big hike at the next one is negligible. So you keep starting low. Negotiate a workable salary that is feasible for you too.

Take a look at the whole package


The entire compensation package is something that you should evaluate sensibly and not just what comes to you at the end of the month. So work on a package where you are happy with a decent pay and something that helps you to maintain a good work-life balance.

Don’t let fear drive your decision?

Your peers and classmates are getting bombed with job offers and they have already made their choices. You are still reading through the offer letters every night, making a list that measures pros and cons – undecided yet. Don’t let this fear or peer pressure get to you. What happens here is that you make random and impulsive decisions here instead of taking sensible ones. In the long run, you will be the loser here because you are just thinking of the comfort of the status quo and choosing not to lose rather than planning to win!

The bottom line is that you can always keep changing jobs or do job-hopping. But you would eventually have to put a stop somewhere. Making a smarter decision now would mean that you have a better chance at thriving in the nearer future. Working out these pros and cons is going to be a game-changer for you not just now when you take a good job after 18 or post your degree – but also later on in life.
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