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Everyone must make his or her own trail walking through the career jungle. There will always be people who influence our direction. A negative influence can steer us clear of bad advice or provide one of lifeís learning lessons. On the other hand, sometimes we may find that regardless of what direction we walk we walk straight into a field of thorn bushes. Regardless of what which direction we decide to pave a walkway for ourselves we are ultimately responsible for our own career and education.

The Jungle of Job Hunting

Jungle of Job HuntingThe landmark years of life are 16, 18, 21, 25 and 30. At the age of 30, each decade brings a new series of challenges. We move into new and potential different phases of both our careers and personal lives. We may get lost along the way but it is never too late nor is it a good idea to just give up. When we give up weíre sitting bait for career and personal life misfortune. To avoid career and personal life misfortune we need to set goals.

Goals can help us feel more in control of our present day and future. Goals may change but the discipline we learn in obtaining the goals and the flexibility of adapting to changes while reaching for a goal is what brings us happiness and career satisfaction.

If goals have never worked for you change how you look at goals. No one leaps from the kitchen to the bedroom in one leap. Nor is it possible for us to leap from our bedroom into a city bus in one leap. We take steps in waking up, getting dressed and than making our way to our mode of transportation. Goals are no different. Pick one goal and only achieve that one goal before moving onto a next one. Once the goal has been achieved and or once you have made this goal a habit you can start on a new goal.

Career & Educational Goals By Age

Teen Years: be curious, have fun but challenge yourself.

Donít grow up too fast. This is your time to both learn and have fun. Go after the things your passionate about but donít ignore your studies. If you have goals of going to college, develop your studies in classes that will challenge your mind as well as your sanity and make you question if it was the right decision. If you learn your not ready for the class you have learned to know when to say ďyour not readyĒ. Ask for advice and opinions. Ask questions, especially the ones you may think sound stupid. If you donít like the answers you get, research what youíre asking and learn for yourself if what your asking is possible. If you can survive high school you will survive life as an adult Ė the question is what kind of survivor will you be?

20s: Establish a work record

Close your eyes, take a breath and relax. Not everyone knows what he or she wants to do as a career. Chances are you will probably change it in ten years. Explore your career and employment options. Work to work and learn what makes a good employee. Build job skills, learn to talk to your co-workers, supervisors, and customers and learn to network. Being in your twenties is a time to find a mentor, develop solid career support and build a reputation of being dependable and responsible. Document your accomplishments along the way and explore what interests you as a career. Donít be afraid to be different from everyone else.

College / Education / Training -- explore! Takes classes that interest you. If you donít know what you want to do, consider a major in business. Every single business in the world needs people who know how to run a business. You may later want to develop a new career -- with a business degree you will skyrocket towards success.

Donít make a quick decision. Consider a variety of different types of education. Vocational, Technical, Online Learning, Trade School Ė learn which type of education is the best for you.

30s: Be a leader

Whether itís in your personal life or in your career once you turn 30 a new series of challenges and opportunities become available. Donít lose those opportunities by keeping your worker-bee only attitude. Organize all the job accomplishments you have achieved and turn them into career advantages to develop your ideal career path.

Study leaders you find interesting or motivational. Being a leader means you listen more than you talk. You don't need to agree with everyoneís opinion or act on a person suggestion, but at least consider his or her points of view or suggestion. Leaders go wherever a leaderís team goes. A leader is never too important to do the same tasks she or he is asking his / her team to do. Create a team of career ladder climbers. They will indeed move up and potentially out of your team, but that strength of teamwork built will provide strength in networking and future career opportunities.

Be innovative. Your strength is your experience. You have seen the past and you have the ability to make educated guess of the future. Being innovative is simply doing something that not many other people (or no one else) is doing. Look at a product, a service or a need in a way that may seem impossible and find a way to make it possible.

40s: What is success?

Have you reached it yet? Chances are you probably have but you may feel like there is a lot more to be accomplished. Or maybe the success you thought you were after has changed and you want something new to chase. Both career adventures are the right decision. The decision is based on what is right for you. Maybe youíre burnt out and want a career change. Donít allow others to tell you changing careers at this age is crazy. What is crazy is staying in a career your unhappy in.

At the same time donít change careers on a whim. Research options; try new tings during a vacation or an extended break from your career. Changing careers isnít for everyone, just as working in the medical field isnít for everyone. Being in your 40s is not the downhill in your life it is back to evaluating what you want in your life. You may not want to change anything than again you may want to change everything. Life, careers and education are all about choices.

50s: Envisioning your future

There is no downhill to lifeÖ it is whatever you make of it. Some people want to retire at this stage, some people canít imagine retiring at such a young age, others are starting a new career and others are planning a new adventure.

No matter what you see in your future it's important to be aware of what you want for your life. Reevaluate your financial savings and investments. Consider, understand and plan your vision of the future you want and be sure to plan for as many unforeseeable twists as possible.

60s + : Back to fun

You've worked hard and now itís time to have fun and learn while being responsible. In your sixties you have the benefit of knowing how to have responsible fun. This is a time to work, learn and or have fun. Dive into the things your passionate about, you may find a brand new career.

Return to learning Ė whether itís a new computer language or wine making, develop new abilities and knowledge. Challenge yourself and take advantage of your success. Ask for advice, get opinions or debate the latest trend. Be inquisitive and ask questions of those younger of you, especially the ones you may think look stupid.

You have established a reputation for hard work, be a leader and innovative, dive in your interests while envisioning a future that you love.

Each decade will require steps to reach the next one. Donít look too far in the future but donít ignore it either. Education and career is a vital part of each one of us and no two paths are ever the same. There will always be people who influence our direction but we are ultimately responsible for ourselves. Everyone must make his or her own trail through the career jungle and each thorn we encounter is a lesson that can help us reach our educational and career goals.

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