Wednesday, 3 November 2010

My Ratings of Popular Careers

By Marty Nemko

Employment, Employment Jobs

Attempted to rate careers. Alas, in its attempt to be as objective as possible, it seems to have missed the mark. For example, its #2-rated career is actuary. Yes, it’s lucrative and the working conditions are safe, but most people would find a life of analyzing insurance statistics, pardon the pun, deadly.

In contrast, this resource bases its ratings on both objective and subjective criteria. The objective information is gleaned largely from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook and the subjective information is a distillation of what I’ve learned from my confidential discussions with 2,400 clients plus countless conversations outside the office. I have always been fascinated by people’s work, so for decades, I’ve been asking people—at parties, in supermarket lines, everywhere--to tell me about their job.

Of course, a career that is excellent for one person is poor for another, but I believe valid generalizations can be made. While I’m issuing caveats, please also remember that each career profile is based on a relatively small number of interviews. This resource should be but one data point in a thorough effort to choose a career. At the end of each profile, I list additional resources: a link to a more detailed profile of that career in the Occupational Outlook Handbook (henceforth referred to as OOH), the Web site for an association of people in that career, and/or a book I believe would be helpful in exploring that career. If after reviewing those resources, a career continues to be of interest, conduct one or more informational interviews with and job shadows of people in that career. That approach will maximize your chances of being satisfied with your career.


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