The Career Contender – What Do I Want To Do?

Welcome back to the shatteredcube presents “The Career Contender, a college graduate’s guide to their first job”. This is the second installment of our series and quite possibly the least important. You may be asking yourself “How can that be!”; rest assured that I will make it apparent soon enough.

If you haven’t read the first in the series, I recommend you do so because the personal inventory is a great tool.

Now onto the meat of this post. What do you want to do? I bet you have a general idea in your mind or at least a general idea of what you don’t want to do. If you are completely lost and have absolutely no formations in your mind, worry not.

It’s exercise time! Find another sheet of paper and that fancy pen of yours. Now write at the top of the page in nice clear letters: “I Don’t Like To:“. You can scribble some skull and cross bones, X’s, sad smiley’s (oxymoron) or whatever else you want to get the message across. You do not like doing these things. Now proceed to list all the activities you know you do not like doing and will not do for any amount of money. Draw upon past experiences, past jobs, schooling, household chores and any other source of dislike. Feel free to get wacky and seriously brainstorm. By eliminating what you don’t want to do you can better focus in on the things you like to do or at least don’t mind doing.

You should now have a broad (or maybe even focused) scope of what you want to do. This is where it becomes apparent that in choosing our first job it is not so much what we want to do, but rather what we don’t want to do.

Get an internship, go on a site visit or talk to someone in the industry.  It’s not necessary, but it can certainly be a big help in figuring out what you don’t like to do.  Think being an analyst is the  If you take time during your schooling to figure it out, then you won’t be caught off guard when it comes time to enter the real world.  Numbers may be the most thrilling part of life during your education, but real world analysis might not be exciting enough to get you out of bed!  The more you look and listen, the more you will know and knowing is half the battle!  (GI Joe said it best.)

I would venture to say that for most people your first job will not be your ultimate resting place.  This should give you some relief.  It means that this first position you are trying to get will be more of a vantage point as opposed to a ball and chain.  The position should serve to enlighten you further on your likes and dislikes.  From here you can continue on the promotional path, take a horizontal promotion, find a new line of work, go back to school, barely do enough work to maintain your job or quit, buy a surf board and move to California.  The choice is really up to you.  Don’t get stuck somewhere you aren’t happy.  You have one life to live.  With pensions being a thing of the past and employer loyalty being extremely low, you don’t owe the company anything.  If it’s not the right fit, it’s time to add more items to your list of things you don’t want to do and move on.  Keep narrowing down that list and eventually your true calling will reveal itself.

This ends our second entry into the “Career Contender” series.  You should now have two pieces of paper: the personal inventory and a list of things you don’t like to do.  Who you are as a person should now be revealing itself.  It will be important to understand the information that has built these two documents as we move into our third topic tomorrow.  Until then…

Happy Hunting!

  1. Look for the third post to be up today at 3PM. It’s a test of the time stamp release.

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