How to find a career you love
Indeed, there is a typical pattern for all of us. Great minds created the school and college, working hours, a bunch of activities and even retirement. According to this, nobody in the society should be left out. Just follow the pattern, and you will be safe. However, in the world of diversity, people of all ages at some point of their lives ask one question. 'What should I do with my life?' We have a flexible economic system, the basic rights, and freedom but still, don't know what career to choose.
Psychoanalyst Erich Fromm explained this paradox in detail in his book ‘Escape from Freedom’ (1941). According to him, not all people are able to live without any forms of power (parents, partners, religion, political power, etc) because they don't want to take responsibility for their decisions. However, once they change this pattern and start acting spontaneously, following their dreams, they will be able to understand the concept of positive freedom. It involves living in harmony with yourself and getting pleasure from work.
So, if you do want to become your true self and find a job you love, you need to take responsibility for your words and actions. It means that you will not be asking anyone to decide for you. And you will not blame others if something goes wrong. Instead, you will handle it all by yourself like mature people usually do.
How to figure out what you want?
The concept of positive freedom Erich Fromm was writing about includes being aware of what you want. There are so many different professional fields for you to try.
We live in a fast-changing world, so it is quite possible that your perfect job wasn't even invented yet. 10 years ago there was no Social Media Manager or App Developer, and nowadays it is trendy.
There are specific questions that can help you to understand what you expect from your future career.
1. How much time do you want to spend on your work?
Some people wrongly assume that owners of successful business projects work one day per week and relax the rest of the time. The truth is that they work probably more than all of us. They are responsible 24/7 for what they are doing. Would you be able to do the same?
There is also an option to work from 9 to 5. In this case, your responsibility will be reduced. After 8 hours you can peacefully go home and do your stuff.
2. Can you read 100 books?
‘Find your passion and make it your career’ is probably the worst advice someone can give you. What does passion actually mean? And do you really need to make a career out of it? Answer another question.
Is there any topic you like and can read at least 100 books on?
Go to the nearest book store to find something you’d like to read. Not fiction of course. It can be anything from marketing to the history of arts. If you aren’t bored to read 100 books on one topic, maybe it can be the right direction for your career?
Passion is a strong word. You should be definitely interested in your career, but it doesn’t mean you should give up on everything else. Just because it is your passion. You will be surprised to discover how much one person can do just because of interest.
3. Whom do you want to work with?
Of course, it’s not always possible to surround yourself with the best colleagues at work. Even a leader of the corporation needs to deal with people whom he barely stands.
If you want to find a career you love, you will need to try working alone and in the team. So you can understand what you prefer more.
4. What are your career goals?
Do you consider yourself a leader? Or you are brilliant in getting your work done, and you don't feel like taking responsibility for the organization process?
There is one psychological exercise that can help you to determine your career goals. In the morning, before you even drink your coffee, draw a line. This line is your professional life. From the age of 20 till 100 years (let's be positive about the length of our lives). Within 10 minutes (not longer) write every dream you have for your professional life. For example, 'I want to work as a shop assistant at the age of 20 and become the owner of the shop at the age of 30, and when I'm 50 years old, I want to have at least 20 shops'. Write down everything that comes to your mind. Maybe your career will not look like that, but at least you will have something to stand on.
Tips on how to find a career you love
#1 Career aptitude test
Feel free to take a career aptitude test. It doesn’t mean the test will decide for you what to do in life. It will only help you to discover a pattern you didn’t think about. There are different career aptitude tests you can take online. Here is one of them. Of course, it will not tell you where to send your CV, but at least you will be aware of the professional fields where you can try to develop yourself.
#2 Try multiple jobs
You cannot find the perfect job for yourself if you have nothing to compare to. The best-case scenario is to try different professions while you are in college. Don't be disappointed if you are not a student anymore. It is not a problem to find a career you love in your late 20s or 30s.
Do you remember the story of Colonel Sanders, an American businessman, founder of KFC fast food restaurant? He sold his first "Kentucky Fried Chicken" franchise in 1952. He was 62 years old back then. He was fired from multiple jobs dozens of times, but he couldn’t stop trying until he found something truly worthy. This man tried and failed, survived the Great Depression and World War II. And you still want to complain about not finding the perfect career for yourself at the age of 25? Really?
#3 The golden rule for people who want to find careers they love:
It takes time.
Not everyone is Justin Bieber who had almost $70 Million on his bank account at the age of 17. For many talented people, though, it takes time to find a perfect combination of doing what that like and benefiting from it.
Steven King worked multiple jobs before becoming one of the most famous horror storytellers. J.K. Rowling and Elizabeth Gilbert had the same situation. They wanted to get published but got dozens of rejection letters before things started working out. They didn’t give up on their writing careers when it was difficult. And they didn't ask themselves "What am I doing with my life?". It was their career path, and they didn't doubt about it.
Don’t take rejections to your heart and don’t let negative opinions on your work to put you down. It takes time. No one can predict whether it will take one year or more. Look at this from a completely different angle. It’s not a rejection letter in your hands. Someone is just checking out how badly you want to develop your career. Don't give up!