Do you want a career for pay, reward, happiness, or fame?

I spotted a couple of threads on The Student Room Forums recently.

While some people offered possible career routes and personal choices, the general answer is simple for either question:

It all depends on the individual.

The highest paid career isn’t necessarily the one which pays top dollar.  And some of us will be better at commanding higher salaries than others, regardless of profession.  The forum contained suggestions of law and investment banking, but it’s dangerous to focus on money as the only reason for a career.  The highest paid career is one which rewards you in life exactly the way you want it.

So we move on to the other question of most rewarding career.  Again it depends on who you are and what kind of ‘reward’ you are looking for.  Perhaps medicine looks good, because you want to help the health of other people.  Maybe teaching puts a smile on your face, shaping the future of younger people.  You may feel a sense of achievement each time you get your name in print, so journalism or writing may be your game.

Questions about the highest paid or the most rewarding jobs don’t have an answer.  They only provide opinions and suggestions.  Of course, the people on the Student Room forums may have asked these questions in order to see how diverse people are…for them, perhaps the most rewarding career would be as a researcher!

Some of you may still be set on money as the focus for a successful and rewarding career.  If so, the Independent offers this short piece about the future of starting salaries, so you have an idea of what to expect:

Eight out of ten highest paid jobs go to those with science-related degrees.  If money is your only priority, I hope you’re either on a science-based course or you’re one committed individual!

As for maintaining happiness in the job, Stu at Improved Lives refers to a City & Guilds study that found Beauticians to be the happiest workers:

So if happiness is your goal, why not become a Beautician?  Or a hairdresser (number 2)?  Or join the armed forces (number 3)?  Are you taken by any of the Top 20 jobs?

I have never been the type of person who likes money.  It’s necessary, sure, but I don’t go in search of the most crazily paid jobs.  I would much rather follow a passion.  That’s why I work in Higher Ed.  I look forward to a long and varied future in it.

You may not have a particular passion yet.  But there’s time for growth.  For now, focus on the priorities that sum you up best as a person.

A common interview question is “Where do you see yourself in five years time?”  It’s a tough answer for many, but that’s all the more reason to seriously consider it.  Even if you don’t have a particular career in mind, where would you genuinely like to be in five years?  Ten?  Twenty?

What priorities will you/do you follow for your future career?  What would make you happy?