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Show me the money (and lifestyle)!

Discover what kinds of rewards are on offer in the industry you're interested in

It can be tricky getting your career to match up neatly with your lifestyle and financial requirements. Here are some tips on how to go about it.

When evaluating what career path is right for you, it's vital to determine if the job you're pursuing will provide the lifestyle you aspire to and the remuneration you dream of.

The lifestyle test

If your job isn't allowing you to enjoy the kind of lifestyle you want, you'll inevitably end up unhappy. Here are two important questions to ask before deciding on a career (or a career change):

1. What kind of commitment is involved?

If you hate shift work, chances are you're not going to enjoy working as a police officer. If spending lots of time with your friends and family is important to you, you'll end up miserable working in an industry such as adverting, where lots of unpaid overtime is the norm. And if you want to travel the world, you may want to consider going into a field such as hospitality, where it's easy to drop in and out of work in a variety of different countries.

2. How does this career fit me?

If you're the quiet type, you may not be happy in a job that requires a lot of human interaction, such as sales. If you're the independent type, you may wish to go into an industry that offers lots of scope for becoming self-employed. If you hunger for adventure, you'll probably want to join the armed forces rather than become an accountant.

The budget test

With a bit of research, you should be able to discover what kinds of rewards are on offer in the industry you're interested in and whether you'll be satisfied with them. For example, if you train to be a plumber, you'll earn very little during your apprenticeship but may be willing to endure that so you can start your own business and potentially generate a substantial income later on.

If you take the time to think carefully about what you want a career to deliver in terms of lifestyle and financial compensation, you're unlikely to end up in a job that's wrong for you.