Instead of thinking about “what we want to be,” we should consider who we already are.
Choosing a career is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make in your lifetime.
There’s a lot of pressure on young women to know “what you want to be” by the time you graduate from high school. This can be incredibly challenging for most teens who have little exposure to the workforce before choosing their life’s direction. This is likely why approximately half of freshman enter college as undecided and at least 75% of college students change their major at least once. This rush to “figure it out” could also be why 51% of U.S. employees feel dissatisfaction with their job.
There has to be a better way.
Perhaps we’re just looking at this decision through the wrong lens. I believe that instead of thinking about “what we want to be,” we should consider who we already are. Better yet, let’s consider who God made us to be.
“You cannot be anything you want to be—but you can be a whole lot more of who you already are.” -Tom Rath
I love this quote because it reminds us that we’re called to be the very best version of ourselves. It can be tempting to look at those around us and think we should be more like them—this is a dangerous road.
Each of us has been uniquely created by God with our own set of gifts and talents. When we combine these talents with our passions, we’re on the right track for discovering not only our career path, but potentially our purpose.
When we combine talents with our passions, we’re on the right track for discovering our career path and purpose.
You may be thinking, “What if I don’t know what my talents and passions are?” Great question! Here are some steps and tips to hopefully help you get some clarity:
1. Ask yourself these questions:
What do I love to do? What sorts of activities do I finish and think, “I can’t wait to do that again”?
What types of activities come naturally to me? (A hint here is when you find a task or activity easy but those around you seem to struggle with it.)
What have other people told me that I’m great at doing?
What is something I do that causes me to lose track of time?
Be sure to write down what you discover. Writing down your thoughts provides a different way to process mental content, which can better help you realize your talents and passions. Share your findings with someone who will support and encourage you.
2. Volunteer or Shadow.
Spend time exploring a potential career path of interest through volunteer work or by shadowing someone in the field. After the experience, ask yourself if it lines up with the questions you asked yourself above. This is very important and can help you select a career that lines up with who YOU are.
3. Take the CliftonStrengths Assessment for Students by clicking here.
This $20 assessment will give you a better understanding of what makes you unique and how your strengths shape your approach to life. Your top 5 Strengths revealed through this assessment uncover your instinctual thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Additionally, the research is clear, those who know and use their strengths are 3x’s as likely to have an excellent quality of life. I have had all four of my children take the CliftonStrengths assessment. It’s been a wonderful way for them to gain a deeper understanding of their greatest talents and passions.
It’s my prayer that everyone reading this today will have the opportunity to find a career that they love. This requires hard work and more importantly, a lot of courage! The life of your dreams is always going to be outside of your comfort zone. When I first started my company, every day included a new obstacle. I was constantly out of my comfort zone and rarely felt secure in my abilities. Having the courage to feel the fear but face it anyway has been one of the most rewarding parts of my life.
Finding the career of your dreams can be one of life’s greatest challenges but it is possible! By following the tips listed in this post and most importantly, asking God for His direction, you will be on your way! I’m cheering for you to be a world-changer by living out your Strengths!
Do you know your top five strengths?
Image via Aditya Saxena