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16. Plan Your Career

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Your career planning must be pro-active and not an afterthought. You don't want to be the person who spends four years in college and hundreds of thousands of dollars on an education only to end up with all your hopes resting on an online employment site or a job tip from your mother's friend. You don't want to be another in the army of college students who major in psychology or communications only to end up in low-paying jobs because they didn't take the time to research the likelihood of finding employment as psychology or communication majors.

During college, every student should work part-time and intern in his or her chosen major. Talk to the people in the profession who are doing the job on a daily basis. Are the majority still bright-eyed and enthusiastic or are many under-motivated and bleary-eyed burnouts just barely able to go through the motions? Most people will be honest with you. Are you hearing, "Wow, this profession is great and everyone is so nice." Or, are you hearing, "Everyone in this profession is a depressed whack job. If there is any other way that you can make a living, do that!"

This is not a trivial matter. It is day in and day out for the next 20 years. You have to do the research and analyze the data from your personal perspective. If you interview one disgruntled worker, that's one person's opinion. But, if you see a pattern of discontent, be wary. Remember, as an Action Principles® Champion, you have choices. These are pleasant choices that will allow you to pay your bills as you build your investment portfolio with the option of retiring young.

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