Hard work, sweat, hardships and failures are a common feature of most of our lives. We go to school for roughly 18 years and leave with a qualification that enables us to get employment. For some of us, what we do makes us so unhappy and unfulfilled that we dread waking up and going to work each day. However, there is something that a friend of mine said to me last week that is constantly in my head. I was telling him that I want a job in which I could see myself advancing which I don’t see possible in teaching since I have no desire to be in educational leadership. He said to me, “Don’t worry about advancing your career. Focus on advancing by becoming the best teacher you can be.”
Those words caused me to change my outlook because I realised that I was looking at what I do as a job instead of a career. When we view what we do as a job it becomes laborious, time consuming, and joyless. However, when we change our perspective and view what we do as a career we begin to see opportunities and ways in which we can make what we do something we enjoy. So, with this new found perspective, I began to ask myself how do I begin to enjoy what I do?
Do What You Are
The first step for choosing the right career is to understand your personality type and the jobs that would best suit your strengths and weaknesses. The Myers-Briggs personality profile is commonly used and provides an excellent, in-depth description of who you are and what you can do based on some questions you answer. The first time I did this assessment was with the JobBank which is owned and operated by Dr. Leachim Semaj. The profile I was given was that of an INFJ and the jobs that were listed as suiting my personality were doctor, teacher, pshychologist, social worker, human resource manager etc. Since I was in no position to do medicine, I decided to do teaching and throughout my teaching practice and first eight months of work I HATED it. I was so unhappy and wondered if that profile was really for me so I redid it online and guess what? I got the same result. Nevertheless, I was adamant that I needed to change careers and so I began to look into doing a masters in finance and applying for jobs in the financial sector. I went to interviews and thought I would get jobs but didn’t and the tuition fees for the degree I wanted to do were exorbitant. So, I was once more in a predicament. This is when my mother said to me that she believes that I would be miserable in finance because that career just does not fit my personality. I’m not analytical and aggressive and therefore really would not fit into the financial world. Consequently, I decided to change how I look at my job and that change in perspective has led me to believe that education is where I should be. If I do what I am then I will excel at it and become passionate about it. The same is true for you…understand who you are and choose the right career.
Be Open Minded
Every teacher dreams of having the perfect class where students sit, listen and fully understand what is being taught. Very rarely does a teacher have such a class and it is therefore important for me to be realistic about my expectations. Doing this has helped me to be less disappointed and enjoy my students more. Take the same approach to your career…be realistic about your expectations and you will find that you enjoy what you do more.
Look For Opportunities
In every career, there is always an opportunity to get a better job or advance in some way. You just have to be patient and keep your eyes and ears open and while you are doing that, you should put 110% percent into what you do. You may never know who is watching you not only at work but when you are out in a social atmosphere. Make the right impressions and the right opportunities will come along.
The majority of our lives is spent working hard and earning money so that we can provide for our families and enjoy retirement. It is therefore critical for you to choose the right career from the get go and learn to embrace it.