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!

Do You Know Why You Get up in the Morning?

Why do you live life? What drives you? Do you live just trying to make it to tomorrow? Do you live only thinking that if you make it to tomorrow maybe life will be better? Do you live in the past thinking that best has already come and gone and now life is misery until it ends?

These are questions that I think we have to ask ourselves if we ever intend to make real change in our lives, or have any real joy. Think about it. When someone becomes a Christian their focus changes to living a life of obedience to Christ and a hope of eternal life. When a great athlete such as Lou Gehrig, or recently Tom Brady, plays, they are playing from passion, either for the game, or for someone they care about. It drives them. When someone starts a new small business they put in a lot of effort and really pour their energy into it. If you were to talk to these people right after change took place, or while they were getting started, or while they were working hard at being the best, I would bet that you would see someone who gets up in the morning learning from the past to shape the future.

I have worked with hundreds of young people over the last few years, and want to share two examples. There is a young man I know of 28 who does not have plans for the future. When he comes to work, his life consists of trying to make enough money to pay bills. He is working for tips. This leads to stress and a great deal of job dissatisfaction that comes out almost daily. He gets upset about how much people underneath him make. He gets upset about how much other positions in his workplace make. He complains about the hours. And yet, he is not actively looking to change his position by leaving his current job and getting a different one that is a better fit, pays more, or just “appreciates him more,” like he claims to want. Why? Because he has trapped himself. He has a four year degree, workplace experience, and a great mind. But he won’t think bigger picture.

On the other end of the spectrum is a young man working at the same place, same pay, same workplace responsibilities. But he wants more out of life. He hasn’t even fully formulated what that looks like, but he knows that for anything to be different he has to want it first. To look for it. To seek what his different and better looks like. In the time I have known him he has gained control of his money, begun to resolve some relationship issues with his parents, and gained leadership experience that will help him for the rest of his life.

The difference between these two young men? Perspective. Purpose. Wanting something more. And, interestingly enough, you have to not be so self-centered that you don’t take care of yourself. The first young man is so focused on how he feels he is being wronged at work, that he is letting time and opportunity pass him by. The second young man is more focused on being his best self and helping others in a way that he will have unlimited opportunities open to him.

If you want a different life you need to think beyond the problems of today. You need to put something in front of you that you’re passionate about and meant to live for. When you do that, it’s a whole lot easier to get up early, to work hard, to stay focused, to say ‘no’ to distractions. You can be a lot more fulfilled and happy when you know that each day you get up is a day that matters. A day to help someone, a day to make yourself the best version of you yet, or a day to inch closer to a realized dream. When you’re just living to get through the day, it’s a sign of insecurity, dare I say selfishness, and an unwillingness to let go of your problems long enough to grasp something better. It may sound harsh, but often misery is self inflicted. Living for something that gives you purpose, looking to be better, makes the here and now matter more. It’s easier to be content when you know that life isn’t about surviving another moment. It’s about making your moments count. What are YOU living for?

 

If you want to begin the journey towards discovering your purpose, click here to take my FREE course, 14 Days to Stress Less and Achieve Your Dreams.

The George Lucas Success Story: Talent or Hard Work?

You may not be a fan of Star Wars, or of science fiction in general. You may not like the directing style of George Lucas. But one thing that no one can argue with is his success. My wife has been reading a book about the making of the first Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. It took George Lucas four years to make the first Star Wars movie. He directly oversaw almost all of the work himself, and dealt with a movie company who didn’t want to fund his movie or trust his direction decisions, a special effects company in California who didn’t complete work unless George was right there making it happen, and a labor force in London that would NEVER work past 5:30 and took three meal breaks a day. Fun fact, George Lucas hated writing, but he wrote the story and dialog for this movie by making himself sit at his desk 8 hours a day until the story was done. He didn’t wait to be “inspired,” instead he was just disciplined enough to get the job done! He was dedicated to his work, still working on the sound reel up to the day that the movie was released in theaters.

The point of this story is that this man decided he was going to be successful at something and he didn’t quit until he made it work. He was passionate about what he was doing, and didn’t give up when things got hard, when people stood in the way of his creativity, or when he didn’t reap immediate rewards. Something else we can learn is that you don’t have to be an expert in a field before starting; you learn as you go. Star Wars was only the third film Lucas had directed. But he still gave it everything he had and more! The Star Wars universe that we see today is the result of the very dedicated work of one man not calling it quits, even in the months and years of frustration and resistance. His key: a little every day. He did something every day to make his dreams a reality. It wasn’t his hobby, it was his life and passion!

