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Choosing a career – Head, heart & happiness

12 Jul 14:00 by Gail Whipper

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Choosing a career that is good for your head, heart & happiness will keep you on the right track. There comes a time whether you are a professional seeking a career change or a student ending your schooling, where you must choose a career. Choosing a career that suits your lifestyle, interests and abilities can be a daunting and a difficult feat. Using your head, following your heart and ensuring your happiness is a good formula to follow when choosing a career. There are so many factors and variables that should be considered when choosing our career… HEAD, HEART AND HAPPINESS

Using your head – Identify skills shortages

In February 2016 the Australian government released the New South Wales and National Skills Shortages list for 2016. It is a good idea to consider what skills are in demand as the job market is competitive. Knowing where the shortages are might help you decide what direction you could take. When you have considered where the skill demand is and have decided on your career path, it is important to consider other factors. Your work affects your lifestyle and your performance but most of all your happiness. To quote a cliché, 'it’s all about work-life balance'.

Follow your heart – Being happy at work

Laura Vanderkam wrote an article in Fortune magazine, September 2015 about the five necessary things needed to be happy at work. The article was based on research conducted in America and shows that people are happiest in positions where the work is challenging but achievable. Factors such autonomy, accomplishment and working in a supportive environment make an overall happy and productive employee.


The top five motivators for productive employees are as follows:

  1. Work that challenges you
  2. A sense of progress
  3. No fear
  4. Autonomy
  5. Belonging


This research shows that having an interest in your work is crucial to overall happiness. As well as considering your interests, we must consider where the demand for skill is.

Problems associated with unemployment

Unemployment rates fluctuate and you have to be resilient when times are tough . The psychological risks accompanying unemployment are not only manifested in increased stress, but also in the risk of mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.


Happiness – Choosing a career that fits you

When choosing a career consider your abilities, keeping in mind you want to be challenged. Consider the length of study you are prepared to do, what are your interests and what skills are in demand. The most important thing to consider is what will make you happy. There is integrity and value in every role. If you are happy and you are working, you’re a success. Always work on your happiness and never compare yourself to others.


Most importantly, use your head, love with your heart and smile.