For the laborer is worthy of his wages. – Luke 10:7
From a sheer economic standpoint, the high school graduate makes the greatest decision of his/her life when s/he chooses a career or work, a profession or a job. Of course there’s a lot more prestige in a profession, and most parents think that’s the way their children should go. But there are other things to consider.
The World Needs Both
The world not only needs both professionals and laborers, it needs more laborers than professionals. Since needs and opportunities always balance out in the end, it should work out—but it doesn’t. Because of bad decisions made by our leaders, the economy suffers, and individuals often wind up in the wrong job.
Trust me, you will be miserable in the wrong job. With careful planning and preparation, you can avoid that unhappy situation.
If I Knew Then
The trouble is when you’re a young person just entering the labor market, you don’t have a clue…or a sense of urgency. I know I didn’t. I didn’t know what I wanted to do, nor a good idea of what was available. However long it takes, you won’t go anywhere until you’ve answered those two questions. I was over 30 before I got my dream job. I’m working on my second dream job now, and I won’t say how old I am.
One thing is certain. Your dream job won’t knock you over the head. It will take time, as much time as you expect doubled—tripled. Your dream job will require a lot more work than you expect, too. And everyone will be after your dream job. There’ll be more competition than you imagine.
Regardless of all that, you should start looking for your dream job as soon as you receive your diploma. You may have to work at a lot of other jobs before finding what you want. Most people do. And while you’re looking for your dream job, you have to make a living.
Follow Your Heart
Maybe college, a profession, doesn’t appeal to you. There are plenty of alternatives. Unfortunately, high school may not have prepared you for a skill, but you can still prepare for the work you’d enjoy, and in the long run, technical jobs often pay more than professions. Like the plumber above, or these. But how do you go about it in today’s job market?
Since at least as far back as the middle ages, skills were taught through apprenticeships. The master craftsman took in one or two young men and taught them job by job. Even today, there’s no better way to learn a skill than the hands-on approach.
Big and small businesses may offer on-the-job training. Competition will be fierce, but research the market anyway. If you’re willing to move, extend your search nation-wide. Even with the high unemployment numbers today, there are locations where jobs go begging.
Local governments may offer programs for municipal jobs like firemen, policemen, and other first responders. Hospitals and clinics are always looking for employees in the medical field.
It’s likely high level skills will require technical school training, but the tuition is usually much lower than at colleges, the school terms shorter, and financial aid more accessible.
Ask and It Shall be Given
If you are clueless about how to get your foot in the door of that high-paying dream job, ask someone holding the job. Research the possibilities and be prepared for opportunities. Everyone who seeks diligently will find.
It’s so much easier to live richly if you start out right. The first step is finding a job you love that will bring in enough income on the right side of the budget to pay for all the expenses on the left.
If college is still in your plans, check out these sites.
Next week we explore Plan B.