How many of us have heard someone say (or have even said ourselves,) “I just haven’t found my calling,” or “This job fell into my lap; I guess it’s what I was meant to do.” These are the common sentiments of most people in the stereotypical, corporate ladder world. And a few months ago, before I started focusing on all of this career stuff, I would have heard that (or even said that,) and not thought twice about it. But now I realize and understand how as Dave Ramsey would say, it’s not what happens to you, it’s how you happen to things.
Let’s take the first statement I mentioned above: “I just haven’t found my calling.” Are people expecting that one day they’re just going to wake up and the perfect opportunity that they were meant to embark on will be sitting in front of them, with all the promise and answers leading to success? I’m sure in rare occasions this may happen, but for the most part, people haven’t found their calling because they haven’t done enough to try and hear it.
We all have natural skills and abilities that are undeniable. I can sit down and write for hours on end, needing to sharpen my pencil a few times, but ask me to solve a simple Physics equation, and I’ll sit there for three hours, tapping my pencil and staring out the window, waiting for the answer to subliminally appear in the clouds. In order to “hear” our calling, we really need to hone in on these said skills and abilities. What do you love to do? What are you good at? If money was no object, what would you do every day to not only make a living but make a life?
For those of you out there that pray or believe in a higher being, you may have heard the line, “I’ve been praying to God for an answer, for him to show me the way to the career I’m supposed to have.” In my opinion, yes, God can help you find the way, but it is your job to free your mind and let the world of limitations we’ve all created become illegitimate. You have to make it a priority to focus and stay on task if you really want to change your professional life. Rather than asking for Him to show you the way, you should ask for the knowledge, strength, and patience you’ll need to find it.
As for the second misnomer, “This job fell into my lap; I guess it’s what I was meant to do.” Again, this may be true for some people. Opportunities may arise that align perfectly with their passion and their natural, gifted talents. But for the rest of us, this is a simple way out. I used to think along these same lines. As I talked about in my previous post, my career path has been shaped by convenience and happenstance, nothing more. But this isn’t enough. This only defines what we can do, not what we should do.
So let’s start organizing our thoughts. Do whatever you need to do to hone in on the things that make you… well, you. For me, the only way to properly organize my thoughts is to write them down. Write a list, draw a brainstorming web, but whatever you have to do, just take some time to focus. Once you do this, start thinking about (and writing down,) ways you could make these attributes work for you. And don’t necessarily think everything has to weave in and out of each other. You can have many different careers that start and stop and come and go when it makes sense. Once the brainstorming is complete, it’s time to start the real grunt work! Don’t be scared of a little sweat, and maybe even some tears. Those are almost necessities in this type of self-actualization. And don’t worry, EVERY ONE needs this!