Pursue your dreams, don’t live with ‘what ifs’

Find something you love to do. That’s the best advice we can think of for our most recent graduates.

Find something you love to do.

That’s the best advice we can think of for our most recent graduates.

There are all kinds of lists of careers that pay the best or careers that have the best growth potential.

And you probably don’t want to completely ignore them and decide to train up to sell 8-tracks (what? the younger generation asks) or learn how to program a Commodore 64 (again, the kids are querying this strange, unknown term).

But you also don’t want to pick something that doesn’t suit your personality or aptitude just because it’s the hot career of the moment.

How many students head to university figuring they’re going to become an engineer, or a doctor, or a lawyer, because it sounds professional? How many of them actually follow through once the reality sets in?

Not that it’s a bad thing to change your educational path if you discover that you want to go in a different direction. The best time to do it is when you’re young.

The careers on any list are fickle these days.

Careers that once seemed like sure things with great job prospects have now gone the way of the dodo, that extinct flightless bird.

And it can happen within a decade or less.

We live in uncertain times, where it seems like the only consistent thing is change.

So take a good, hard look at yourself and what your strengths are. What is it that you will happily spend hours doing, and are endlessly curious about?

This is what you should pursue, no matter what the prognosticators say or how few openings there are for work today.

The happiest people are those who enjoy themselves with what they do every day. They also tend to excel.

We’ve all read the stories about the folks who have given up six-figure jobs that were killing them to get into something where they make a fraction of the wage — but now they’re happy and they wouldn’t go back.

Which brings up the point that you’re unlikely to work the same job for your entire career. In fact, most people have a number of distinct careers over the course of their working lives.

So if you find you can’t make a living at that thing you love, there’s time to move on to something else. Chances are, most of the people around you will be doing the same at some point.

But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t shoot for the stars. If you don’t try, you definitely won’t succeed.