What is your definition of career success? Where did that definition grow from? Who or what influenced or helped to create this definition? I see many young professionals go into careers because they thought that was what they were supposed to do. Or they truly stumbled into the work they do now. Influence and acceptance from those we love is a great asset but before you live another’s success definition, you need to understand what drives you. Listen to what others state are your strengths and talents but ultimately you will need to discover your own definition of career success and live by it.
Be patient to discover your passion
I grew up in a home with an engineer father and an art teach mother. I went into business. Why? In my middle school and high school years my parents started a business and I helped to do odds and ends for them as the business grew. It was a fantastic learning experience. I was exposed to people, places, thoughts and ideas I would have never gained normally. But it drove me to only consider a business degree and career. I eventually landed in human resources as a post grad. I moved through various scenarios in business; training, sales, business development, partnership management and eventually career coaching. When I look back at what I loved in my younger years, I realized I always had a passion for psychology. Now many years later and in a career I truly love, I think that perhaps jumping into counseling earlier would have been a better fit for me to have started my college education and career.
Do I regret my career choices? No, not at all. I see how my path may have varied had I done a few things differently. I have noted what I have learned over the years. It is all valuable, all worthwhile, and all builds on who we become. I love what I do now and plan on doing it for, hopefully, a long time. If you are feeling that you have not found that fit yet, there is hope. You still can. You can take what you are in now, learn and grow from it and see how it all shapes you into finding your true passion and from there, a career.
Perhaps you are in a job that does not get you cranked up, doesn’t show your passion. Even in this there is dignity, if you are helping others and doing it to the best of your ability. Learn from your situation. Not every moment in work will be perfect. You will have seasons of frustration. When this season comes it doesn’t always mean it is time to leave. It may be a time to learn. Be patient.
Be patient in your passion
In the meantime, discover your passion. Find a target for you to move towards. Ask yourself some hard questions. What is my definition of success? What do I value in work and life? What are my priorities? What problems do I love to solve? What skills and talents do I most enjoy using? This process will take time. I suggest being patient with yourself as you discover more about you and to work with a mentor or coach to walk alongside you.
When the time comes and you know what you want to move towards, take action. Action will cure any fear or lack of confidence. Be intentional in discovering your passion and running towards it. I will warn you though, when you find your passion and begin to live in it, you will need to be patient at well. Patient with growing and learning.
If you find yourself stumbling through various jobs or ideas for jobs, stop, take the time to get to know who you are, what you value in life and work.
Be patient. Be passionate. Live in the Grey.