Work is something everyone must do to be a part of something big. We don’t have a choice, it must be done. It isn’t only about contributing to the success of the business, but also for keeping ourselves productive, creative, and outgoing. Work keeps our minds and hands busy. As human beings, we are designed to be mobile and proactive. That most difficult decision for the younger generation is to find the right type of work to start a career. How to do this? I’ll let you know.

In the last years of high school, many students start thinking about work and occupational choices. In fact, since elementary school, many kids fantasize about what they want to be. As you approach high school graduation, these thoughts become more serious and arbitrary. There are endless possibilities out there. You could prepare yourself in trades, science, politics, business, healthcare, military or perform in random types of work until you find something more stable or decide to stick around this type of lifestyle. At times, students feel pressure on what to do. Their friends may push them to attend the same post-secondary institution that they have chosen for themselves. Family, especially in which members have either an undergraduate or graduate degree could have the same or similar affect on the younger generation too. The same thing goes for trades and other industries. In the end, it doesn’t matter what they say or how they say it. It is your choice to make, not anyone else’s. Because you will be investing your time, knowledge, and skills into this line of work. You will be responsible for paying bills and making a good living for yourself. It is your right and no one else has the right to influence you on this.

High School graduates should come up with a precise strategy on how to turn the next page. Some students attend college just for the sake of attending it with their friends, socialize, and find new friends. They don’t think it through properly and end up taking a hodge-podge of different courses with no expertise. Either they drop out or graduate with a degree that won’t get them anywhere and their stay turns out to be a major waste of time and money. Post-secondary schooling is expensive. Student debt can crush you financially. Acquiring scholarships, bursaries and other forms of aid can help a lot. That is why it is crucial to know what you are doing once you enter this stage of your life. I know students who took courses they did not have much interest to begin with, left college without a degree or with one, and ended up working in an area that did not require any knowledge they have learned or barely learned. In many cases, they chose a line of work that can hardly get them by which makes it impossible for them to pay off their student debt. It is prudent to research what career you want to undertake, what courses are required to qualify you for that decision, and prepare diligently. You will benefit from these choices on the long run and you will be happier with yourself. The same concept applies to trades and diplomas. Think it through: “Is this something I really want to do? Will I like it in five or ten years down the road? Will it help me with mortgage and utility payments and leave me with enough for anything else on the side?” These are important questions worth considering once you enter adulthood.

Once you have the right attitude, goals and aspirations, your achievements can be endless. Your work morale is high which can enable you to get promotions, pay raises, and other great benefits that will make you an absolute asset to the company. You can further educate yourself since the world around you changes quickly. If you choose to start a family, your immediate members and possibly even relatives will reap the rewards. It will not only make you happy, but others too. There will be more free time, precious moments and money for you and your family. You can also live a happy life if you choose to live on your own. You do whatever you want to do in search of happiness. These incredible livelihoods go back to that one important question you asked yourself earlier: “What do I want to do?” If answered properly, you will be thanking yourself for the rest of your life.

Of course, happiness in the workplace is multi-sided. You can make all the right decisions for yourself but that doesn’t mean it will translate into a seamless and problem-free work environment. You have to prepare yourself for bad apples at your job. Just remember: a vast majority of employers have employees that are there to make your life miserable or at least make it difficult to do your job. If you notice resistance, try to work it out with your colleague in a dialogue. Try negotiating or compromising so you can meet your co-worker somewhere in the middle. The issues do not have to be personal. Sometimes, they are having a bad day and need someone to talk to or to listen to. What you can’t do is react negatively or aggressively. Do not act the same way your colleague does. If you do, the problem will worsen and get you into trouble with him/her and others. Another important step to maintain a good working environment is to avoid workplace gossip. If someone does approach you to gossip about others, just listen and nod. Don’t even agree or disagree. This will keep the situation calm and cool. If it gets worse, just take a step back and politely say that you don’t want to be a part of this. Remember, you are there to work, not help spread gossip and rumors that can get you in trouble. If you follow this rule, you won’t be stressed and anxious. Once you see the gossiper get in trouble with his/her employer, you will be glad you didn’t connect with that person one way or another. You don’t want a toxic work environment. Avoid it! If there is a major problem with your supervisor or business owner, it is best to find work elsewhere.

What I find disappointing and upsetting is the mockery that one person endures if they find a job that is undesirable to others. I know many people dislike or even shudder at the thought of working in the fast-food industry such as at McDonalds, KFC, Sonic and so on. There is stigma and prejudice when people find work in this area. Many people believe only unskilled idiots, poor chumps and losers work there because it is so easy and the pay is poor. Anyone can do it, it is nothing special. I find this attitude to be disturbing. It does not matter at all if you work there. A person needs to find a job to have food on the table and a roof over their head. If they have a family, they have the duty and obligation to care for their members. They don’t have a choice. They have to work somewhere to make a living. In worst case scenarios, desperation forces people to embark on dark occupational corridors just to have food in their bellies. Many people are forced to be sex workers to feed themselves or worse yet, make money to feed their drug addiction. In larger urban areas, this is a common sight. Many people are, unfortunately, in this position due to poor life choices or to terrible domestic disparities, or even economic woes. They had no control in some of these situations and it is depressing to know what they must due to survive.

Finding the right job can be stressful or exciting. If you play your cards right, you can have the life you have been dreaming of. No one said it will be easy, of course. It takes dedication, strategy, and work-ethic to achieve these goals. There is also a lot of competition out there, so you need to be ready for any obstacles that may pop up in front of you. Handle problems professionally, deal with rejections responsibly. If you mentally prepare yourself for any of these scenarios, you will do just fine.


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