What if I told you there was a fool-proof way to build yourself a career that made you feel happy, successful and fulfilled? It took me 10 years to find my own career direction, but I’m going to show you how to find yours in a matter of weeks!
I’m the Marketing guy at JVS Toronto and do everything from graphic design to online marketing. But I actually started my career in the civil engineering industry. I want to share with you how I went from hating my job to finding a career path that makes me feel happy and fulfilled.
I realize that my long journey to the right career isn’t unique. My marketing job puts me in touch with a lot of jobseekers, and I’ve noticed that people who are unhappy in their careers all follow a path similar to mine. It doesn’t matter what work you do – engineering, accounting, administration, technology or business − the process of finding a career path suited to your strengths and preferences is always the same.
I’ve broken this process down into four lessons. Follow them and get a huge head start in finding a satisfying and successful career!
Lesson 1 – Take your time
I graduated high school with no idea of what to do next. I remember my Dad saying that there would always be jobs in construction. Without anything better to suggest I went along with it and applied to a Civil Engineering college program.
I knew it wasn’t the right choice before I’d even started, but was too scared to think of alternatives and felt pressured to start school and graduate as soon as possible.
I realized too late that rushing into something I wasn’t sure of from the beginning was a big mistake. Had I taken some time off after high school and focused on understanding my interests and abilities, I would have quickly realized that engineering was not for me. Rushing into post-secondary education resulted in a series of jobs I hated and added an extra five years before finding my true calling.
If you’re having serious doubts about the post-secondary education or training options you’re considering, ask yourself why? Are you experiencing “normal” fear and uncertainty about starting something new? Or have you selected an option that truly isn’t suitable to your personality or abilities? Somewhere deep down, you’ll know the answer.
Lesson 2 – Know yourself
Through a stubbornness fuelled by desperation and a fear of failure, I managed to graduate a breathed a sigh of relief. Then, the reality of working in a field that I’d struggled to master or enjoy came crashing down on my head, and I ran.
I had this crazy idea that I’d travel the world, find myself, discover what I was meant to do and return home with a plan. So I travelled…
I touched the side of our continental plate in Iceland, drank ales in the oldest pub in Britain, spent a night on the streets of Paris and got lost in the fascinating history of Berlin. It was a lot of fun!
Things I learned about myself:
- Change and uncertainty was exciting. I get bored with too much routine.
- I wasn’t as shy as I thought. It was fun to meet new people!
- Writing was one of my interests and skills. I kept a journal and wrote a lot of letters.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but these insights were to become the foundation of my career path. But when I came home, I still felt lost.
You don’t need to travel around the world to learn about yourself. Visiting a counsellor or a career coach is the quickest and easiest way to identify what you like, what you’re good at, and how to combine the two into a job that fits your personality and strengths. I wish I’d done it myself – it would have saved me so much time.
Did you know that you can get free one-on-one career coaching at any of our five Employment Source locations?
We also offer affordable Career Exploration services that will identify your career skills and interests, and uncover your inner values and motivations.
Even though traveling gave me an insight into my personality, I still didn’t know how to translate this into a career path. I knew that I needed a job where I could meet new people, be creative, and write, but the idea of getting paid to do these things (especially with my engineering diploma) seemed impossible.
Read Part 2 for the final two lessons I learned that helped me change my career path, and discover the biggest difference between people who have fulfilling careers and those who don’t.
Thanks for reading,
– Ian (The Marketing Guy)