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We have a tendency to fall into our careers. One day we’re in education, the next we’re looking for any job that’s even vaguely related to what we studied, and then some time passes, and hey presto, that’s our life! It doesn’t have to be like this, however. There is another choice, and that is to take control of your career and make it your own. If you’re feeling powerless in your career, remember that it’s always up to you. Every day you make a choice; what will your decision be tomorrow? Will you stay on the path you’re currently on, or will you start walking toward the career that allows you to say ‘yes, I’m happy with my job’?
How Do You See Your Life?
There’s a question that few people ask themselves, but which every person should: how do you want your life to look? If you were able to read a story of your life 500 years from now, what would you want it to say? Thinking in these terms allows us to strip away the day-to-day issues that occupy our minds and think clearly about what it is we want from our time on earth. Once you’ve got an answer, your general motivation will be clear, and you’ll be able to think about the type of work that might best suit your driving forces.Every day you make a choice; what will your decision be tomorrow? Will you stay on the path you’re currently on, or will you start walking toward the career that allows you to say ‘yes, I’m happy with my job’?Click To Tweet
Establishing What’s Important
Every single person has different wants and desires. What are yours? What’s important to you? This isn’t a straightforward thing to determine, especially when we’re young. That’s why it’s important not to rush into a career straight after you’ve completed your studies. Instead, take a period just to live life, and then slowly but surely your values and ideals will present themselves. Your motivation might be money – it is a lot of people’s – but it might not; it’s all about finding your way of doing things, and not your mother’s or father’s or anybody else’s. If you’re struggling to determine what is most important to you, ask yourself what job you would do if money were not a factor. Let’s say it’s a moneyless society, but you have to do something: what would you choose? Whatever it is is probably what you should be doing with your life!
There are some practical matters to think about when it comes to your career. Chiefly, where you can do it. If you’re interested in working in fashion, then being located in a rural area away from a cosmopolitan city will not be the best spot for you. You can think about what you would like to do forever, but you’ll have to actually put yourself in a position to get the job if you want to make it a reality. If you’re tied to a spot that isn’t a hotspot for your intended industry, it doesn’t mean that you definitely won’t be able to work in it. You might just need to get more creative with how you’re involved. Generally, though, moving to where the jobs are is the best course of action – and easy enough to do if you’re young and have few responsibilities or commitments.
Blending Passion With Education
Unless you’re awesomely and naturally gifted in your intended career, you will need to have some education in that field for you to be employable. While it isn’t the case for all industries, being passionate generally isn’t enough to find gainful employment. Aside from finding a job, getting training will also turn your passion into a useful skill. If you want to make helping people your career, then an A degree in human services will give you the training you need to succeed. If you want to work in the media, then finding an internship at a company that reflects your interests will help you find a job further on down the line.
What Feels Right
There are a lot of questions you can ask yourself if you’re trying to determine what you should do with your life, but don’t overlook one of the biggest tools you have: your intuition. If you’re in a job that is unfulfilling and uninspiring, you’ll feel it. It’ll be a Sunday evening and the simple joys of the evening will be eroded by the thought of having to go to work the next day. When you have a job and life that you love, you won’t feel any trepidation at the prospect of going to work. You’ll be able to reclaim Sunday evenings. If you can feel yourself get Fired up by the thought of working in one particular field, you should ignore everything else: that’s where you should be working.
Looking for Inspiration
Ask yourself this: which historical figure do you admire most, and why? We tend to think of the heavyweights of history as superhuman, but they were just regular people who pushed themselves to be more. And so can you. There’s a lot to learn from people who have refused to settle for less and carved out their own life. It’s in this bracket that you want to one day be. Don’t just read biographies of successful people in the past for your own entertainment; actively learn something and incorporate those lessons into your career and life.
Hobby, Or a Job?
That being said, it doesn’t always go that just because you’re excited about something you should make it your job. Some things should exist just as passions you indulge in your spare time rather than something you try to make a living from. Doing something for fun and doing something for money are two very different things. Instead, focus on the broader traits of your passions that make them enjoyable to you, and go from there. It might be that you like working out challenges or being creative, in which case there would be many jobs in which those skills are valued.
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Marking the Trail
Look through the history of the world, and you’ll see inspirational person after inspirational person who has created their own destiny. It sounds grand, but hear us out. Sometimes, what you want to do with your life won’t have a network established that allows you to get qualifications, find a job, and work your way up. Sometimes you need to do it on your own, or at least without the help that most people have. If you believe in what you want to do, you’ll find a way to make it work – even if you have to establish the path yourself. Just because it hasn’t been done before doesn’t mean it can’t be done in the future!
Hard Times Come, Hard Times Go
There’s an idea that if you love your job, every day will be one long rolling wave of unparalleled enjoyment and contentment. This is not the case. No job is perfect, and if you fundamentally love what you do, you’ll still find that there are days when your patience and happiness is tested. Getting a new job doesn’t take away your humanness, and no human is happy all the time! Additionally, as you begin your journey toward your new career, you’ll find there are difficulties along the path. When this happens, you need to think of the bigger picture. Don’t think of where you are, but where you’re going.
In for the Long Haul
Talking about having patience, don’t forget that you’re in this for the long haul. It’s not just about getting the qualifications and putting yourself on the track to a new job. If you’ve selected your new career path correctly, it’ll be a lifelong passion that will never end. As such, don’t just think of your career switch as something for now. Think of it in terms of 5, 10, or 15 years. Though don’t forget that you’ll never be too old to switch careers should your passions change over time!
Striking the Work/Life Balance
Your job will be your passion, but it shouldn’t be your entire life. A lot of budding entrepreneurs feel passion for what they do, but that passion only ends in them refusing to take breaks for vacations and ultimately burning themselves out. While it’s admirable to throw yourself into something you care about, if you fail to pay attention to the other areas of your life then you might find that later in life you have a career that you’re proud of but that you’ve missed out on the other aspects of life that make living so enjoyable.
What Color Is Your Parachute?
Everyone is different. There is no one mode of living that suits everybody. In the 1970’s, Richard Nelson Bolles asked, ‘what color is your parachute’? Everyone is different. If you’re able to strip away the expectations and hone in on what you really what to do during your short time on earth, you’ll be one step closer to creating a life that leaves you fulfilled. It’s not an easy thing to figure out, but probably the most worthwhile aspect of life when we finally do.