How to Determine Your Career Path

How to Determine Your Career Path

The easy answer to finding a career path is to follow passion. That is true, except there are some other considerations; salary, training, education and job availability. Do not forget personality.

A job that will require several years of experience, years of schooling, making a low salary for some time, long hours, and involving grunt work may destroy passion.


Look at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook. This lists jobs, salaries and education requirements. It is a place to start. Since the information in it comes from the census, it gives a thorough list of jobs with their salaries.

The newspaper classifieds lists jobs available in the area. It is a starting place. Circle and list jobs that are of interest whether qualified or they seem impossible. List them anyway. Google any job that is of interest.


My passion was writing. That takes years of training, and usually education, before finding any success or making a salary. I never questioned that. It was necessary to set the writing aside for a time.

There are many types of writing as there are many types of work in most careers. Look at the openings in an employment agency for availability and for finding a path to follow.


If a person does not like sitting in an office all day, he must find a job that allows for movement and social outlets. The wrong job will destroy that passion. Shalom Lamm certainly followed his dream and rose to the top of his career. It took years of education, some daring, some connections, and his own native drive. Lamm is not typical. Few of us have those qualities.


Many jobs require a specialized education. Jobs have become technical. The computer and telephone world are complex and involved. The medical profession is changing and becoming more advanced. Many jobs have become extinct. Few employers give a person recognition or salary who do not have the education but now trains others who do have the degree.

Some jobs require a doctorate and a specialty, like a doctor who handles heart patients.


It is embarrassing to state that salary is important. If it is, check out the salary for that career. Education does not always indicate the salary expectation. Some people have special abilities and knowledge that set them apart. That’s where passions come in.

Do some checking. There are only a few people at the top salary, but how much do most people make?

Job Availability

After spending four to eight years earning a degree, a good salary and job should be available. That is not so. Shalom Lamm believes that careers have many facets in different areas. Jobs in any one area may be hard to find. A newly graduated student might find it hard to find a job with hours and salary agreeable. Look at this before getting into that position.


Most of all, have faith. Know it is possible.