Career Key

Author: Career Key's President and CEO, Juliet Wehr Jones, GCDF, J.D.

Friday, September 19, 2008

3 Tips for Making Career Choices in Volatile Times

A few weeks ago, I wrote in a post that we should “Stop Reading the News,” advice I continue to stand by as emotional, irrational swings take their toll on Wall Street. What are we going to do, take our money out of investments and banks and stick the cash in a mattress? Of course not, although the thought has crossed my mind…

What does all this financial turmoil mean to the person trying to decide what their next career is?
  1. Keep a clear head. Continue to think long-term, no matter what roller coaster financial markets are on. The need for nurses, occupational therapists, and schoolteachers is not going to evaporate even if half our banks melt down. Education and training costs are a long term investment, whether that means you’re in a career 5 years or 25 years.
  2. If you’re interested in an industry that enjoys wild ups and downs, make sure you're well-informed and adaptable to change. For example, would-be geoscientists (energy, oil/gas/mining) and financial analysts need accurate career information and comfort with change. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go into these occupations, just know what you’re getting into. So don’t be blinded by the current proliferation of hiring bonuses in the energy industry. It’s a cycle and if you’re lucky, you’ll get out of school at a high and not a low – but don’t plan on it.
  3. With great rewards, come great risks. High-paying careers likely carry high risks and low job security. Remember the unbelievable Wall Street bonuses reported for the last several years for investment bank employees? Often where there are soaring financial successes, there can be seriously low lows. See today’s headlines and a blogosphere full of advice for the newly unemployed.
Whether or not you believe “the sky is falling” right now, the reality is that you are making a career choice for the long term. You want to make a reasoned, good decision, not a decision based on panicky, volatile information. Which seems to be what is dominating the news these days - so turn it off.

1 comment:

George Puzo said...

Thank you very much, I have recently had trouble in finding advice on how to effectively determine your career choice. But I feel much more confident after finding your post.