5 Tips to Find a Career That Suits You

How do you respond when you’re 15, 16, 17, and people ask you “What are you going to do with your life?” The expectation to have the entirety of your life planned out before you even have much real life experience is high. Everyone seems very concerned that you don’t waste your life. Considering talents and undiscovered skills you may learn in the coming years, finding the right answer can seem daunting. No pressure! This is only a lifelong decision you need to have figured out before you graduate high school.

Let’s be honest. The expectation to get it figured out is pretty unrealistic. With all of the pressure to choose something “practical” or “useful,” how do you choose what to do with your life? Here are five things to consider while trying to avoid the drama of family expectations, the dread of a life doing something you won’t enjoy, and the pressure to have everything figured out by the time you’re old enough to drive.

  1. Think about things you enjoy. There is an assumption that if you enjoy doing something, it must not be practical and you could never make a good income out of it. But think about it. There are professional skateboarders and video gamers. I mean, of all the things that seem impractical, these would certainly fall into this category. And yet, people make money at it. What is the key? They looked for opportunities to show their skills to people who paid. Competing, honing their skills, learning everything they could about what they did. Just remember, it can’t be only a hobby if you are going to make a living at it. You have to take it seriously enough to put in work.
  2. Add something you’re good at to something you enjoy. Often if you enjoy something you will be good at it because you enjoy putting in the time to get better. Sometimes it goes the other way too, where you are naturally good at something and learn to enjoy doing it because it seems comfortable or it comes somewhat easily. Doing something “practical” that you are NOT good at just because it is a “good career choice” could be disastrous. If you pursue something you are not good, it’s a quick road to burnout and frustration. There is another common misconception around this, and that is that the path of least resistance is for sissies. If you aren’t working miserably hard, then you must be lazy and unproductive. But the opposite can be true. If something comes naturally, why not take advantage of your natural talents?
  3. Don’t choose a career based on what people think. It isn’t a bad idea to consider advice, but advice is just that. Advice. You can consider it, think about it, determine if it makes sense for your life, and use what works. Also realize that when listening to advice given from someone’s insecurities shouldn’t be taken as a serious desire to help you.
  4. If you think a career field seems interesting to you, spend some time getting into and immersed in it. Your first reaction shouldn’t be “I am going to spend money on getting the degree required for this job.”  I mean seriously, you have the internet, there are internships, base level jobs, and people in currently in those jobs you can talk to first. Think about it. Why would you invest thousands of dollars and years of your life without a plan? People who with investments research the funds or things they are investing in extensively before they put ANY money into it.  Why not do that before investing YOUR time and money?
  5. Don’t be afraid to change a few times as you grow and discover different things about yourself. Until you get a chance to start getting your hands dirty and get into the workplace, it can be hard to tell what you might be good at or enjoy. Think like a business owner, not a recruiter. A business owner knows all the worst parts of the job and running the business, but to him he weighs it against the benefits of what he does and how it makes him feel, or how much money he makes, and he doesn’t mind doing the harder things because he enjoy the work more. A recruiter tells you all the coolest and best parts of a job without telling you about the worst parts. If you feel the need to make a change in direction, just remember that the most important part of this process is honesty. Don’t quit a job by walking off because you discover you don’t like it. Maintain your integrity with employers and yourself as you work at finding what your purpose and fulfilling career could be.

Figuring out what to do for the rest of your life can seem like a daunting task, especially when it seems like the only thing people care about is that you do what they think is good for you. Don’t be afraid to take on some commitment in the form of a job, or starting to build a business. Be willing to figure things out. And remember, you don’t have to have it all figured out yet, but to get anywhere, you have to be willing to try!

 

If you want to gain the tools to help you find the right career, and start your journey toward being less stressed, and more fulfilled every day, then click here to subscribe to my FREE course 14 days to Stress Less and Achieve Your Dreams!

Avoiding the Kid Stigma: 5 Ways to Integrate Successfully into the Adult Professional World

How do I get the world to take me seriously? How do I make more than minimum wage? How do I actually get a job? Why won’t they promote me at work?

As someone who has been a leader and manager for multiple companies and in volunteer organizations I am often asked these questions. I am a young professional that has had to go through challenges around this topic. I have also interviewed hundreds of young people for jobs, been in charge of recruiting, training, promoting, and managing key positions in multiple companies and organizations, and I wanted to share some thoughts with young people about this issue.

If you are looking for an article that tells you that the world is out to get you and that they owe it to you to hear your opinion, you should read a different article. If you want me to tell you that if they would just give you a chance, you could show them, then you may have difficulty with this article. On the other hand, if you want to know how to get noticed, how to get hired, how to make more money, then I ask you to consider the contents of article.

First impressions – First impressions are huge! Don’t underestimate the impression you make in the first 15 seconds of interaction at a potential new job. I have interviewed hundreds of employees but have hired many less than that. While you want to have individuality and be ‘cool,’ you need to think about how you look, sound, and carry yourself. If you get a phone screening for a job and they tell you on the phone that appearance standards require you to be clean shaven with no facial piercings or visible tattoos, but then you show up to a face-to-face interview with a goatee, earrings, and a ghetto chain around your neck, I am going to wonder how serious you are about getting this job. Ladies, wear clothing that is tasteful and doesn’t reveal everything. 

