What do you see when you look at your background and experience? What kind of career can you envision yourself having with your existing skills?
It’s important that you really think outside of the box if you want to be sure to select the best career path for yourself.
“Certain things catch your eye, but pursue only those that capture the heart.” Ancient Indian Proverb
When you look at your skills and talent, consider how you can utilize those in order to create a career that you can be passionate about. I know there are people who will tell you that you shouldn’t turn your passion into your career. They will say that by doing this, you will be destroying your passion. I completely disagree with this. If you are not passionate about your career, how could you expect to have a meaningful career? Without passion, your career will simply turn into that dreaded thing known as a JOB and that’s the one thing you want to avoid—that’s why you’re reading this.
The purpose of reinventing your career is to do something that will get you excited in the mornings. Something that will benefit you and the life you want to live. I don’t know about you, but having a career that lacks passion does not sound very exciting to me. It doesn’t sound like something that would get me pumped up each day.
For this reason, I recommend that you take a look at your skills and consider doing something that will get you excited—something that you want to get up for each day.
I have a friend who worked various different “jobs” throughout his life. He had very little passion for those jobs and remained miserable in spite of the good money he was paid. Although his jobs afforded him a home filled with possessions, a motorcycle, jeep, and many other things he thought he needed in order to be happy, he was on the brink of depression. Waking up each day, simply going through the motions in order to pay bills and buy more things that were supposed to make his life better—it just wasn’t cutting it for him. Slowly, he realized that he needed to make a change in his personal and professional life.
Before making a change, my friend considered three things.
1. His existing skills.
Reviewing his skills and background, he knew he had customer service and sales skills.
2. His dreams and desires.
One of his dreams had always been to move to Key West and have the freedom to work for himself from anywhere in the world, rather than for a corporation in one set location.
3. How he could beef up his existing skills to make better use of them.
Considering that he wanted his career to be location free, allowing him to work from anywhere, he decided that he could beef up his existing skills through acquired self-taught training.
With a lot of determination and ingenuity, my friend was able to develop a career path that he could be passionate about. He began researching and teaching himself technical skills: learning how to design and develop websites and apps. He even learned how to write and publish e-books. However, in order to chase his dreams and move to the expensive Florida Keys, he needed to make some changes to his lifestyle. Discovering a life of minimalism, he jettisoned most of his belongings, getting down to only what he could carry on his back.
After these major life and career changes, he made the move he had been dreaming of and created a blog that focused on his new found passion for minimalism and his new home—the Florida Keys. This blog generated a huge following, which in turn produced a large customer base for his products and services. Utilizing his customer service skills to provide top notch website services to his clients, as well as his sales skills to market and sell his products and services, he was able to develop a career he was passionate about.
While my friend’s choice of career and personal life may not be the answer for you, he is an excellent example of someone who took the skills he had, worked on them and turned them into a meaningful life for himself—professionally and personally. A rather unorthodox approach to what many people will tell you to do when it comes to your career.
“The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking, don’t settle.” Steve Jobs
Regardless of which career path you choose to take, it’s important that you are passionate about it. Remember, the difference between a job and a career is that a career is long-term. When looking for a job, sometimes it’s ok to make quick decisions and changes. After all, a job is a way to pay the bills. If you don’t like the job, you can go find another one. Your career is more permanent, so it requires more thought. Just like my friend, you may need to learn some additional skills in order to beef up your current skill set and create a career that you are passionate about—a career that works for you.
Maybe you don’t want to be self-employed like me or my friend. Maybe you prefer to be part of a team, working in an office with others and reporting to someone else. Don’t think for a moment that your career development process will be any different. It won’t. It still requires the same amount of consideration. You may still need to take on additional training in order to create the career you want and you will still need to have a passion for that career if you want it to be meaningful.
“Whatever you decide to do, make sure it makes you happy.” Unknown
So, what does your ideal career look like? What will get you excited to start each and every day?