When you are young and restless you think that the whole world is your dance floor and every door stands wide open. Every company will willingly pay you a lot and let you do your work from home or while sitting in a Starbucks.
Although many comapnies nowadays promise exactly that the reality is different. There might be still a place for people that go the straight way from school to university to company and finally retirement, but the whole dynamic is changing so that the work you are doing today might be drastically different from the ork you'll be doing in three years - so brace yourself.
The phenomenon I see most often among my peers is that without a plan, you are lost in the career market.
The major problem is that today everybody is told that they can achieve everything and that they are gifted with multiple talents. Since we are all gifted, which should be the trait of my choice?
We will probably find out the truth for ourselves in the next 40 - 60 years, the problem, we can't/won't wait, we wanna know it now.
I've been thinking for the past months about how people develop and decide their on their path and looked at others and myself of course. Here is what I learned:
Finding your passion early is one of the thoughest things you could do - you have to "ignore" everything else!
Ten years ago when I was still in school I was very sure in what I wanted to achieve in my twenties and how to get their. I took the time to tried out the things that most interested me in that stage and I learned a lot about myself in that period. I found a passion in music and writing, which I love to this day, I loved/love technology and videogames and I was into theater and the English language. Thinking about my future job I was either gonna study Medicine or Marketing. That was about it, I never thought that I could do anything else apart from this basic skill set. Today I know that I'm capable of more, but that narrow view early on helped me to focus immensely 0n things that made me happy.
Translating your passion into a business - using your talent to help others.
Once you know what you can and want, you need to find an outlet that, in the end, brings you profit. That means that you shouldn't be driven by money - I mean, you can become a banker or consultant anytime if that's what you are after - but think about your passion and mental health too.
After I took a look at my skills and tried out a few things, I decided to go with the second way - Medicine was just not what I expected it was, so that is why I'm basically on LinkedIn and writing this article right now.
So, writing and videogames were a huge benefactor for Marketing, because writing, working with software and changing rules in technology every other month and the passion for English are still the driving force of my job today and I grew up with that kind of mindset. When you are looking for a job or a future career, think about the possibilities and how to combine your strenght to a reasonable portfolio.
Keep on pushing yourself!
A rolling stone gathers no moss. Once you are able to perform at your highest efficiency you'll be seeking for new opportunities. Settling down maybe fine too, depends on your type. But todays market is fast paced and demands flexibility and a lot of energy. When you master your art, keep on stretching your portfolio. For me it was natural to look into giving presentations at work, since I was used to perform in front of a crowd in school with theater and music projects. Mobile phones began to implement better cameras and I was observing myself taking pictures more frequently, I decided to by a DSLR and just go for it - using it in my professional life gave a huge boost to the look and feel of company events.
Find complementary skills and work on them, you do not always have to bend over backwards to learn new things, sometimes it's obvious to just add another skill rather than learning something entirely new.
In the end, looking back is what makes us smarter.
We are trained to get immediate feedback on our actions and we learned to please other people to become better and rise up - this is unfortunately true for most school and professional work - and this makes us anxious to persue our dreams. We are eaten by doubt. Don't lose hope, continuity is key! Be persistent and try new things and work on them not for 2 weeks but for 6 months+ and then look back and reflect. Everything worth having in life takes times to build up just look back at the people who raised you.
Do you agree with the points I made or do you think differently? Although this is written for young professionals, I'm interested in feedback from people who are a bit older and can proof or disproof my points. For me, the important part is to be loyal to yourself.
Thanks for reading!