If you have muscular dystrophy then you know you are going to have physical difficulty at some point so I suggest making sure that your career path is accessible!
My undergraduate degree is in civil engineering and I was going to pursue construction management as a graduate degree. During this time I could still walk. However for my classes there were many field trips to places that required stair climbing, ladder climbing, and lots of uneven terrain. It didn’t really occur to me that I wasn’t going to be able to do that sort of thing down the road. Although I really enjoyed the program and don’t regret choosing it as a major, I wish I had thought ahead a bit.
Now I’m not saying you shouldn’t pursue your dream just because there might be some physical activity involved. There are always ways to make accommodations. For me, however, a career wading around in sewers or at construction sites wasn’t really a dream of mine so it was easy to give up on civil engineering. Since then, however, I have found tremendous success and productivity be switching to a career in computer programming which I do through my own company.
Obviously, any job that involves working with a computer is going to allow you to work for many many years. And that’s what you want — a long and productive career. A good job pays the bills a lot better than a social security disability check.
Personally, I like working with computers because it’s a constant learning process. There is always some new coding mechanism to learn or a software product to pick up. There is also a lot of flexibility that permits me to work whenever I want, wherever I want. The value of that is almost priceless. I believe it’s possible for anyone to have a job or career they like doing as much as I do.
So here are some tips about choosing a potential career for yourself:
- Choose something that interests you and you enjoy doing.
- Seek out internships or part time jobs in the industry you’re thinking about.
- Talk to people who do the kind of work you are interested in.
- Take courses in college that are related to your field of interest.
- Keep your mind open to careers that aren’t necessarily your first choice.
- Read and learn as much as you can on your own about your field of interest.
- Think about the future. Is it something you can see yourself doing in 10 years? 20 years? 40 years?
- Always be open to suggestion. You never know when something might interest you that you’ve never tried before.
- If your top choice of career might be physically challenging down the road, think about related jobs in the same industry that might not be.
- Go for it with your top choice and if it doesn’t work out, it’s never too late to start over.
Life is always about learning and you can learn all the time. You can start from scratch whenever you want. No matter what you choose to do with life, just make sure you are happy doing it.