What Do You Want To Do With Your Life?

Don’t feel bad if you don’t know the answer to that question. I didn’t figure it out until well into my 20s. Some people take even longer. Some people are known to switch careers in their 30s or 40s.

Since you’re reading this, you are at least thinking about the direction you might go. Obviously, a skilled trade career is one option on your mind.

So, where do you go from here? Here are some questions to ask yourself.

Are you mechanically inclined? Do you like working with tools to build and fix things around the house? If you answer yes, then a trade career is a good fit for you.

What do you enjoy doing? You may be good with tools but maybe you prefer reading books. Decide which makes you happier, working from a desk or doing something physical. An old adage goes like this: if you enjoy what you do for a living, you’ll never work a day in your life. That may not be literally true. All jobs have their bad days that leave people exhausted. But if you work a job that you find purposeful and leaves you filled with satisfaction, it won’t feel like work.

The best trade workers delight in seeing the result of their labor. A building without running water, heat, light or air conditioning suddenly has it, thanks to you. That gives a warm glow inside that is priceless. You won’t have to feel guilty about receiving a paycheck.

Which past jobs have you liked or disliked? If you are a youngster just out of or still in school, you may not have held a full-time job yet, but you may have worked in part-time jobs. Which tasks did you hate and which ones were enjoyable or at least “not so bad”? Can you see yourself doing those tasks day after day? Do you prefer working with others or working alone?

What motivates you and what are your values? Don’t kid yourself, money is important, but as another old saying goes, it can’t buy happiness. Many people have equally important values, such as working independently, keeping a healthy work-life balance (i.e., not having to take work home with you), doing a variety of tasks, serving others, etc.

The attributes I just mentioned are characteristic of trade work. Although you may collaborate with others on certain jobs, your success will ultimately depend on your skills. You may put in long hours at certain times, but working a skilled trade means when the job is done or your duty hours end, you won’t be taking work home with you. You most certainly will be involved with a variety of tasks, and by all means will be producing work that serves the needs of others.

One more question to ask? What are my job prospects for the future?

As long as people are in need of mechanical and electrical systems to live in comfort, trade work will be in high demand.