Watch CBS News

10 Great Careers for Self-Driven People

10 Great Careers for Self Driven PeopleHow many of you actually know what you want to be when you grow up? I know people in their 40s and 50s who are still trying to figure that out.

Come to think of it, the whole idea of somehow magically discovering what you're meant to do with your life is more or less a roll of the dice.

That's the way it was for me, that's for sure. From high-tech engineering to sales to marketing to executive management and finally, after more years than I care to count, to this. I've found myself.

If you think that's a crazy way to get here from there, I couldn't agree more. So I'm going to do for you what nobody did for me: help you figure out what you might want to be when you grow up, if not sooner.

If you're stuck in a corporate or office job and you're miserable because it drives you nuts or it just doesn't feel right, let me ask you a few questions:

  • Are you competitive by nature?
  • Are you self-driven, achievement oriented?
  • Do you crave frequent feedback or attention?
  • Are you sort of creative, intuitive, inspired by odd things others think are dumb or trivial?
  • Do you like to do things your own way, carve your own path, draw the world with your own colored crayon?
  • Are you a little compulsive, anxious, hyper, maybe a touch of ADD or Asperger's Syndrome?
If any of that sounds like you, then career-wise, you're not there yet. To help you get there, here are 10 Great Careers for Self-Driven People. None of that niche stuff - like racecar driver - where there's 100 jobs in the whole world. These are real careers that just might fit you like your own skin.
  1. Chef, cook, bar tender. Talk about adrenaline, fierce competition, fast paced, all-consuming, short feedback loop ... a dream job, but only for certain types. And no, pastry chef doesn't count; that's a whole different personality type.
  2. Sales. What some people call sales these days, I call spam. Not that. I'm talking about real sales people who actually build lasting business relationships. It's incredibly fulfilling if you can live with the lumpiness of high-commission compensation.
  3. Executive management. You think I'm kidding? Nope, this is for real. Believe it or not, some people are actually more adept, less stressed, and decidedly happier the higher they climb up the corporate ladder. It was definitely true for me. And it's never a dull moment. Always a fire to put out or a crisis to deal with. Thrilling. Seriously.
  4. Marketing. Just like with sales, not all that B2B crap that fills up your inbox. I'm talking about serious, hub-of-the-wheel marketers who work on products and positioning. Check out Marketing is Dead - Long Live "Real Marketing" - that'll get you there.
  5. Entrepreneur. This one sort of goes without saying, but almost any kind of entrepreneur fits the bill. I don't know if Gen-Yers are the entrepreneurial generation because of how they grew up or because there are no jobs; just be careful of the whole Internet entrepreneur thing. There's a dark, boring side you won't enjoy.
  6. Anything in investment banking. Equity or bond trader, broker, analyst, high-net worth financial planning, all that stuff. Yeah, I know, Wall Street's got a bad rep these days. Ask me if I care. Bottom line: careers don't get any more competitive or fast-paced.
  7. Agent. Talent, literary, sports, any kind of agent. Fun stuff.
  8. Blogger. If you can write, have something to say and a unique voice to say it with, and love attention and real-time feedback, blogging is the way to go. Granted, it's hard to make a living at it, so it's more of a slash job - for people who do more than one thing.
  9. Wine-maker or brewer. If you can handle the chemistry, the meticulous scientific nature and the Zen component, you do get to do sort of carve your own path and try lots of different ideas and methods.
  10. Social media marketing. Is this really a career? I'm not entirely sure. In fact, I'm sort of leaning towards it being one of those things you can't make money doing. Still, a helluva lot of people are doing it and they seem to be having fun, so I figured I'd throw it in.
That's all I can think of right now. So, what did I miss?

Also check out:

Follow Steve Tobak on Twitter or Facebook
Image via Flickr
View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.