Finding Your Calling

Ten career pathsIt’s that time of year when proud students – high school and college – celebrate their graduation. Seems like yesterday, because I can still remember both of mine vividly!

It’s a different world now, economically, socially and technologically. Now, graduates can Google career advice and job searching advice. They can apply for jobs from the comfort of their laptop, tablet or even their smart phone. But can they Google their talents and skills, like and dislikes? They may have an interest or love for a particular field, may pass an aptitude test, but still that may not be the best career choice for them.

You usually know what you like, but equally as important is what you don’t like. Sometimes you don’t know until you try it. That can be a tricky prospect if you take a job and then find out: OMG, what was I thinking? You really don’t want that. Better to explore a future career on a short-term basis.

That’s where internships fill a very important role in giving a person an idea of what doing that job is like. Remember the movie, “The Devil Wears Prada?” This past year the concept of internships was updated for modern times. In the movie, “The Intern” Robert DeNiro portrays a 70-year-old widower who seeks to fill his days purposefully. Great movie!

Not everyone is in a position to obtain an internship, but another way to explore possibilities is through volunteer positions or short-term assignments through a staffing agency.

What do you want to do? What don’t you want to do?

This month I had the opportunity to work on a business project I had done several times before. It was a repeat client. It was even a type of job I had toyed with the idea of doing on a full-time basis.

Not after this past month. We were busier than we had ever been in the past and I found my perspective changing. I knew that I definitely did not want to pursue that type of work on a full-time, long term basis! That is a valuable bit of information!

I even gained a new-found sense of appreciation for those who do that particular work as a full-time career!

Everyone has their own unique strengths and should play to those strengths. I’m not saying that you are going to have a career where you love every single minute. I hope you do. But realistically, there might be that one small function that doesn’t rock your boat. That’s OK, you just don’t want to be hating getting out of bed in the morning.

Eliminating a prospective career is a key step in the discovery process for job seekers. Make a list of things you like to do, but also things you don’t like to do. Determine how important those things are to you. Are they deal breakers? Think about it.

It’s also never too late if you find yourself in a job that just isn’t you. Be true to yourself.

If it’s not calling, odds are it’s not for you.

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