Wednesday, November 9, 2011

How to Find a Job: What You Want to Be When You Grow Up

(This article is part of a book called How to Find a Job, which now is available as an ebook on Kindle, nook, and Smashwords. All of the chapters have been revised, many have been expanded, and the book contains three bonus chapters (including Negotiating) that are not available on this blog.)

When you’re a little kid, you spend a lot of time thinking about what you’re going to be when you grow up. Interestingly, my daughter answered this question at school, and at four years of age she’s decided she’s going to be a princess.
It could happen.
In middle school, I was given a set of questions which then spit out a list of jobs I was “suited for.” The top two were, at the time, Priest and Disk Jockey.
In high school, you start thinking about college or technical school, and what you want to do, and what degree you’ll get that will lead you to that career. Then in college, maybe you refine that plan.
Then you graduate, and you get a job, and for a while there, you think you’re set for life. This is what you do, and eventually you’ll go from the guy on the bottom rung to being the guy on the top rung. From the chicken farmer to the owner of the chicken farm, or Chicken Farms, Inc. Or maybe just the assistant manager, if you’re less ambitious.
And most humans are, to a degree, sedentary. Even if they don’t like their job, they can at least tolerate it. So they stay where they are, and they get their raises and their promotions, and they never look outside their little box.
But if you’ve lost your job, well, congratulations! You’ve just been thrown out of the box.
So ask yourself a question, maybe for the first time in years: What Do You Want to Do With Your Life?
Now, I’m not saying that if you were a loan officer, that you should think about becoming a chicken farmer. There’s little to no skill set crossover there.
But hey. Don’t let me spoil your dream.
Ultimately, there’s nothing wrong with saying that you still want to be a loan officer. There’s nothing wrong with assembling your resume so that people can tell you were a good loan officer.
And if there are dozens of loan officer jobs, then go for them, and get one, and have a great life.
But if there’s something else you wanted to do, this might be the perfect time to look into it.
So do yourself a favor. Put together your resume. Fix all the typos in your cover letter. And get out there and apply for those jobs you know you can get.
But while you’re at it, take some time, even if it’s just an hour one day, and think about what you really want to do with your life. And if it’s important to you, try to make it happen.

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