A degree can’t promise success in your career path, but it can help you make tremendous strides toward achieving it, especially if you truthfully answer the questions below.
Do you have an idea of the goal or goals you want to accomplish?
Having a medical degree does not mean you have to become a doctor; it can encompass others areas, such as research, practice administration or even the pharmaceutical field. Likewise, a business degree does not necessarily mean “9-to-5” hours in an office environment. However, having a goal makes it easier to narrow your choices and direct your focus more fully when you start out on your career path.
Whose goals are they?
Are the goals truly yours, or are you trying to please someone else? Ultimately, you are going to be the one who is working in this career. And, that applies to family-owned businesses, as well as other ones. If you discover that you want to pursue another career path, the sooner you are honest with yourself and everyone involved, the better off you will be.
What do you really want to accomplish?
Do you want to have a career that allows you to live comfortably but still have plenty of leisure time? Or do you want to be the one to make the next big discovery, no matter what field it is in? Only you can answer these questions, or at least ones similar to them that will help you determine your career path.
How disciplined are you?
Do you, or are you willing, to keep going even when things start getting rough? Or do you try to avoid conflict and difficulties? Do you need to become more disciplined? Be honest with yourself when answering these questions. That’s the only way you’re going to be able to make plans and set goals that can be accomplished.
How flexible are you?
You may enter and leave college with a clear goal in mind, but circumstances can happen that will cause you to have to make a complete change. However, you may realize once you are into your new career that this was actually your goal all along. So, be willing to change, if necessary.
Have you done your homework?
Not just your college homework, but do research into your career and those that are, or can be, connected with it. There is no substitute for practical experience, but gaining as much knowledge as possible will certainly be an asset.
Again, this can apply to family businesses as well. You may think there is not one more thing you can learn about running a restaurant or building houses, or whatever it is your family has always done, but changes happen every day.
You may have always had a dream of what you wanted to do with your life. Examine yourself honestly, using the questions in this article and others as a guideline, and you will most likely find that dream becoming a reality.
Elysabeth Teeko is a lover of technology, interior decorating and design. She’s recently started blogging about these interests, and you can follow her on Twitter @elysateek
Brian E. Young is a graphic designer and artist in Baltimore, MD.