1. What factors should I consider when choosing my next job or career?

Before deciding on your next job, first take stock of your situation by considering the following factors: your experience and level of education, where you want to live and work, how much money you want to make, and your overall life goals. Without first developing a view on these factors, you might be flailing in the dark.

If the impetus for your change is you’re not happy at your current job or career, then consider yourself lucky! You have a baseline from which to judge the factors that are most important to you. You know what does not make you happy. You know the jobs and careers that will prolong your agony thus making it easier for you to figure out what kind of job might make you happy.

With so many factors to consider, it’s important to grasp the big picture. For instance, you’ll have multiple career paths available to you in this next phase of your life. Take a trip down those roads by exploring a few common questions: Which skills are still emerging and therefore ripe for development? Are my interests aligned with my abilities? Do I have a passion for the work I’d be doing daily?

If you want to have a lucrative career (or even better a liucrative one) then choose an industry with momentum and consider the following oft-quoted cliché attributed to hockey great, Wayne Gretzky:

“I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.”

When deciding on a specific company, factors to consider include compensation, career growth opportunities, company culture, and personal values. The more realistic you are about what you expect out of your next job (and what it will give back to you), the more likely it is that you will find work that matches those expectations and needs.

One final point: The key difference between a job and a career is the latter deals with long-term happiness and fulfillment. A job could be a commitment for days or months while a career is years. Choose wisely.

2. How do I follow a path that will help both me and others?

To begin with let me start by commending you. Helping others while helping yourself is a well-trodden path to living a fulfilling and happy life.

Start by asking yourself what value can you add to the world? What talents do you have that benefit others? Who else has a career that emulates what you want to do? Understand that the answer cannot be found in your job description, but rather in who you are and what matters most to you.

I have found that the most effective way to find a career that will make a difference is to follow your interests. If you want to help others, but don’t know where or how to start, ask your friends and colleagues. Perhaps even consider hiring a career coach to help you find the career that matters most to you.

Note that there is no easy way to find a career that will help both you and others. You will have to do some research, analyze your options and make the decision that feels right for you. But the more time we spend helping others less fortunate than ourselves, the more value we will add and feel fulfilled with our choices.

3. You’ve had a long career. What’s the biggest lesson you learned on your journey?

The biggest lesson I learned in my career is that it’s never too late to reinvent yourself.

When I was a teenager, I wanted to be a cartoonist and a writer. Unfortunately, economic reality set in and I followed a path that led me to Wall Street. After almost 25 years as a corporate guy, I remade myself into a tech entrepreneur and venture capitalist.

In the last few years I then dedicated my energies towards writing, drawing, and other entertainment projects. In effect, my life has come full circle at middle age.

My journey has been full of ups and downs. But the way I see it, we are always on a journey, there is always something new to learn, people to meet and experiences to be had.

My experience has taught me that following your passion is worth every challenge you have to go through. It is the journey and not the destination that defines us.

About the Author

Dave is a seasoned executive and entrepreneur who founded several companies in entertainment, investments, and technology, and worked on Wall Street for almost 25 years. He started his career by joining a fledgling investment bank, Jefferies, when it had less than 200 employees.

Today, Jefferies is a multi-billion dollar diversified public company (NYSE:JEF).  He rose from the entry level position of Analyst to Group Head of Internet and Digital Media and was one of the youngest Managing Directors in firm history.  As one of the only managing directors of color in the firm, he successfully broke through the Bamboo Ceiling. He not only worked hard but also played the corporate game.  Hundreds of bankers have worked for Dave during his career. He has mentored many of them who have gone on to some of the best business schools and companies in America. 

He is eager to share his knowledge with Asian Americans and other disadvantaged groups seeking to maximize their potential and achieve their career goals.

If you want some great career tips and insights check out Dave’s book, The Way of the Wall Street Warrior.

You can follow Dave at Facebook@Liucrative, Twitter@Liucrative, Instagram@LiucrativeEndeavors, LinkedIn@DaveLiu, or TikTok@Liucrative.

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