“I’m trying to choose a major. I just read this article (Washington Post) and I’m feeling really depressed. Another article that I read recently quotes Steve Jobs as saying (at a college commencement ceremony), “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.” So should I choose to major in something I enjoy or pursue the degree that will earn the most money? Help!”
Is this you? After reading the article, I can see the dilemma.
First, have you taken a career assessment survey? If you google ‘career assessment’, there are several to choose from, along with other helpful hints on how to proceed with your choice for a career. Students need to be proactive in their choices on careers and school. It would be a shame, like the article references, to finish a 4 year degree and not have a clue what type of job they can get.
I agree with Steve Jobs to some degree. IF you’re lucky enough to do what you love, to find your passion and be able to work in it, I would consider you truly Blessed. I found mine, but not until my early 40’s.
On the other hand, I can hear my mom saying “A job is just a job. You don’t have to like it; you just have to do it.” And to some degree, she also is correct. A job does not have to define you. A job is what you do to pay the bills and to survive. If you’re lucky enough to at least like it, then all the better. But, now we’re talking about attitude, and if you do your job with a good attitude, no matter what you are doing, it will be easier.
Your parents might be leaning you toward the medical field because most people think this is a stable field and you can always find work, no matter where you live, and it usually pays reasonably well. They just want the best for you. If you could be interested in the medical field, there are tons of jobs – don’t think only nursing – that you could do. Like most fields, there are wide ranges of jobs in all fields.
So, first, you need to figure out what you’re interested in doing. If you decide your passion is in a field that doesn’t pay well, maybe it could be a part time job or turn it into a hobby on the side, while working in a job that can pay the bills. Or, find something IN your passion that does pay well. IE: pet grooming may not pay well, but dog training might. Think outside the box. Also, see if you can job shadow in jobs you think you might like. This can be an eye opener too!
Another site to check: Google ‘reality check’ and your state. This is a short quiz that will help you determine how much money you will need to live on and make some suggestions to careers.
If you would like to learn more about money, you might be interested in my book: Money – Personal Financial Literacy for High School students.
Best of luck!