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How To Identify Your Work Values

DZone's Guide to

How To Identify Your Work Values

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Before you invest significant amounts of time and money in an education, you should first be sure that you have chosen a field that you love.  Once school is done, you could spend decades in a certain job, and without a love for the field, you could be dissatisfied for the rest of your life.  Unfortunately, it’s difficult to get enough practical experience before choosing your field of study.  With a little bit of exploration and research, you can determine which fields you are most likely to enjoy.  From medicine to plumbing to business administration, there is a place for every individual to fit in.

What are Your Passions?

When choosing a school or program, many students mistakenly think that the most important part of a job is bringing home a paycheck.  Yes, money is important to support a family and enjoy life, but it’s not the only thing to consider when choosing a career.

The best jobs combine something you are passionate about with a good salary.  You may be forced to give up a large paycheck for a more satisfying job, but it’s not something you are likely to regret.  Working at a job you hate can take a toll on your mental and physical health, your personal relationships and your ability to get ahead at work.

What Comes Naturally?

You might be passionate about accounting, but if math doesn’t come naturally to you, you might want to choose a career that fits in more with your natural abilities.  By the time you apply for college, you should be fairly aware of what your natural talents and abilities are.  If you are still coming up blank, try a school program finder.  When I attended medical assistant school at the CSI Now Elgin campus, I was delighted to learn of the different programs offered through their career center. 

Once you’ve determined your natural strengths, research potential careers and how your skills fit into those industries.  You may also benefit from discussing different careers with a counselor before making your final choice.

Do You Want to Work with People?

Some students enjoy interacting with people on a regular basis while others would prefer to be behind a computer or desk all day.  If you struggle in social situations, choose a career that allows you to be more introverted, such as computer programming.  If you thrive on interacting with people, attending a medical assistant school may place you in a position for the ideal job.

How do You Plan to Balance Your Lifestyle?

Some jobs require more of a time investment.  There are jobs that require you to commit long days during the first few years, but may pay off in the long run.  Many students choose teaching as a career because the schedule allows for several months off during the year, but they take a hit in their paycheck.  If you plan to have a family and children, you may want to choose a career that allows for fewer hours and a more flexible schedule.

No matter what you choose now, remember that your decision isn’t set in stone.  Many students choose to change their course of study after several classes, and there is no sense in committing to a career that makes you unhappy when there are thousands of degrees and certifications available.

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