When it comes to finding our calling in life and starting our careers, most of us will go through a similar process that has very little to do with what we actually want to do and this is so sad and can end up with a sense of being unfulfilled which can permeate throughout our lives and make people feel miserable and unhappy.
For most of us, our jobs are not a matter of design so much as luck and divine intervention. Perhaps you finish school/college/university and you find yourself at a loss for what to do; let’s be honest; many of us don’t know what we really want to do at this stage in our lives.
So what do you do? Inevitably, the vast majority of people will take the first job offer that comes up – let’s say that is stacking boxes for an air conditioning company. Sexy, eh!?!
Then maybe you find yourself somehow rising through the ranks and becoming the head of logistics for delivering said air conditioning units. Maybe this then catches the eye of someone at Fed Ex and you get head hunted to become the head of international…
Never mind that you studied at Uni to become a marine biologist! Did you want to be a marine biologist? Maybe it was just something that was of interest to you, but a career? If it was something that you were keen on studying it, then why not?
How To Stop That Happening
So, how did that happen?
Basically you allowed your skills to form as a result of your experience rather than your desires or dreams.
This is normally what happens and is not your fault but you do need to be aware that this is the normal process.
Our strengths are partly natural and partly acquired through our experience.
The latter actually tends to play a larger role though and certainly from the perspective of someone looking to hire you. When someone is looking at candidates, experience is a very important part in the decision making process of many employers, so we tend to get pushed down a path we never intended to follow!
Never mind that you love fish and have a marine biology degree – you’ve got 10 years of experience in logistics!
In other words, your strengths will be largely shaped by your experience, so if you want to make sure you don’t just ‘land’ in a career you never planned to pursue, you need to ensure that the experience you’re getting is highly relevant to whatever it is that you want to do.
Now you may argue that this is out of your control and it may be to some extent.
You don’t always get to choose the job offers that come your way or the advancement courses you get offered.
But sometimes it will be down to you.
And it will be down to you to make your experience relevant to the career path that you want to choose.
Life is full of choices, and they will have a huge impact on the path that you follow in life, so choose wisely.
Sometimes you have to gamble and choose with your heart and see where it takes you; it will be more exciting and more rewarding, but it can also be incredibly scary and this can deter some people from ever going for it.
Let me tell you now; NEVER give up on your dreams and don’t stubbornly hold out for that perfect job either – instead, plot yourself a course and steer yourself as much in that direction as possible, looking for opportunities wherever they arise to mold your strengths and abilities to be a fit for whatever it is you truly want to do with your life.
This way you will be doing your best to ensure that you are finding the right path in life for you and not just falling into a career that doesn’t really suit you. You owe it to yourself to have a career that you truly enjoy, fulfills you and makes you happy (and hopefully makes you some money in the process) so be aware of your choices and do everything in your power to steer your life and career in the direction you want to go 🙂