The thought of trying to find your perfect career can be overwhelming. It helps if you keep in mind that everyone’s idea of The Perfect Career is different and there are many ways to get there. Here are some ideas on how to end up doing what you love, no matter where you are on your career path at the moment.
(Photo Credit: tec_estromberg/Flickr)
Recently, PayScale released a data package on the most and least meaningful jobs. Within the report, which analyzed 450 jobs and compared their job meaning, salary, and other factors, five professionals talked about their career paths and how they found meaningful work. If you’re looking for inspiration, whether it’s to change the world or just make your own corner of it a happier place, these stories might give you a push in the right direction.
Find Your Passion
Sam Ng, Development Lead at Practice Fusion, a San Francisco-based electronic health records company, started his career as an intern at Microsoft. Even though his days are no longer spent as deep in code as they once were, he still loves what he does.
“I believe that you’ve only got one life to live, and that time is the only thing that you’ll never get back in this world,” Ng says. “I’m blessed to be someone who can afford to love what I do.”
Ng’s advice is to believe that your ideas matter and then have the courage to see them through.
When Jennifer Trimmier, Owner/Personal Trainer at Strong Body San Antonio, realized she was more passionate about the work she was doing on nights and weekends, she created a plan to make that work her career.
Trimmier transitioned from business administration to getting certified as a personal trainer.
“What I had been doing on the nights and weekends was my passion,” says Trimmier. “Now, I know I make a difference every single day. Not only do I make a difference, but I give other people skills that will be with them for a lifetime.”
If one career isn’t enough for you, try three. That’s what Belinda Fu, MD did. She’s a physician, a professor, and an acting instructor.
Fu noticed that her improv acting with Unexpected Productions started to help her communication skills as a faculty physician at Valley Family Medicine Residency and as a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine.
A couple of years ago, Fu took what she loved about all her careers and founded Medical Improv, where she has been able to combine all of her passions.
“It occurred to me that this could be a highly effective way to teach our residents communication skills, which are notoriously difficult to teach,” says Fu.
Make Public Service and Ongoing Education a Priority
Andrew Schwab, a Senior Legislative Representative at AARP, handles issues related to the Affordable Care Act, Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplemental coverage, and employer sponsored insurance. This came after spending 10 years doing public service for both the federal government and the state where he grew up and went to public school.
“I helped develop and pass 23 laws and seven state budgets. That experience is important to me and is something of which I am very proud,” says Schwab.
He says few people become government relations professionals without the experience of working for an elected official at the state or federal level first and that advanced or professional degrees are also helpful. He did a double major (History and Policy Studies) at Syracuse University and has a Masters of Public Administration from Rutgers University.
Listen to Those Around You
Even though Middle School Librarian Rebecca Kinney, who has a masters in library science and school media, had worked in libraries since the age of 15, it didn’t make discovering her perfect career any easier at first.
“It meant admitting everyone else who told me I should be one was right,” says Kinney.
Kinney works at the Newton Country Day School in Newton, MA and says her job offers rewards far greater than money.
“I am one of the few people in my life that I know who truly loves their job,” she says. “I make enough that I have a roof over my head, food on my table, and clothes on my back. My needs are simple.”
Tell Us What You Think
How can you create a career doing what you love? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.