Throughout your career and especially as you’re starting, you will be presented with career advice from a wide variety of individuals. Your parents will offer you their opinions, as will your teachers, friends, and career professionals. You will find career advice on websites such as ours as well and all over the web. In short, you won’t lack opinions from people telling you what to do and which direction to take your professional life. Truly, my thoughts in this article are but my humble opinions and as such, some may not agree. But through Money-Smart Millennials, my goal is to provide you information that will help you move forward financially and in your professional life. Should you take heed of the advice given to you? There isn’t always an easy answer, because while some piece of advice will benefit your life, other opinions are simply that and following them may hurt you.
#1: Work for love and not for money
Life is short, so you don’t want to be stuck in a job that pays well but offers you no enjoyment. However, there must be a happy medium. Don’t be tempted to work in a job that benefits your passion but has little monetary reward because your long-term financial situation might be in jeopardy. You need to think about paying the bills, looking after your family, and making savings to go towards your retirement. So, follow your passions by all means. But do what needs to be done to secure your financial future within your chosen field. For instance, some millennials may be after a music dream and be willing to struggle after this goal. However, it could be worth working at attaining career-boosting qualifications, such as attending music engineering schools or art schools if any of these relate to your passions, and do anything else that will elevate you in a career within your preferred industry. You should then have the opportunity to do what you love and hopefully also make enough income, instead of doing what you love with no long-term financial benefits.
#2: It’s too late to change your career
Is it? This is a sensitive topic as you will agree. Some people say that no matter how old you are, and no matter how far you have risen in your career, you need to know that it’s never too late to change your career path. I said it is a sensitive topic because as you age, this may be more difficult to do. However, for you millennial, I very much believe that you can still make a change. People are doing it, often because they have realized they have no future on the path they are on, or because they have made a wrong decision early on in life. If you want to change your career, then do so. If you’re unhappy with where you are, and there is little hope of a better future if you continue on the same path, then think about the career path you want to be on, and then pursue it. Look for the relevant training program and if necessary then look for entry-level jobs that will still pay the bills. However, consider the possible change in your current income before you make any hasty decisions.
#3: Quit your job if you hate it
You can’t just ‘quit your job.’ If you have a mortgage to pay, a family to look after, and other financial commitments, then you can’t just resign, no matter how tempted you are to do so. You need to consider why you hate your job, for starters, and look for possible solutions to make your life easier. For example, if you are bored with what you’re doing, you might be able to work your way up the career ladder to a more fulfilling position. If you are having issues with your boss or work colleagues, you might be able to seek help from those in human resources or higher management. If you have little work-life balance, you might be able to work out a plan for more flexibility. Quitting your job sometimes must be the last resort, so try to find solutions elsewhere. However, if you genuinely can’t find a solution, and you are sure you want to move on, perhaps into a more fulfilling career, then start to prepare for a new job role or career while you’re still working. Research positions, take online courses at home, and prepare yourself for interviews. Only when you know you are ready to move on into a new position should you then make the decision to quit the job you are in.
To finish, here is a great career advice from James Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase & Co. (Video by LinkedIn Editors)