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THE TRUTH ABOUT YOUR CAREER PATH

As a child, you were probably asked what you would like to be when you grow up. You may have said a firefighter, doctor, movie star, or even sewer inspector. The school guidance councillor likely asked if you realized just what might be involved in attaining those jobs, but you no doubt weren’t thinking that far ahead.

Life is filled with unexpected detours and this becomes even more apparent upon entering the working world. If you decided that the medical profession was where you wanted to be, you might have found that it was more than just a matter of going to medical school.

There are tuition bills to pay and unless you are rich, you must work to earn the money to honour those obligations. Maybe the field you chose has many other recent graduates, so work is not readily available. What then? The obvious choice is to take employment outside of your chosen field and this can be quite beneficial.

ACQUIRING IMPORTANT SKILLS

The more we experience different aspects of life, the better-rounded we are as people. Many people who have reached the top of their profession are often reluctant to discuss their humble beginnings. Some executive at Google probably thinks, “How could anyone be interested in the fact that my first job was at McDonald’s?”

Good or bad, all of our work experiences shape us in one way or another. That Google exec likely got his or her first experience in job responsibilities there and learned how to best work with a supervisor and fellow employees. They took that knowledge to the next job (as well any lessons they learned from making mistakes) and added to it. That increased their confidence and made them better prepared for the educational and vocational challenges they faced down the road.

MEETING NEW PEOPLE

While we all gravitate to those who have shared interests, your life is not truly enriched until you have met and worked with a wide variety of people. You learn more about how managers think and plan, and how employees take advantage of spare time and educational opportunities. Casual time spent with these people also reveals connections that can lead to other things in your life, such as relationships or lifelong friendships.

Learning more about how other people live and their personal beliefs also makes it easier to relate to them. Suppose everyone you work and spend time with all have the same views, came from the same part of the world, and had the same economic status. Your view of life and the world would be restricted to that small sample. We can only make the most informed decisions when we know as many facts as possible.

Some people have their life laid out for them almost from the cradle. The problem is, this is not their life, but one that has been decided for them. It may well lead to a path of success, though they might discover too late that the road they are on is the wrong one.

So the next time you don’t get the job you want and are despairing over your career prospects, remember to forge ahead. That survival job might not be where you want to be at this point in life, but you will be even better prepared to shine when that golden opportunity finally reveals itself.