GENERATION Y CAREER ADVICE
If you are a millennial born in the late 80's you are approaching age 30; you are part of the first generation that has been brought up to choosing your career is all about following your passion.
The follow your career advise seems very exciting. Who doesnít want to spend their waking hours doing something they love? But, in reality this advise is at best fluff and at worst misleading,
It is misleading because letís be honest: how many of us actually know what our passion is? And of those who think they do, how many can align that passion with real job that actually exist in the workplace? You know jobs that have steady paycheques, benefits and paid vacations? For example, it is one thing to be passionate about philosophy and entirely different thing to find meaningful work in that industry. The last well paid philosopher who I know of who made a good living from his prognostications was Plato who died many centuries ago.
On top of that, the same people in society that encourage us to follow our dreams quickly changes their tune when the passion seekers voice their frustration on how difficult it is to find steady, paid meaningful work.
The transition from school to work is already difficult. For the first time in your life, you are leaving the safety and comfort of the school system to enter the adult working world when you have been coddled and spoon fed by the teachers and your parents.
The follow your passion advise, and itís implied expectations is that you should expect to immediately walk into an exciting fulfilling well paid job immediately upon graduation. Instead, entry-level work is often tedious and tough; a time when for the first time you are supposed to be learning the ropes and building skills for a lifelong career without the benefit of a safety net when you fail. For the most part the older workers meanwhile are annoyed at your completely unrealistic career expectations. Starting at the bottom for too many university students is not the preferred route to immediate success of wealth and position.
It may not be possible to follow your passion into the working world but it is possible to find passion and meaning in almost any job or industry to find your flow.
When talking about achieving career success it is the cousin to passion. Unlike passion which is about identifying something we love and then attempting to match it to the job market, flow is all about identifying activities we love to do and them trying to match them to a wide variety of industries, careers and ultimately real jobs.
In a nut shell, we are in our flow when we are at our best; we maximize opportunities to be our best and then we can find passion in whatever work we are doing.
Looking at your strengths and weaknesses in all things we do can be is an indication where we want to go in the future. It does not have to be school related. I was not a great student in high school or university which was a great advantage when I taught College level students who like I did not like going to school. I could identify with their frustrations that were similar to mine with a sense of humor and understanding. I feel I was a very good teacher. I never had a passion to be still in a school setting but my strengths were the ability to really enjoy and motivate my students.
The reality when it pertains to learning is that we tend to remember very little that we have been taught in school but the positive relationships/experience are etched into our persona.
Accentuating your strengths while acknowledging you have a weakness or two makes deciding what you want to be to be easier. You sure do not have to be a university graduate with a PHD designation to be a success. Check it out :Bill Gates went one year to Harvard before dropping our of school: Steve Jobs sort of was enrolled in college but did not attend classes wanting to spend most of his time in the computer lab. Michael Dell is very proud that he never attended university and when he was in his 20's he was a multi millionaire.
Itís always going to be hard to find your first job. There is a natural unavoidable friction between the world of school and the world of work. Get used to it: every generation before you has had to struggle through this period. But, if you but persevere and work hard I believe that you can be and do anything you want within reason.
Hell, I failed grade one after cutting off my tongue and I am for the most part very happy with my career and lifestyle. No passion but just finding who and what I wanted to be and then working hard to be myself but my best self.
The Strong Interest Inventory that I use helps my clients to discover links your interests to various jobs, work site and careers. The benefits of understanding your Strong Profile will help you choose education and training relevant to your interests, recognize work environments that would be a good fit for you to explore. Finally the Strong Profile gives you results that you can benefit from if you are just starting out or thinking about a change or considering further education options.
Passion for a career is romantic fantasy that can not replace your search for a meaningful career focus.