August 31, 2011

Finding Your Dream Career

Here I sit.  Thirty-some odd careers that have been researched.  A number of blog posts.  Several different categories of careers (finance, sales, engineering, education, management).  What do I do from here?

I'm going back to the beginning.  Before I looked at any of these careers, I highlighted, my skills, interests, and the importance of money.  To help me narrow down this list to something that I can work with, I'm going to use these components.

First, the skills that I highlighted as being my strongest are that I am a good problem solver and I like working with (or leading) a team.  Second, I expressed an interest in finding a career that will allow me to make a difference by helping people and working as an analyzer and/or planner.  Finally, I highlighted that money is not my main concern, but I do need to account for it.

In addition to these areas, I felt it was important to find a career with a few other characteristics.  With the economy not being incredibly strong, finding a career that will have some growth despite the poor industry will be worthwhile.  In addition, I want to be sure that I can get into the career.  Lastly, I need to feel good about what I am going to do.  I need to feel a passion for the career in my "gut".

So, here is the list of things that I want my next career to have:
  • Problem solving
  • Working with a team
  • Making a difference
  • Analyzing and/or planning
  • A good salary
  • Growth in the field
  • Ability to enter the career
  • The "gut check" factor

From this, I made a table.  The columns were made of the 8 criteria listed above.  The rows were all of the careers that I had a positive reflection on in my blog posts.  In each of the cells (where my rows meet my columns), I assigned a numerical value of 1 to 5.  "1" being a very poor representation and "5" being the best I could hope for.

I went through the whole table assigning values.  For example, Top Executives make $167,280 (higher than any other I found), so where Top Executives met Good Salary, I gave a 5.  I feel that being an Education or Career Counselor would allow me to make a big difference in people's lives.  For the Make a Difference column, I assigned another 5.

After totaling the top 15 careers from my reflection, the top three scoring careers are below:
  1. Management Consultant
  2. Human Resources Manager
  3. Sales Engineer

At first glance, these three seem quite different, but I have a feeling they are more similar than you may thing.  Next, I'm going to dissect these careers a little further to find why each ranked in the top three, and I hope this will show me where I truly want to work.  As always, I'd appreciate any comments you have!  Stay tuned!

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