How to Plan for a Financially Sound Career as an Intern

Money is not the key to wealth. While you can’t have wealth without money, it’s also true that you can have money and not feel wealthy – only …

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Money is not the key to wealth. While you can’t have wealth without money, it’s also true that you can have money and not feel wealthy – only 28 percent of millionaires feel that they are rich. When considering career choices as an intern, you’ll want to think about your financial future, but you also need to place an emphasis on emotional fulfillment.

It’s hard to get a definitive figure on who you’ll be and what you’ll want to be doing within the next decade, but it is not impossible to get a general sense of it. For example, the career path of doctors is relatively rigid, but there is still room for variability in how a resident or medical student might choose to specialize.

That model of smaller achievements that inch you closer to an overarching career goal is one that you’ll want to follow once you figure out what you’re good at and what you’re comfortable doing. Let’s look at an overview of the process.

Figure Out Your Talents

Start by figuring out a list of things you’re good at and that you enjoy doing. Make sure to distinguish between being good at something and being able to do it for hours on end without stopping. For example, you might be good at picking up coding languages and working with algorithms while also not being willing to dedicate hours to perfecting and streamline your code.

Very rarely is there an true intersection between what you love doing and what you’re great at, and even when there is that’s no guarantee that your feelings won’t change over the course of a few months or years. Polls by Gallup show that only 13 percent of people are actively engaged and emotionally invested in their work. Getting paid for something on a regular basis can change your perception of what it means to you.

So don’t skip this step. You really want to take everything into account (like what you are currently majoring in) and list out all of your talents and abilities that can be associated with work or academic experience. If you find yourself at a loss, it may be a sign that you should try out some new fields and get more experiences to improve your insight into your own abilities.

Explore Opportunities

College is the ideal time to really get the full range of experiences about various careers due to the concentration of professionals and recruiting agencies around university environments. Around 20 to 50 percent of students enter into college undecided about their career path and 75 percent of students change their majors at least once during the course of their four years in higher education. Searching for opportunities that are in front of you is important, but you shouldn’t forget that there’s an entire world full of opportunities.

Internships abroad combined with career coaching can really help you develop and direct your talents. In fact, interning abroad paves the way for self-enrichment.  If you do decide to intern abroad, documenting your experiences in a creative and artistic fashion may help you make the most out of that opportunity and environment. Statistics published by the University of California also show that going abroad improves career focus: “97% of abroad students found employment within 12 months of graduation, when only 49% of college graduates found employment in the same period.”

Balancing Finances, Career Potential, and Career Fit

How much money you make doing something, the potential of promotions and general job mobility, and how much you like a career should all factor into how you choose a career, along with how much money you’re going to need for things like your wedding. The best way to compare all of these features to different jobs is to assign a mock dollar value to them. First, consult the list of things that you’re good at and that you enjoy doing that you’ve made earlier on.

Next, take a look at the Bureau of Labor Statistics website to get a sense of what jobs are available and each of their average salaries. Making a note of your ballpark financial goals over the next few decades and comparing the average salaries of entry and mid-level positions to those goals will help you plan.

Taking an active stance towards establishing or repairing your credit can also make a difference. Credit repair reviews are a reliable way to gauge your current financial health and what you can do about it.

Finally, you’ll want to factor in enjoyment as well. As ironic as it may seem, actually putting a dollar value on the enjoyment you’ll derive from a particular career can help you navigate through different job offers and salaries to determine what you want to do the most.

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