Many successful people talk about passion when they share their insights through interviews, public speeches and keynote addresses.
For all practical purposes, you should choose a career that you are passionate about. You should love your work. That is the only way to keep doing something for an entire lifetime without being disillusioned.
However, there is another pragmatic issue that should be discussed. Is everyone truly passionate about something or the other? Does passion guarantee deftness or eventual success? Can any passion be turned into a financially rewarding career?
These are tough questions.
An aspiring athlete may not become the best or even among the finest. Does pursuing a career one cannot excel in make sense simply because the passion checkbox is ticked?
Many successful industrialists, business owners, corporate honchos and self-employed professionals have switched careers in their lifetimes. Were they not passionate about something they did before or they developed a new interest over time?
The Fundamental Reality of Pursuing a Career
Career is an occupation. It should have longevity and financial rewards.
There should be enough scope for progress. If a particular occupation does not have longevity, scope for progress and expected financial rewards, then it cannot be a worthwhile career.
Education or training, skills and passion are significant but these cannot be prioritized at the cost of monetary rewards or financial security.
What is Financial Security?
We cannot talk about right career choices without defining financial security.
I may have a certain definition of financial security. It may not be the same as yours.
A person may define financial security as having a stable job and a fair remuneration so one can pay their bills.
Another person may define financial security as not being compelled to live from paycheck to paycheck.
Most people consider financial security to be a viable job for the foreseeable future, paying enough to have enough cash at hand so one can spend without worrying much and acquire some assets in due course of time.
A few people understand financial security as getting rich. Being rich or amassing a fortune is not basic financial security. It is about excelling in a profession and living a life that dreams are made of.
Career Options are an Outcome of the Times
The times we live in determines the range of career options.
Once upon a time, we had lectors, pinsetters, human computers who would do basic calculations and computations, milkmen, cattle drivers, knocker-uppers who would wake people up in the morning so they could report to their work, ice cutters, airplane listeners, rat catchers, lamplighters, log drivers, switchboard operators, resurrectionists, chimney sweepers, hemp dressers, daguerreotypists, gandy dancers, leech collectors, town criers and nomenclators among others.
We do not hear about these careers or occupations any more. They are extinct.
Likewise, many jobs that are available today will become obsolete. Some of them are increasingly becoming rare. Not many are even considering such jobs or career options.
It is not just the availability of a job or relevance of an occupation that should influence your choice of career. The career has to be sustainable and it should provide you some form of financial security.
Career Options at Risk Today
Technology is changing the world faster than expected and in ways not many of us have envisioned. Many jobs are becoming redundant and there shall come a time very soon when such careers will no longer exist.
Those who study industry trends and research about the realities of different professions are expecting insurance underwriters, claims representatives, bank representatives and tellers, financial analysts and similar professions to become obsolete in the next few years.
If technology leapfrogs the way it has been evolving in recent years, then there will be fewer opportunities for construction workers, inventory managers, farmers, taxi drivers, manufacturing workers, journalists and movie stars.
You might wonder how farmers, journalists and movie stars can become redundant or obsolete. All you have to do is consider the potential technological advancements.
Artificial intelligence has already become a reality. Robotics has become an integral part of many industries and it is likely to be introduced in others. Farms can be efficiently managed using automation, robotics and artificial intelligence. Journalists may struggle as artificial intelligence takes over the job of writing, reporting and analyzing. Verge published a report on this development.
You can read it at theverge. Movie stars too may find it difficult to sustain their omnipotence. Actors are being made to look younger. Deceased actors are being digitally recreated for popular movie franchises.
Stable Career Options in the 21st Century
There is light and darkness, fire and ice so it is natural for obsolete careers to make way for new and rewarding ones. There are many stable career options available for students and those who intend to make a switch.
You could become a database administrator and earn more than eighty thousand a year. The unemployment rate in this niche is less than one percent. There are thousands of job openings right now.
Patrol officers may not earn as much as database administrators but their jobs are secured for now. Job security is a precursor to financial stability.
Mathematicians earn over a hundred thousand and the unemployment rate is among the lowest. It is fair to say that if you become a mathematician and a good one, then you will always have a job and you will have financial security.
Actuaries, environmental engineers, chiropractors, statisticians, nurses and midwives, anesthetists and other healthcare practitioners including physicians, surgeons, pediatricians, gynecologists, obstetricians, counselors and therapists have a stable future.
Network architects have lucrative career opportunities. Sonographers and radiologists, dentists and orthodontists are also poised for rewarding careers with financial security.
As you might realize, these careers require years of education and training. You do not have to be the best network architect or dentist in the country to attain financial security.
If you are good at your job and remain committed, you can amass a fortune in due course of time. None of these stable career options shall become redundant in the foreseeable future.
Promising Career Options in the 21st Century
As technology evolves and changes our world further, all major industries will undergo major transformations and new jobs will be created. Some of these jobs already exist but they are not as prevalent as they can become.
One promising career option right now is becoming a technician in the renewable energy industry, including solar and wind.
Software developers are in demand and will be in the future. Data analysts, digital content specialists, information security analysts, computer systems analysts, biomedical engineers, mechanical engineers, electronics engineers and blockchain developers have a plethora of jobs.
There is a growing need for digital rehab counselors, drone operators, smart building technicians, three dimension printing specialists, augmented reality developers, personal privacy advisors, personal brand managers, robotics service technicians, remote healthcare engineers, urban agriculturalists, nanotech engineers, biomech technicians, genetic engineers, tech ethicists, virtual reality designers, synthetic biology engineers and geo-engineers.
Potential New Career Opportunities of the Century
It is not possible to foresee or predict everything. No one knew social media will become this massive industry and not just a virtual platform. Social media has changed the very nature of communication.
It has transformed advertising, marketing, branding and sales. It has also changed customer service. Social media has changed politics. It is constantly altering the way different industries and businesses operated.
In the near future, we may have fascinating career options such as organizational disrupter, personal education guide, customized body part manufacturer, brain implant specialist, microbiome manager, pharmaceutical artisan, urban security coordinator, memorializer, hyper-intelligent transportation engineer, cyborg designer, holographic or robotic avatar designer, space tourism guide, space physician, revivalist of extinct species, android relationship manager or counselor and mind transfer specialist.
Biomedical advancements, self-improving machines that become smarter over time, human-like robots, nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, advanced genomics, augmented realty and the larger fusion of machine and man will create new industries.
Such industries are expected to create high paying jobs. These jobs will also be more demanding and technical acumen shall be the key. Pursuing a career in such fields also means you must periodically upgrade your skills and improve your knowledge.
How to Choose a Career for Financial Security
Make a list of skills you possess and the expertise you can develop on the basis of your education, training and practice. Find relevant industries and jobs you will qualify for.
Consider the employment or unemployment rate for such a job. Research a little and find out more about the future prospects of such a career.
All the while, you must bear in mind the importance of interest or passion. You should not choose a career solely for financial security if there is a risk of burnout.
It is not advisable to rely only on advice from family and friends while choosing a career to pursue, unless someone you know has firsthand understanding of what they are recommending.
Any career should be a personal choice and it should always be an informed one.