I will work for fun or I won’t work! Over the years, I have seen various signs such as work for food, beer, $ dollars, satisfaction, fame, money or the joy of working. Too often these words are meaningless. If you do not enjoy what you do, you should quit! That’s right, quit your job. If not quit, look for another job! Change careers, start your own business or just plain do something else.
Most people think about a career choice when they either graduate from high school or college. They never give it much thought earlier when they should acquire the skills and knowledge to figure out a career that is right for them. Funny, so many articles are written about the most lucrative careers or the most fulfilling and yet very little are written about how to find your career. I wanted to know the answer too.
I did everything short of actually taking tests or seeking out a life coach. I thought about what interested me and what skills or experience I could bring to the table. Simply said, what did I like and what was I good at? I always liked math and numbers so it was no surprise that I gravitated to accounting and finance. I was really good at budgeting and asking questions, it should be no surprise that these skills can be applied to many things. Some of which I was doing already.
I had some success going from a senior staff position to controller to chief financial officer in a matter of a few years. Although I had financial and professional success, I still was not enjoying the work. I enjoyed some of the work, but not enough to say it was my passion. At about the same time, I started to invest in income property. At first, it was supposed to be just an investment, but it became my passion. Careful what you wish for because it may just happen!
Opportunities happen all the time, but you have to recognize them. It didn’t surprise me that I had the skills to make this very successful. I just never thought about investing in income property. What did surprise me was I loved it! Being a landlord is not easy, but it didn’t matter! I either had the skills or learned what I needed to be successful. A good landlord has to be organized and understand the financial aspects of running this kind of business. My skills and experience as a problem solver can work in a variety of professions.
Here lies the dilemma! How do you find your passion? The simple answer is to start looking early as possible and expose yourself to as many businesses, industries and careers as possible. For example, if you are passionate about accounting, law or medicine, you can find the specialty that you will love to do as a career. In business, it is similar; you find the profession you love and find the industry, environment, company and the particular career that you will love.
It isn’t easy! You can find part-time jobs that will provide insight into a career, internships, or classes. Don’t forget networking, informational interviews and talk it over with your teachers or professors. Last, you should talk to the people who perform the career, you are interested in. Job shadowing is another technique that will answer many of your questions too. Too often, children and adults do not spend enough time figuring out what really interests them. They just take a career and stick with it because it is hard to change. You become dependent on the income or change requires taking a cut in pay.
If you enjoy what you are doing, you will be good at it and you will do well financially. The hard part is figuring out what you will be good at it versus just doing your best. Worst, it a job you hate and you cannot quit! Confucius says choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life. Choosing the right career is tricky, but you can do it! I will work for fun or I won’t work!
Photo by: neil conway