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Selecting a career path is a major life decision. As with any long-term commitment, you need to take the time to consider your options and then make a decision with the best information that is available to you. While it might be tempting or easy, picking a career based on the reasons below is a dangerous proposition. Give them a read, then share your own advice with us in the comments.


Picking A Career Based On Your Favorite TV Show

House is not a indicative of what it's like to work at a hospital, nor is CSI an accurate portrayal of crime scene investigation (sad, I know). If a job piques your interest, then do your research in the real world. Check out the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Outlook Handbook, talk to employees in the field, job shadow, and intern.

Picking A Career Based On Money

Yes, money should be a consideration when picking a career, but it should not be the deciding factor. Think about it. You're better at the things you enjoy. You're less likely get burnt out doing things you love. If you're stuck doing something you're not that passionate about, you run the risk of jeopardizing your personal and professional lives. Besides, when your passion and abilities shine through because you're doing something you love, you'll be more likely to get a promotion (and thus a pay bump).

Picking A Career To Work With Your Friends

Just as you were advised against picking a university because of your friends, you should not pick a career because of them either. Even if you have a tremendous amount in common with someone, you are still your own person with your own skills and interests.

Picking A Career Because You're Told You'll Be Good At It

It's flattering to have someone sing your praises and tell you that you'd be great at a certain job, but it's not reason enough to choose that job. Say, for example, that you have great presentation skills and are able to explain things with tremendous clarity. Multiple professors tell you that you should be a teacher. It's possible that this is a good idea (you've always thought about teaching), but it's also possible that it's a terrible idea (you're not that fond of kids). Just because you might excel at a career doesn't mean you'll enjoy it, so think carefully when you receive career suggestions. As with any decision with this much riding on it, picking a career is not an easy feat. Still, there are much better ways to select a career path than those above, so be smart about your decision. What advice do you have for those selecting their first (or a new) career? Please share it with us in the comments below.
Learn how to land a career you love


Everyone needs to feel their voice is heard and their contributions are important. Something as simple as sharing a drink the last hour of the day on a Friday with the team to recap wins and give praise can build camaraderie within the team.


All of the above are fairly simple to implement but can make a huge difference in morale and motivation. Have any of these tips worked well for young the past? Do you have other tips to motivate your creative team? If so, please share them with me!

Encourage curiosity. Spark debate. Stimulate creativity and your team will be better at handling challenges with flexibility and resourcefulness. Create a safe space for ideas, all ideas, to be heard. In ideation, we need the weird and off-the-wall ideas to spur us on to push through to the great ideas.

Sure, there are a ton of studies done on this, but here is my very unscientific personal take. When team members can make decisions about how they work on projects, they are more engaged and connected to the project outcome. When they see how potentially dropping the ball would affect the entire team, they step up. When they feel like what they are doing is impactful and valued, they are naturally motivated to learn more, and be even better team members.

Rarely does a one-size-fits-all style work when it comes to team motivation. I have found that aligning employee goals with organization goals works well. Taking time to get to know everyone on your team is invaluable. What parts of their job do they love? What do they not enjoy? What skills do they want to learn? Even going so far as to where they see themselves in five years career-wise. These questions help you right-fit projects, and help your team see you are committed to creating a career path for them within the company.

Most designers I know love a good challenge. We are problem solvers by nature. Consistently give yourself and your team small challenges, both design-related and not. It will promote openness within the team to collaborate, and it will help generate ideas faster in the long run. Whether the challenge is to find a more exciting way to present an idea to stakeholders or fitting a new tool into the budget, make it a challenge just to shake things up.

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