We often find ourselves making a hobby of something that we say we want to do with our lives, and then wondering why it doesn’t work out. We let the urgent take over the important things. We let the daily clamour of life get in the way of dedicating ourselves to what we are good at and are passionate about. Do you really want to work for yourself? Do you really want to be the best painter, salesman, electrician, musician? What are you doing about it? Are you wishing, waiting for inspiration, or putting in an hour a week? Success is based on routine and habits applied over time. Creating a habit requires that you have a reason bigger than right now, and discipline to make yourself do it for at least three weeks consistently. Do you have what it takes, or do you just wish you had what it takes, but don’t want to work for it? We see someone’s success and wish it were ours. What we don’t see is what the success was built on: Rejection, discipline, sacrifice, late nights, doubts, failure, criticism, risk, and persistence, and did I say hard work!

“Timing, perseverance, and ten years of trying will eventually make you look like an overnight success.” – Biz Stone

This is not the part where you promise yourself that you will be committed to X until you are a raving success. That isn’t enough. You have to ask “Why am I doing this?” Then you have to let your ‘why’ drive you to make habits. Then you have to make your habits a way of life. Then over time you begin to see the fruit being produced, from the seeds of success that you planted, weeks, months, or even years ago, and have continued to water through your decisions and choices of how to use your time!

When you look at what you have achieved and what you want to achieve, don’t look at where you are not, rather look at where you want to go and build a road to get there. Find people to help you, encourage you, and people who will kick you in the seat of the pants when you want to quit. Make success a way of life, not a hobby. If you do this, you may be the next George Lucas, the next Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Albert Einstein, Wright Brothers, the list goes on. Hard work is what they had in common. Not luck.

Create your own luck, Own it. Do it. Be Better.

 

 

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Contentment or Complacency?

Is it possible to be content and want more? Does it make you greedy to be driven and desire to gain more out of life? Too often we think that contentment excludes drive, or we mistake complacency for contentment, and being driven for being greedy. We think that somehow if we want to be more than we are, or have more than we do, that we are selfish, greedy, materialistic, or arrogant. Often we use the excuse of not wanting to think too much of ourselves to get out of growing and to remain complacent, stagnant, and just generally lazy and drifting.

It is easier to criticize someone who has accomplished something and label them than it is to actually challenge ourselves to achieve something better.

Here is something to consider. It is generally thought that if you are driven you are greedy. And if you are greedy, you can’t be humble and are therefore a snob labeled as only out for themselves. Greed is greed. Drive is drive. Someone who is driven but not greedy can actually show great humility. Here is how: If they are always striving to be more, they have recognized that they have more to offer people, more to give, more to be, and they are dedicated to the pursuit of being that better person. They realize that they have been given a greatness that they are responsible for developing. Some people look at this idea of having greatness as being stuck up, but I feel that if someone can understand that they are made for more than they are right now, and that life is not about them keeping everything for themselves, but rather to be more so they can be more for others, that sounds like a very not stuck up person to me.

I try every day to be content. That is, to know and be comfortable with who I am. It is being comfortable with who I am that allows me to be more. You see, if I am not comfortable in my own skin, I will spend my life trying to make others happy. The problem with this? I will never be good at being them and achieving the things they think are the most important. And vice versa. I shouldn’t try to achieve all their goals. They shouldn’t try to achieve my goals. So I should be content being me, and that will allow me to be comfortable making myself a better version of who I am. So you see, being content isn’t mutually exclusive to wanting more, and wanting more does not make you a self-centered arrogant person with no regard for others. Quite the opposite may be true.

We should all want to be more, and when we see others who have achieved greatness, instead of ridiculing them out of jealousy, why not be inspired by them? Usually when we find fault with someone who is successful, it can be traced to wanting what they have, but not wanting to work for it. It’s easy to shrug off what you want and don’t have and label the person who has it as too ambitious or greedy. Wouldn’t it be better if we spent time trying to find our own greatness? You can have things that other people have, but you have to be willing to work for it. This starts with knowing that you don’t have to try to be them, or to be someone else that you’re not. Next, you need to be okay with saying “I have awesome in me, and I want to bring it out.” That statement is neither selfish nor arrogant. Then, you have to recognize that who you are is good (contentment), and being okay with that, you can work at making your talent a skill, a habit, or a tool (drive).

