By Cathi King
“The only good luck many great men ever had was being born with the ability and determination to overcome bad luck.” – Channing Pollock
Ever look at people and see the life being sucked from their bodies? I see it on a daily basis as millions of people march their way through an assembly line and journey to jobs that they hate. Sometimes it’s the typical 9-5 grind. Other times it’s longer.
Some people are content with mediocrity. And there’s nothing wrong with that. They have stability, income, maybe even a pension. Good for them.
Others, however, seek more out of life. They cannot sit still doing work that doesn’t make a difference. They are torn between wanting to do something they love, and doing what they have to do.
Tips for Finding A Career You Love
When I graduated college, my biggest fear was to end up like everyone else.
I admit, my grades were not good in college. Classes like biology, physiology, and genetics I loved and did well in. Yet classes that I thought were irrelevant like humanities, statistics, French, I hated and it caused my grades to suffer.
I didn’t finish in the top of my class. My GPA was below average, and most potential employers didn’t give me a second glance.
So what do you do when you’re fresh out of college and looking for a career? Do you fall victim to the assembly line or makes sacrifices to do something great? The choice is yours.
Here are some things to consider when trying to find a career you love:
- If Possible, Forget About Money
I know this isn’t feasible for everyone.
It certainly wasn’t for me, but if you can afford it, try doing an apprenticeship. You gain a tremendous amount of knowledge working for leaders in an industry. If you don’t mind living with your parents for a few more years, then I’d say go with this route.
If you do have bills or family, then volunteering on part time basis is an option. You’ll be working around the clock, but it will pay off in the long run.
- Do What You Love
This is the hard part. There are many people that have passions for doing multiple things. I always stick to what doesn’t get old. What do you enjoy doing that you never grow tired of?
I know some people who turned their passion into a job but they grew to hate it.
Then there are those with whom it never grows old. If you burn easily, then you’ll need to find a balance. There are different levels of passion, so finding a balance is vital in continuing to love what you do.
- Personal Development
Change your mindset, change your life. Improving on ourselves is vital. If we stagnate then nothing in our lives will ever improve. Always be seeking to better yourself.
Work on all areas and not just your weak spots. Industry leaders are typically well rounded individuals. They have a long list of qualities that makes people seek them out, and over 60% of companies are looking to improve leadership skills.
If you aim to become a leader in your field of expertise, then ask yourself; Do I possess the qualities that would make others want to follow me?
Chances are high that there is something you could improve on. We must always stay coach-able and never quit seeking to better ourselves.
- Work Ethic
Are you more of couch potato or a go-getter?
Be honest with yourself. Don’t throw yourself into a job that requires you to be available 24/7 when you don’t have the stamina to work past 5PM. You’ll end up hating yourself and the people you work for will end up hating you.
If you plan to start your own business, understand that it’s likely it will become something you live, eat, and breathe.
I ran my own small business through college.
I had the ultimate flexibility. Often times, I found myself worrying about my business, when I should’ve been worrying about the classroom. For me it was great. I loved what I was doing and was driven by my obsession.
If you are not the type who wants to be consumed, it would be a nightmare. Know your limits.
- Know Your Strengths and Weakness
This goes hand-in-hand with the personal development section. No one is great at everything. Take some time to evaluate yourself. Know what you need to work on.
I am terribly disorganized and forgetful. If I make an appointment with someone and I don’t write it down, I won’t remember it later.
One of my greatest strengths is resilience. If life knocks me down, it doesn’t take long for me to get back up and running. Have some humility and know what you need to do to improve yourself.
- Find a Mentor
Let’s face it, not everyone is going to believe in you or guide you.
My own parents were not a fan of my business endeavor. You will receive a lot of unsolicited advice and you have to know when to listen and when to ignore advice.
Seek out a mentor. Find someone who has been in the business before you and let them give you advice.
- Don’t Fear the Leap
I won’t lie and tell you that everything will be butterflies and white lilies.
There are risks with every career, especially with starting your own business. If you have a spouse and kids, this is much harder to do, and you’ll have to take more calculated risks.
If you spend your life living in fear, then you’ll never accomplish anything. You have to take that leap. Be prepared to land on your face.
I jumped several times before landing steady on my feet. One leap took me to a new state to work with one of the best in my industry.
Long story short, I got fired and was stuck in place where I didn’t have any family or friends. I made it work and it turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
There is a saying that goes “The master has failed more that the student has tried.” There is a lot of truth to those words. There is no reason why we shouldn’t strive to achieve our dreams. Be realistic about your talents and never stop seeking.
If what we first attempt doesn’t work, then we simply attack it from another angle.