Plotting Your Career Path: Three Key Factors For Success

Plotting Your Career

There are three key factors to consider when plotting your career:

  • First, will you enjoy the work? No, work is not Disneyland. Nearly all work has tradeoffs. Nonetheless, if the job is a total mismatch for your talents, interests, or temperament, you will be miserable.
  • Second, do you actually like the institution and the people working there? What are the values that animate the institution and staff? You will be dramatically shaped by where you work. So think through if you want to become like the people working there.
  • Third, what is the return on your time for this career? We should all think in terms of maximizing the return on our time and effort. There is a caveat here, however. Related to point one above, if you pursue a career only for the money that you truly hate, you will waste huge chunks of your life. If you then have to reroute your career, you will lose valuable time.

What About Outsourcing?

Those are the three key variables. I suggest one other factor to consider, however. Are the skills you are developing vulnerable to technological change and outsourcing? If so, be thoughtful and trim your sails accordingly.