Simple Steps to Get into a Job You Love
Tomorrow marks the 21st annual Bring Your Daughter (& Son) to Work Day. The program was founded as a way to introduce young girls to the many career opportunities that they could aspire to take on. By providing exposure to the world the adults lived in, it became a way to get girls to dream big and believe that they could be anything they wanted to be- doctors, lawyers, CEOs you name it!
This yearly American tradition got us to wonder, how many of us end up becoming “what we want to be when we grow up” and how did we ultimately get where we are? Was it by following in the footsteps of our parents? More importantly, if we haven’t yet found our way, how we do get back on track of pursuing our career passion?
Personally, I always wanted to grow up to become a famous actress. I took dance, voice, and acting lessons all in the hopes of growing the talent needed to master this pursuit. What did I ultimately become? A brand manager and marketer. Not exactly the same. While I didn’t follow the career paths of either my mom or dad (nurse and consultant respectively) I did pick up their practicality for a stable and traditional career. What I’ve learned since leaving my job last November is that my desire to become the next Oscar wielding first lady really boils down to a need for a creative outlet. This is where The Single Diaries came into play. By following other bloggers I stumbled upon a new career pursuit and passion.
>>Here’s What a Few of Our Single Girls Had to Say
When I was a kid, I wanted to be a dancer/model/teens’ basketball coach. For some reason, I was in love with the idea of having five jobs (like Charlie in Monsters In Law). I wanted to be so many things, and I thought I could do them all. My parents are in the medical profession, so their jobs don’t entail anything creative. I am a naturally creative person, but I was always told that creative things are for extracurriculars. That’s really why I felt pressured to go to law school, and that’s what I’m grappling with right now. I realized I don’t want to be a “professional”; I want to do something creative, but at this point, I don’t know what. – Shalini
I always wanted to be a zoologist. I thought that working with large zoo animals or swimming with dolphins would be the coolest job ever! I think I just loved animals so much! My dad was a lawyers so I did give a little thought to law school at some point. But then obviously didn’t pursue. My mom has always been artsy & creative so I did think she influenced my love for art & design which ultimately led to my career.- Caroline
My profession of choice changed pretty frequently, but for a while I wanted to be a paramedic. At other times I thought I wanted to be a teacher or a doctor. My parents were both in the medical profession, and although I definitely considered going into medicine, I ultimately went into the design industry. – Kristen
>>Pursuing Your Career Passion
Overall it seems that while our parents play an important role in influencing our career decisions, what ultimately makes us happiest is chasing after our own interests, whatever they may be. We have to be comfortable forging our own paths and go after the dreams we believe in. For those of you who have made this decision from the get-go, that is something to be proud of! However, if you’re like I was a few months ago, you might feel like your climbing up the wrong ladder. If that’s the case, here are a few tips for getting back on track and finding your career passion.
Find someone doing the job you’d love to have and ask if they’d mind if you shadowed them for a day. You’ll get to see what a typical day in the office looks like for this person and get a better feeling for whether it’s truly how you’d like to be spending your time. Some jobs sound glamorous on paper but in reality can be a real drag
Offer up your time to serve as a free intern/consultant for a small company or start-up that is doing something that really interests you. Chances are they won’t pass up the offer for free help. In turn, you’ll get to learn first hand what it’s like to work in that field and whether you’d like to make a career of it.
3. Grab Coffee
Most people are excited to get the chance talk to others about the things that they are involved in. Seek out connections to individuals at companies or in jobs that you’re interested in and ask if they’d be up for grabbing a cup of coffee and telling you about what they do. In this kind of informal setting you give them the liberty to talk candidly about the good and the bad of their career.
When you’re looking for a place to start learning about alternative career paths, often the best place to start is with a little online searching. The Muse and The Brazen Careerist are two of my favorite sites for seeking out career advice and insight.
5. Join a Club
Maybe you aren’t in need of a total change of career but rather need to bring more of what you love into your everyday life. For instance, you may love to cook but that doesn’t necessarily mean you want to quit your day job and head off to become a master chef. Instead, find a group that shares your same interests and get involved as a way to do more of the things you love.
6. Make it Part of Your Work
Sometimes loving what we do means giving our work a personal touch. Look for opportunities to integrate your personal interest into your responsibilities and role within your company either formally or casually. If you have a need to be more creative, talk to your boss about ways you can work closer with the design team. If you are an environmental enthusiast, spearhead a volunteer committee that educates the office on recycling. There are endless ways to bring your interests into your work if you start to think outside of the box!
Hopefully you’ve found a way to do what makes you happy. We’d love to hear from you! Comment below or Tweet us @SingleDiariesXO to let us know how you have found your career passion.