Know what you like, then make it a career

This is the second post about choosing a career that you love if you want to be at your most productive. If you missed the first post from last week, you can read it here. Choosing a career you enjoy is one of the most rewarding decisions you can make in your life. A few weeks ago, I had a discussion with someone who told me about a friend of theirs. That friend had been doing a job they didn’t like and that wasn’t even paying them well for the past 15 years. Assuming the friend lives for 60 years, that’s a quarter of their life spent being miserable!!! You don’t want to be that person.

Know yourself

Knowing yourself is the beginning of wisdom. We all have different strengths, weaknesses, interests and values. All these factors and many more add up to create a composite of who you are. We are not all destined to be bankers or pop singers. If you are the sort of person who finds it difficult to sit in one place for more than a few minutes then a desk job might not be for you. If you are the sort that can’t talk about the virtues of a product to random strangers, you might want to think twice before accepting a job in sales or marketing regardless how much it pays. Mitigating your weaknesses is possible but it often requires a great deal of effort and dedication. It’s easier to play from a position of strength. Make a list of all your strengths and weaknesses. Most people instinctively know what they like and the kind of activities they enjoy doing. Is there any career that requires you to use your strengths?

Eight people motivated by different things
What motivates you?

Do your homework

Now that you have a list of all your strengths and the things you like to do, see if you can think of a career path that favours your strengths. Think of the careers you would like to do. Do any of your skills match up to that career. If you are still having difficulty, picking a career, try writing down a description of your dream job. Don’t be afraid. Write it down, no matter how farfetched it sounds. Even if that job does not exist, there might be an opportunity for you to create it. Questions to think about at this point are:

  • What kind of career will bring me the most happiness?
  • How much money would I like to be earning?
  • How important is money to me?
  • Do I want to work for someone?
  • Would I rather be my own boss?
A picture of someone writing on a piece of paper
Go ahead. Describe your dream job

See what it’s like

Chances are there is someone you know who is currently doing a job you would like to do or something similar. Talk to them. If possible, arrange a suitable time to interview them and hear what the job is like from their end. Better yet, have you considered doing an internship or an apprenticeship? A job might seem glamorous to you from the outside. However, once you get to see what it’s like from the inside, you may have second doubts. Are you willing to do the not so enjoyable behind-the-scenes work necessary for your career? Are you willing to acquire more skills and education necessary for your advancement in that career? Does it pay as much as you expected? Will it pay the bills? If you find yourself having second thoughts, it’s a sign you may need to rethink that career choice.

The word "apprenticeship" handwritten
A dose of the real thing might harden your resolve……. or break it

Pick (Or change)

Have you figured out what you like? Have you found a career that takes advantage of your strengths? Are you ready to dive in? All the best. Remember, this advice is valid whether you are about to start a career or looking to change your career. Many people will change careers at different points in their life. If the current career just isn’t doing it for you anymore and you would like to try something else, I wish you all the best as you embark on your journey to create the career that makes you happy.

A sign with arrows pointing in four directions. It reads "paths ahead"
It’s your choice. Really

How did you get into your current career? Are you happy with what you are doing? Do let me know in the comment section below?

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