1) Taking Chances Pays Off
When you wear a Halloween costume, you’re taking a chance: of getting laughed at, feeling stupid, and creating new friends due to the shared craziness of the “holiday”. That chance-taking is what makes Halloween pay off as a fun “holiday”. Same thing goes for your career – you never know how it will pay off if you reach for the unreachable or even just step outside your regular routine once in a while. Remember: nothing ventured, nothing gained.
2) Paying Your Dues Pays Off
Investing time into your Halloween costume will lead to more laughs, conversations and fun as opposed to just grabbing the first mask you can find at the store. Similarly, investing time into researching the right career, building a foundation once you get there and then developing your knowledge and skill set will lead to a better, more satisfying career.
3) You can pave your own path
You can buy a pre-made Halloween costume in a store or you can create something at home. Similarly, you can apply for a clearly-defined job and go work for someone else or you can go the entrepreneurial route and create your own career.
4) You can be adventurous or play it safe
You can create an adventurous costume that requires some thought for anyone to figure out or you can play it safe and be a popular superhero. The adventurous costume will probably get more attention and lead to some interesting conversations. The safe route will lead to easily fitting in at whatever party you go to, yet could still lead to a good time and some laughs. In your career, you can aim for the more adventurous path in life….or take the safe route and aim for the stable life. One isn’t any better than the other; it’s just a matter of finding the right career for you.
5) You can make a change
Just because you were Snooki or The Situation last year doesn’t mean that you can’t be Bella Swan or Jake Sparrow this year. You have the freedom to change costumes when you’re ready for something new. Same with careers. Just like you would pick a new costume that currently entertains you, you should choose a career that matches your current skills and interests.
6) Things might not work out as planned
Last year I went to a costume party as a bearded Vietnam vet…but everyone thought I was Fidel Castro! I had to take off my fake beard to retool my look. With your career, you might get yourself on a path only to learn that it doesn’t align with your strengths…or your interests change…or your entire industry falls apart. Careers don’t always work out as planned – and when that happens, you can retool your career.
7) There are consequences for your actions
If you eat 10 bags of candy corn while downing malt liquor at a costume party, you can outgrow your jeans, mess with your blood sugar and wake up in a pool of vomit. If you show a similar reckless disregard for your career, or even your social media presence, you might find your career train derailing.
8) You can choose where to go
There are usually plenty of Halloween parties to choose from. If you don’t like the people at one, go to another. Same goes for companies and cities. You can and should choose a city and career lifestyle that fits you.
9) You don’t have to accept every offer
Just because every house you trick-or-treat at is offering you those pumpkin-shaped candy corns doesn’t mean you have to take them! You can say “no” and wait to see what the next house has to offer. Same goes with your career. You don’t have to jump at the first thing that comes your way, or accept something as-is just because it’s offered to you.
10) You can be anything you want to be
Just like you can be a Smurf or a superhero for Halloween, you can be a DJ, a teacher, an economist or an engineer in real life. It might take a little more work than just buying a costume, but you can research what you need to break in to the careers that interest you and then start paving your path there one brick at a time. A great way to do that is by watching career videos.
For career advice and help with choosing a career, be sure to check out http://CareersOutThere.com. I’m Marc Luber, the author of this article and the host of the online interview show Careers Out There. In every episode, we profile a different type of career by interviewing a real professional who works in that career path. They all tell us what their jobs are really like, how you can break in and they share all kinds of career advice on how to succeed once you’re there. I look forward to seeing you and helping you at Careers Out There.