For years, throughout my college and grad school days, I struggled to find a career; the one true job that would truly encompass all my skills, education, passion, and creativity. Till today, I still cannot answer the age-old question of ‘who do you want to be when you grow up?’ I want to be so many things!
Perhaps this is why I was so excited to find this TedTalk video recently when I googled resources on finding your dream job, this one diverged so sharply from other career advise articles and videos that fall under the generic summary of ‘follow your passion’. The thing about following your passion is this: it requires you to know what your passion is and if you are anything like me, passion is a plural. How is anyone supposed to make a career out of multiple interests?
What Laura Berman Fortgang attempts to dispel in this talk is the notion that there is only one career choice that fits your passions. She gives a wonderful example of a friend who was a magician, then an architect, then a marketing and advertising executive, and who later came to her because he felt stuck professionally. He wanted to change his job once again to pursue a new career doing something outdoors-y, but he couldn’t reconcile how this new calling fit in with the rest of his life. To Laura, however, his new career interest made perfect sense. She could see her friend’s common work theme throughout multiple careers; his magic tricks, his architecture, and his city billboards were all based on eliciting a universal human reaction of wonderment across humans of different cultures, languages, and age. Laura’s friend may have held different jobs but who he was as a person was the same throughout his different job titles. He was someone who inspired awe from others.
You are not your job and your job is not you. For many of us, there is not only one dream job but many dream jobs. You can work in different capacities across different industries because you do not have to do just one thing for life. As long as you are able to express your core essence, it doesn’t matter how many times you change jobs or how much they differ from each other.
“Career satisfaction doesn’t come from what you do, it comes from who you get to be while doing it.”
What do you think of this career advice? How has it impacted you?