You know the old saying that ???if you find a job you love then you will never work a day in your
life???? While it may sound pretty corny, it is actually true. However, it needs to be re-sculpted for
the modern age. These days the chances of you having a single job from graduation to retirement
are pretty much nil. We are all modular workers, we will move around from one company to
another, one position to another. That is just the nature of the contemporary work environment.
So to bring that saying into the 21st century we need to make just one change, but it is an
important one. Now it should read, ???if you find a career you love then you will never work a day
in your life???. So what is a career? Career is defined as ???an occupation undertaken for a significant
period of a person’s life and with opportunities for progress.??? In this definition career is
understood to relate to a range of aspects of an individual’s life work. With a career you can
change jobs and positions a million times, but you will always have the same focus with your
career, it means that all the different jobs you take are cumulative, that they build on top of one
another and add to each other so that as time goes on you have more relevant skills and more
experience that means you are at the top of your game.
But this means that you need to work out what career you want. And this is not as easy as it
sounds. There are many different careers out there, with more and more new ones being created
each and every day, and old ones gradually and suddenly disappearing. So how do you go about
deciding what you are going to do for most of your life? It is a big decision and one that takes a
lot of effort to get right. This guide will help you on your way, whether you have left school and
are scrolling through the classifieds, are about to start studying, are thinking about retraining or
simply need a new direction in life.
Time for some self-reflection
Right, the first thing that you need to do is ???self-reflection???, though to be honest this part should
also involve talking to those who know you best. What you need to do is come up with an
honest outline of who you are, where your skills and best qualities lie and what things satisfy you.
The reality is that we are all different and the things that make some people happy would drive
others totally nuts. While some people love interacting with others all day, there are many who
could not imagine anything worse. That is why you need to be really honest and thorough here.
You need to make a list of ???skills???, where you write down everything that you are good at,
whether it is working with numbers or people. They don???t just have to be ???skills??? that you have
learnt but can also be your innate qualities. Then you need to make another list of ???satisfiers???,
here you write down all the things that you enjoy. Now in both these lists it helps to be
comprehensive. Don???t try to tailor them to any specific jobs, but rather be as honest as you can
(if you are really good at balancing a spoon on your nose, then list it! Same goes if you are a
fantastic joke teller! Also, if you like going for long walks in the rain or drinking pina coladas
then make sure you put these on the list! Whatever you are good at or like should go on here).
That way you will gain a really broad and encompassing outline of what you are good at and
what you like, and the intersection between these two lists should help you work out what you
want to do.
Time to get to the intersection
Ok, you have your long lists of things that you are good at and things that you like. Now is the
time to see what careers will bring these two things together. The idea here is to marry up the
things that you are good at with the things that you like and find a career that brings them
together. That way you will not only enjoy what you do but will be good at it (and being good at
something is enjoyable in itself). Now this is the most difficult part as you will really need to
think laterally when you are thinking about what careers match your two lists. Try not to be
boxed in by the traditional careers like lawyer, accountant and architect, but be more creative and
adventurous about what things fit with your lists. It may be that you are really good at measuring
and love working with numbers, which means that you could work as a surveyor or pattern
cutter or even a digital renderer. The point is that you need to be as flexible and open as you can
so that you are able to find a number of careers that will fit your skills and your passions.
Choose one and make it so
Right, here is the hardest part. Now that you have worked out a number of different possible
careers that fit with both the things that you are good at and the things that you love, you have
to choose one and make it a reality. The point is to match up the possible careers with ones that
you can actually achieve, then set your sights on achieving it. Good luck and may you never work
a day in your life!