Most people choose a career based upon interest and a desire to earn a good salary doing something that suits their talents. They don’t consider that this is something they will likely be doing for the rest of their lives. Before you commit to a career, here are a few things to consider.

Money is Secondary

While it is true that we all need the money and want to earn a good living, that shouldn’t be the primary factor in determining your career path. Many people who make large salaries are still unhappy with their day to day lives. Choosing a career based on salary ranges leads to depression, anxiety, and more types of mental illness. Instead, you should first look for a career that will give you a sense of fulfillment. Whether you choose a career that allows you to do something you enjoy or a career that will enable you to contribute back to society, your chosen field should give you some sense of satisfaction.

Judge Success by Your Own Terms

It’s traditionally accepted that success means moving upward within one organization or one career field, but that’s no longer the only right way of achieving success. Staying in one position for 45 years can also be viewed as success when it’s what you choose for yourself. In that situation, you may be content in honing your skills or developing a new set of expertise to help you in your position. Others may use one career path as a jumping board to launch them into an entirely new field. For example, someone with a history in finance may one day decide to use their skill set to begin investing in commercial real estate. While the two fields are separate, the individual’s finance experience gave them the knowledge needed to start investing in real estate.

If you think you have found a career that you would find worthwhile over a long period, you already have something more than most people ever achieve. While pursuing your dream career may mean starting at the bottom, volunteering, or going back to school, dedication and motivation will help you advance at a modest rate. Before long, you’ll be living out the dreams and goals that used to seem unattainable.