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Why You Shouldn’t Pick a Hot Career


The internet teems with lists of possible job choices, often focusing on growth industries and high pay, and we’ve certainly contributed to the literature on the subject. There’s just one problem with using these lists as an approach to career planning: a hot career might not be the right career for you.

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“The most important thing you can do when trying to choose a career, is to pick one that is right for you,” writes Dawn Rosenberg McKay. “That means it needs to fit well with your interests, aptitudes, work-related values, and personality type. Why? If it does, there is a better chance you will be satisfied with it and enjoy your work.”

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Note that the popularity of the field is nowhere on that list. Why?

1. You might not like the job.

Sure, you don’t want to pick an occupation that’s on its way out or that doesn’t pay a living wage or that requires you to live in a place you don’t want to live. Those are great considerations when you’re winnowing down your list of possible careers. But you need to start from what you love doing, or your workdays will seem very long indeed.

2. You might not be good at the job.

Aptitude is just as important as interest and availability. You might like the idea of being a florist, but if you’re allergic to flowers, it’s probably a bad choice.

3. Hot today, gone tomorrow.

“Way too often what is hot this year won’t be hot a few years from now,” writes McKay. The only thing worse than having a job you hate is being qualified for a job you hate, and not being able to get hired in that field.

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Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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