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Money is not everything.
Success is individual. Success is a feeling when one experiences fulfillment and satisfaction with what one is doing in life. Success is looking forward to going to work or whatever activity one does during the day and enjoying it. Success is self-actualization and development of one's own interests.
Success starts with getting to know one's self. Completing these exercises will be a good first step to getting to know yourself:
A good next step is to get more information about those interest areas identified in the above exercises and learning how one might possibly prepare for them with the possibility of experiencing fulfillment and satisfaction. Selecting a career area is like buying a pair of shoes. They may look great, but you need to try them on and walk in them for a while to determine the proper level of comfort and fit. The most frustrating times I spent when I was doing college recruiting were the times when a graduate, once on the job, determined that he/she did not like the job for which he/she had studied, as he/she did not take the time or effort to do appropriate "shoe shopping" and pay attention to their feelings of "comfort or discomfort".
Here are some good ways to get some great information and career exposure: - talk to your school counselor about participating in coop, intern, shadowing, and volunteer programs that will allow you to see what people do, how they got there, what advice they have, and how you feel about it. - talk to the head of alumni relations at your school to arrange to talk to graduates working in your area of interest to learn more from them - as many people get their start at a community college, talk to the head of alumni relations at your local community college to arrange to talk to graduates in your area of interest to see what they are doing and see how they got there - talk to the head of alumni relations of any training program or facility related to your areas of interest to get valuable information from graduates and create valuable relationships.
Many different career and work areas require different types of education. Some can be prepared for during the last two years of high school. Some can be prepared for with some type of training or schooling or college after high school. Some can be prepared for by joining the military and benefitting from their training and educational financial assistance following your enlistment. By doing the exploration as outlined above, you will develop a sense of what is required to reach fulfillment in your career area. By doing the exploration as outlined above, you will develop a sense of how it will feel to be involved in such an area. Let your feelings be your guide.
As I have mentioned, and as you have come to realize, many different career and work areas require different paths through the training and education process, which is based upon your individual choice. Here is a very important video to watch as it highlights the importance of your personal choice:
To get more information about your career and work areas of interest, here are some good tips:
Best of luck! Be true to yourself. The feeling and concept of success is yours - and is very personal. Let me know if this is of help.