Head vs Heart: what should you follow in your career

  | Henna Patel


We’re taught as children to follow our dreams and desires when it comes to figuring out what we want to be when we grow up. We’re taught to follow our heart and our gut, to find what makes us happy, and ultimately, what will make us happy well into the future. Should you continue this line of thinking when looking for a career? Maybe. However, obstacles may get in the way of us thinking and acting solely with our heart, leading us to think more rationally and sensibly about our situations.

Let’s be realistic

Reality can get in the way of the perfect role you’ve always imagined yourself in. If you’ve just left university, you may have a cloud of debt hanging over your head. Because of this, you may not have the time to be unemployed while attempting to secure your dream job. Instead, you’ll need to be realistic and take any job that will pay the rent and help pay off your debts. This could also hinder you taking a risk and moving abroad to work in another country. This dream may be made difficult if you’re in a relationship and the thought of embarking in a long distance relationship scares the both of you.

Taking the risk

If your heart is in it, you should definitely follow that childhood advice, take some risks, and secure that dream role. When you picture yourself enjoying your work, making a change, helping others, and most of all, allowing yourself to be happy, you’ll notice your emotions running high. You’re excited and determined. You should be!

Once your heart is set, all you need to do is get to the finish line. But, how are you going to get there? This is where the rational side, your head, comes in.

Balance your head and your heart

You’ll definitely have to sit down and have a real think about what you need to do to get that dream job, or move up the career ladder like you always wanted. You’ll need to balance your head and your heart. Logic, reasoning and rationality may lead to you making some sacrifices in terms of finance and time. For example, internships may not be well paid, but they can aid in reaching your ultimate career goal as they demonstrate a more hands-on experience in the field. Going back into higher education could be a financial blow, and take up more of your time, but this could give you an advantage over other candidates so desperately wanting the same role you’re reaching for. Think rationally and logically about the route you’ll need to take.

While you’re sending off dozens of applications, making contacts, and perhaps studying on the side, think about part-time jobs that will let you have some money coming in. While you’re doing a Masters or a PhD to bump up your education, do some freelancing from home. Use your logic and reasoning to think of the best ways to soften the blow of financial problems or potential relationship problems while you secure your dream job and move up the career ladder. Even though you may need to make some lifestyle changes, this could be for the better.

Author's Bio: Henna Patel graduated in English and Spanish and now works as a Freelance Online Content Writer, writing for Inspiring Interns. She also volunteers for Latin American Women’s Aid. Find her on TwitterLinkedIn, and on her blog.