There is a vicious cycle that happens that tends to kill the whole ‘being better’ thing. It starts with our fictional character Marvin. Marvin grows up in a house being told he can have or be anything he puts his mind to. As Marvin gets older he works hard and sometimes gets the things he wants, and sometimes doesn’t. When he sees his friend down the street get a new car from his parents, he decides that he wants one too, but knowing his parents can’t afford it, he gets a summer job saving every penny he earns. For awhile. Then it begins to get hard. There are other smaller items to buy that he has money for. His motivation begins to fade, and not many people are around to help motivate him. His friend is already driving the dream car. Marvin’s parents tell him it is good for him to value what he gets so he should keep working. But no one helps him set up a timeline, game plan, or any other milestone for that matter. Then the point is reached where he is either inspired by something to finish, or he gives up. If he doesn’t reach his goal, he is left if not properly encouraged or coached to reach one of two conclusions: 1) he failed and is a failure, which doesn’t help his self worth at all, or 2) he reasons in his head that somehow he was cheated, and that it isn’t fair that the other kid got the car with apparently no effort. Rarely would someone at this point say to themselves “Cheerio, better luck next time.” On the other hand, in the scenario where he gets the car, he becomes the target of criticism from people jealous or insecure. Often in the first circumstance the idea of resentment begins to form, and out of seemingly nowhere, the idea begins that those with things that we have not been able to achieve either cheated, rode on the backs of others, or brown-nosed their way to the top. The reality is that most of the time this isn’t even close to being true. It takes hard work to achieve success, and even if you inherit success in the form of a family business, or fortune of some sort, it still takes work to maintain it. In the second circumstance, the path of success can become hard and lonely and may make young people who have succeeded in an area belittle their own achievements in an attempt to regain the approval of less successful peers.

To have more you have to expand your thinking to include more. You have to be open to contentment going hand in hand with improvement and drive. You have to know the difference between greed and motivation. And you have to understand that sharing success is not arrogance. It is inspiration. To be humble is not to resign yourself to mediocrity, but rather to recognize your potential for more, and be prepared to grow where needed.

With all of this out there, do yourself a favor. Be okay with being you. Be okay with becoming awesome. Share your success. Encourage and be inspired! Don’t be jealous, or hold grudges against success. Find someone who has become what you want to become, and do what they did. You can’t control what people think of you. It’s up to them if they choose to be inspired by your achievements, or choose to be jealous of what you have accomplished. Continue to share so that those needing a beacon of hope can see that light, and swim out of the ocean of mediocrity. Own it! Do it! Be Better!

Do you want to be more comfortable in your own skin? Do you want to have tools to be more? Do you want to learn more about yourself to better prepare for your future? Then subscribe here to take my FREE course 14 Days to Stress Less and Achieve Your Dreams.

Knowing What You Have to Offer: Why Companies Will Hire You if You Tell Them What You’re Bad At.

Do you want to know a secret? Well, here is a secret about people interviewing you: we want to know how much you know about yourself.

I have interviewed hundreds of people for lots of different jobs. One thing that is important is for you to know what you are doing with your life, and what you are going to add to the team. But believe it or not, I would also love it if you told me what you were not good at! Really! Most people know how to brag about themselves, or how to tell an interviewer all about the best things that they have to offer. But additionally, an employer would be thrilled to know what they can help you with, or what kinds of things you are not good at for a few reasons. One is that if you do not tell them about something that is a problem and they find out later, it doesn’t do a lot for the work relationship. It’s hard to recover from a loss of trust. Two is that someone who knows their weaknesses is someone who is self-aware. They know their limits, and this usually means they will either find ways to work around them, or they will communicate better when they are having difficulty. Third, someone who can admit that they have a weakness is most likely someone who will be easy to manage.

Honesty and integrity are things that have been put on the back burner in people’s desire to promote themselves. I am not advocating telling a potential employer why you think that you’re a bad idea to hire. What I am advocating is transparency. If you have trouble getting up in the morning, I would rather you tell me that in an interview or very early on, than have to write you up for being late. Being honest will ultimately result in win/win situations. The employer knows what they are getting, and you are more likely to get the support you need.

You will find that the most successful people know their limitations. Success isn’t based on being able to do everything perfectly, it is based on being able to use the resources within your reach to achieve things. In order for people to be willing to help you, they have to trust you. Something that you can do to be more aware of yourself is to find several people that you really trust and ask them to give you a list of what your strengths are. And then to also give you a list of your weaknesses. Knowing is half the battle, as they say. If you want to increase your strengths, then you can look at your list of weaknesses and begin to work on these areas of opportunity. A word of warning though, you will rarely turn a weakness into a forte. Your time is almost always best spent finding solutions to your areas of opportunity, than spending all your time trying to reverse your natural tendencies. You have talents. Be awesome at those, and be aware of your opportunities!

If you do this, you will dramatically increase the success of the interviews you have! It will make you a more attractive candidate to a potential employer, and it will help you win in the long run. If you can identify your weaknesses, then you actually are in a stronger position. Someone who doesn’t know what to watch out for is much more likely to fall into the pit of their own shortcomings. Be aware, be honest, and you will increase your chances of getting a job you enjoy!! Good luck!!

 

If you are interested in being better at knowing your strengths and areas of opportunity, or just want to get to your goals more quickly take my FREE course 14 days to Stress Less and Achieve Your Dreams at the following link: http://stephenandrewcoaching.com/free-course/ Here you will learn how to be honest with yourself, how to manage your time, to set and achieve goals and more!