This article was written by an external contributor. Connor Gotto shares some wisdom about how to choose the right industry for you.
University is a time of growth and change. It’s probably your first time away from home and a time to make friends that will last a lifetime. It is (as they say) the best years of your life. But don’t forget, there’s more exciting things to come…
As well as a time of personal growth, it’s also a time of professional development, where you’re expected to find the industry that you’ll be working in for the next 40+ years.
Scary, right?! But it doesn’t need to be. Although you might feel alone, there will be thousands of others with you who feel the same, with absolutely no idea about what to expect next.
So, to help you along the way, here are some key things to consider to help you know whether the industry that you have in mind is truly right for you.
What’s your passion?
First things first, passion is key, and the best indicator as to whether you’re on the right path or not.
However, whether you follow through on you dream career or not can often come down to the opinions of those around you. For example; most family members would be supportive of a choice to become a doctor or a dentist. However, if you want to be an actor or poet, you may be deterred as these professions are not seen as particularly stable to many.
As much as people happily voice their opinions, it’s vital that you have faith in your own convictions. The person that knows you best is you, which means that you are the one that should ultimately make the choice.
Take our advice and try out as many things as you can. There are a whole number of clubs and societies that you can join at university that will not only allow you to try different things out, but also provide you with solid experience to reference when choosing your future career industry.
Be informed, but don’t let others put you off. If it’s your passion and you really believe in it, then go for it! You’ll never know unless you try.
What are you good at?
Passion is one thing, but talent is equally as important. Whilst we are big advocates for following your passions, to succeed you do actually have to be good at it. It sounds harsh, but it’s true.
For example; when it comes to performing I consider myself alongside the likes of Judy Garland and Doris Day, when in reality I can’t hold a note to save my life! And I know that, so I’m not going to become a singer.
Measuring what you’re good at isn’t just a case of school reports and parent’s opinions. It’s a fully rounded thing, a judgement that you get from everyone around you. On paper you may not be a great writer, so professional copywriting may not be for you. You may, however, be great at making people laugh, in which case you could consider TV and comedy work.
Learn to balance fact and opinion and develop an understanding of what you’re good at. It’s not about excelling at everything, it’s about finding your niche.
Where could this lead you?
Another thing to consider when deciding the path that you want to take through life is where you want it to ultimately lead you to. And we’re not just talking about how much dosh you make a month.
Yes, uni is totally about having a good time. But it’s also about making good decisions, and this is one of them! You need to make sure that you’re choosing career that is viable in the future.
So, take a good look at the job market and the ways that it’s progressing. Think about the jobs that people will always need, as well as the jobs of the future. It’s constantly changing, so you don’t want to be left behind. We’d suggest grounding yourself in a discipline that’ll never die out. If you’re personable, friendly and passionate, PR could be a career for you. Similarly, if you master computers and tech, there’ll always be work out there for you.
This is an intricate combination of passion, talent and sustainability – make sure you make the right choice!
What are others saying?
Finally – and we touched on this earlier – it’s vital to consider the opinions of those around you.
Whilst you may think that you know exactly what you want to do, family, friends and peers may have other ideas as to what you’re good at, which could be better suited to your talents and skill sets.
Don’t dismiss them! If it’s coming from people that spend a lot of time with you, they’ll likely know you well and have a good understanding of where your abilities lie.
Just be open! It’s easy to get wrapped up in your own little bubble, but don’t let that cloud your judgement. There’s a whole world out there, and dismissing parts of it will only do you an injustice. Once you leave uni, you’re looking at 40+ years of work, so there’s plenty of time to learn and adapt. Heck, when J.K. Rowling set out to become an English teacher, we doubt that she ever thought she’d end up where she is today.
So, give it good thought, be open to suggestion, and search around until you find the path of life that best suits you!