Plain and simple, like it or not. How you dress is huge. The millennial generation and generation X individuals that I have interviewed have shown up in everything from shirt and tie, to a skirt slit up to the hip, to torn jeans and an oversize t-shirt that looked like it hadn’t been washed in three days and said “Ask me if I care.”

Next, make eye contact, firmly shake a hand that is offered, and speak clearly. You don’t impress me when you fidget in your seat, won’t look at me, and don’t know how to answer basic questions clearly. If you don’t want to be viewed and treated like a kid, don’t act like one. If you want to act like one, then don’t be surprised when your results reflect you attitude – mediocre. On the other hand, if you show up to an organization meeting, interview, or to meet with someone you wish to work for, dress neatly in clean, pressed, professional clothes, shake hands firmly like you mean it, make eye contact, and don’t mumble, you set yourself so high above the crowd that your chances of getting what you came for increase exponentially.

Achievement – You need to have achieved something for me to be interested in you as a prospect for anything. If you can’t achieve anything on your own initiative, then what does that tell me about your initiative at work or in this organization?  Actually achieve something in your life and know what it is, and how to talk about it. If you are 18 or 19 and your greatest achievement is that you helped your mom with chores on the weekends, or that you got a summer job, once, a couple years ago, I will probably write off your accomplishment as not valuable. On the other hand, if you bought your grades up at school through hard work, or you placed well in a sport, or you made a new personal best score in a sporting event or other type of activity that was a personal goal you made, then I will see you as someone who can set a goal and achieve it.

Want to work – This sounds crazy, right? Who WANTS to work? People who see that hard work produces good results. People like that don’t dread work for two reasons. One, they have probably found or are looking for something they enjoy doing. Two, they know that without work they will never have more than the success, time freedom, or money than they have now. Work can be a means to an end. It can also be an enjoyable activity. You need to find something about your job that you like and keeps you coming back. If you can’t find anything, then you must get a new job because you are cheating yourself, and will end up cheating the company out of your effort. Additionally, if you are in an interview and your reason for applying and interviewing for this job is “My  mom wants me to have a job,” then I know that you will not be invested and will probably put forth very little effort for me. Companies are in business to make a profit and if they don’t think you will produce for them, why should they hire you? If that sounds like evil company talk, then just remember that if companies didn’t make money, there would be no companies, and there would be no jobs. No jobs equals no money to pay you anything at all.

Once you have been hired and are working at a company, don’t complain about how much you are making, or ask for more, or complain about the work you are doing, unless you have a really good reason for why things should be different. “Because you think so” is not really a good reason. Put yourself in the seat of the company. Would you hire someone that you didn’t think would care when they came to work? Would you keep someone who hated working for you even though you are paying them a wage they agreed to work for? Would you promote someone because they complain about how little they make? Or would you promote someone because they go above and beyond on what you are currently paying them? Now, think about how your employer sees you and ask yourself why it matters whether you want to work. It matters to you because the less you want to work, the higher you are on the list of people to get rid of. So do yourself a favor and actually care about doing what you are getting paid for. And remember that at the end of the day, you agreed to the terms of the job. So it is actually your integrity that’s on the line!

Give 110% – It is really important that you work at work. That you put effort into what you do. Even if not everything you do is something you enjoy, people notice a good work ethic. Put yourself into the employer chair again. Even if you knew someone didn’t love what they had to do every day, but they worked hard anyway, would you give them a recommendation to another job? Would you consider paying them more? Would you be more likely to listen when they had comments about the job or environment? Now again consider how your employer looks at you. Are you coming into work ready to work? Are you showing up ready to do whatever the job demands? Or, when asked to do something, are you doing it grudgingly? Are you saying things like “I am not doing that for what I am getting paid”? As an employer I am not likely to hire or promote someone who is a complainer, hard to manage, or has to be told to work while at work.

Conduct yourself professionally – I often hear from young people that they wonder why they are not considered for management opportunities or promotions. But when you look at their conduct, they do things like tell stories about customers in the hearing of other customers, talk about drinking, getting drunk or other things not appropriate to a professional environment, or use bad language. On top of that, they are inconsiderate. Let me explain this one. If one of your managers comes to you and asks you not to talk about something, or to put your phone away, or addresses another behavior, and you respond with “Well, I don’t see why this is a problem,” you are showing your lack of listening, understanding, and an inability to handle authority. It is inconsiderate when you don’t consider others, and assume that everyone else should be okay with you talking about your night last night, how you got drunk over the weekend, or how hot you thought a customer was. Just because you don’t see the problem doesn’t mean there isn’t one.

When you are at work, don’t goof around, talk about questionable subjects, or let your dress get sloppy because you think it shouldn’t matter. You need to be able to take feedback, accept authority without constant challenging, and uphold the standards you agreed to uphold when you were hired. If you cannot do these things, you will not be given the authority to manage others under the same set of guidelines you so blatantly ignore.

These may sound harsh to some, and like no-brainer material to others, but if you want to hear it from someone who comes from among your generation, then take it from me. I am an example of someone who has been given a lot of responsibility at a very young age, and I do it by applying these principles at work and in life. Because of this, I manage many people my age and older, and a lot of people just barely younger. If you apply these concepts, you will light a rocket toward success.

 

If you are interested in more ways to be taken seriously, achieve more, and be more of a candidate for the jobs you want, then take my FREE course 14 Days to Stress Less and Achieve Your Dreams by clicking here!