After graduating from whatever educational route you took, getting a job is usually a fairly high priority. How to choose profession depending on your personality?

The market conditions and companies in your field will determine the number of jobs available.  It’s strategic to think through the industry (is it growing, dying, or stagnant?) and potential earning power of that industry before you embark on a career.

Pick the Right Industry

Follow your intuition about what you want to do.  When you are first starting out, gaining experience, testing different jobs and types of companies, really helps you find the intersection between your interests and talents. Do not live by fear.  You spend a lot of your life working, so ideally you take your time, tweak, try, test and retest to find something you’re good at and you really love to do.  There is no such thing as failure, just awesome learning experiences!

If you’ve known what you’ve wanted to do since you were 5, great!  If not, show up, try your best, be true to yourself, and the arch of your career will follow.

Earning Power: The Real Deal

Let’s talk digits.  The industry you select (technology, finance, higher education, government, customer service, etc) can have a very large impact on your earning potential over time. For example, average salaries are higher in technology than in government.  An easy way to check this is by googling ‘average salary for…’ your industry or desired job– here’s an example of what you get.

In the world of realism, a fact is a fact is a fact: there are industries in the U.S. that make a lot more money than others.  For better or worse, it’s just the truth.  If you choose to be a social worker, a notable and socially important profession, be realistic that the average social worker in the U.S. makes about $53,000 a year.  Can you live on that?  Are you happy with maxing out your earning potential around that number over your lifetime?  If that works for you, what are your other financial goals: owning a house? Travel annually? Retirement by 55?  How can you plan for those?

Here are the top 25 paying companies in the United States in 2016. 101 on choosing an industry: Be realistic about yourself, your lifestyle, your goals, and your desired contribution to society (your work) and this will help you navigate the financial system we live in while finding the job you love.