Choosing a Career that Funds Your Ideal Lifestyle
At eighteen years of age, High School has been our first exposure to social mechanics, sophisticated learning, and self-discovery. Of course the families we grow up in have enormous influence on the direction our life goes. Economic factors, pressure of legacy, and our own dispositions all have weight when it comes to choosing our career path. And to be successful we must choose our career path early in life. Just like investing, the sooner you get started the better the returns will be.
It’s my belief we should understand what supports the lifestyle that fits our dispositions so that we can choose careers that fund that lifestyle. But, what do we know at age 18? Most of us can’t see beyond the environments we exist in. Kids in the hood have rappers to look up to or sports figures. But, it’s not likely for the millions who survive off welfare to achieve celebrity status. They are few and far between.
Further, children of millionaires or billionaires may have a financial advantage in regards to going to the best schools, getting the best healthy care, and securing high level positions in profitable companies. But, no matter what class we grow up in, what school we go to, or how lucky we are, we all have a price to pay.
Each of us will enter the job market in two different capacities with one thing in common. We will either be employees or we will be business owners. The thing both parties have in common is that we are in service to the masses. Supply and demand fuels the market. Necessity drives innovation. And industries structure the labor required to meet demands and fund innovation.
Simply, by age eighteen a human needs to know what industry they will participate in that will provide an income to support a satisfying lifestyle.
So, what does a satisfying lifestyle consist of?
Many people turn to the “American Dream” as a template for a good life. You grow up, get an education, fall in love, start a family, buy a home, and make enough money to retire by age 55. Seems simple enough. But, a good education costs money. Some children graduate middle school not knowing how to read or write beyond a 4th grade level. So, all the factors that compound to create that lack of foundation determines that kid will only be able to survive by being an employee. So our government funded schools are churning out “the workforce”.
It’s my position that life and relationships have algorithms to them. Some interactions are so predictable they are like basic arithmetic. But, most of life is a bit more dynamic so I like to refer to it as algebraic. The point being, we wake up each day with problems to solve for that day. We have to feed and water ourselves with clean water and nutritious food. Many people can’t even do this; not because of some fatal flaw, but because of the geography they live in. There is no access to clean water or nutritious food otherwise known as “food deserts”. There is little to no chance of thriving in these environments because these barren socioeconomic deserts do not support growing up.
We have now shifted from examining how to choose a successful lifestyle to talking about the foundation required to do so; we must be able to “grow up.” This does not mean we graduate from being Peter Pan into Captain Hook. It means we must create the conditions that support growth and upward mobility. Subtract the genetic anomalies that manifest in individuals as retardation or learning disabilities and then how much of the general population remains?
In 1993, an estimated 1.5 million persons aged 6-64 years in the United States had MR, and the overall rate of MR was 7.6 cases per 1000 population. State-specific rates varied approximately fivefold (range: 3.0 in Alaska to 16.9 in West Virginia) (Table_1). The 10 states with the highest overall rates of MR were contiguous and located in the East South Central (Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee), South Atlantic (West Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina), West South Central (Arkansas and Louisiana), and East North Central (Ohio) regions. The states with the lowest rates were in the Pacific and Mountain regions. (accessed 6/18/22: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00040023.htm)
You can already see the pressures mounting in regards to choosing a career path that funds an ideal lifestyle. We could spend quite a bit of time reviewing barriers because there are a multitude of them on every level of existence: mental, emotional, cultural, and economic. So, let’s return to the “American Dream” as the template for an ideal lifestyle.
We grow up with the resources that support our maturation and strengthen our ability to learn. Every career has a life-cycle to it. An 18 year old needs to understand that pursuing further education is best if they plan to earn a PhD or specific licensure. We need to participate in compound learning to the degree we become experts in that field. Falling short of doing so makes us less viable in the market.
Fundamentally, we rely heavily on two factors for success: education and relationships. And so many things can “go wrong” in relationships. I’ve made a career out of finding solutions to absolve all the pain that can come from dysfunctional relational patterns. Again, we’ll be here a long time if we explore that. Rather, let’s say the 18 year old has been able to grow up and get an education that results in having a skill set that meets market demands. That 18 year old still has the hurdle of meeting the love of their life, deciding to have a family, and engaging in wealth building, which buying a home or property is a part of.
The passageway of “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” weaves into the fabric of choosing a career that funds an ideal lifestyle. There are few forces in life that can outperform nepotism. One of those forces is collaboration. We are dead in the water without the participation of others or acquiring involvement from corporate institutions. We are totally fucked if we can’t organize our life to create a balance between skill building and relational collaborations.
So, after we sift through all of this, how exactly do you choose a career that funds your ideal lifestyle? We take into account the pressures of growing up and make course corrections. The ONLY way to do this is to have a mentor, therapist, or solution focused coach to help you make those corrections. Otherwise, dysfunctional patterns and survival strategies crystalize into maladaptive behaviors and disease. Catch it early, practice healthy behaviors often.
In concert with having a mentor that teaches nuanced skills that aid in adaptation, we also need to have a sense of who we are. Personality tests like the gene keys, enneagram, or human design can help us better engage with our strengths and weaknesses. Next, we need to research the requirements of the industry we want to participate in. How do we get to the top of that industry? The majority of us will have to begin at an “entry level position”. Many of us will settle for mid-level management.
It’s rare for an 18 year old to have managerial skills unless they started working at 15. The American Military Industrial Complex is a good template for the path to success. We must gain a higher rank. We must understand market demands and provide a service that is valued in our cultural and economic ecosystems. Money is a measure of success. But funding the lifestyle that is right for you is the measure of success.
There are anomalies to this path. We worship the “got famous” or “rich quick” amongst us. We have made billionaires deities. But, the deciding factor on your life is you. Have you chosen to be the best in your field of work? Are you enamored with pleasure or are you invested in personal growth? Are you willing to further your education until you become an expert in your chosen area of study? What matters to you most?
If you didn’t stick the landing at choosing a career path at age 18 and are still struggling to live the “American Dream” in a way that makes sense to you, I invite you to work with me. Together, we will create a map for the years ahead and repair the dysfunction from the years prior. For every problem you face, freedom is the solution. Book your free consultation now.