Finding a Career
It is difficult to understand ourselves. We cannot get easy answers to the question of what to do with our working lives. At best if we ask the question we get answers about the things we like or want to do. Be creative. Work for ourselves. Make a difference. Meaningful work.
These are reasonable but vague notions. Inducing easy panic when not achieved. Blame at our failure to achieve such worthy goals.
Yet this is not such a blameworthy fault. It is hard to get an answer to direct questions.
How easy is it to answer the question of what friendship is? What love is? And this despite having lots of ideas of what the ingredients of both might be.
The problem is we have not been able to collect and understand our responses, to see the connections between them. We haven’t had the time or the engagement to see them as a whole.
We need to begin from the starting point that large parts of the answer are already within us. It has been coded as indicators of what we like and dislike. The distinctive feelings of pleasure, enthusiasm or disdain we get when we undertake certain tasks and challenges.
The question is about work we can enjoy not about work we have done. We can begin by learning a lot about what we enjoy before moving onto any career plan.
Childhood is a place to start. What did you like to do? Relax your mind? Think back to what you enjoyed doing? What small things gave you most delight?
It is in such memories we begin to understand our intimate feelings. Proceed slowly. Don’t rush. Breath. Enjoy those memories. Do not jump to conclusions.
What about your present situation? Current sensations? Write down what you feel as you go through your daily life. Return to these thoughts later.
Are their connections between the experiences? Take your time and trap and analyse sensations. From a thousand hints. Strange and diverse. Assemble a picture. This is the fabric of our working lives.
These are your feelings. Be careful to analyse the specifics of them. What is it exactly that gives you pleasure?
Be careful not to think about precise jobs too soon. Focus on qualities within jobs. On the pleasures certain jobs contain. Order, learning, calm, leadership, exercise, team-building etc.
Question yourself. What is it you like about certain things? Don’t take your first answers for granted, question if they are true?
Gradually the hints yield up information about what makes us happy or upset. In doing so they edge us toward further understanding what work is ideal for us.
Envy too is a vital, if unexpected guide. While it is uncomfortable and makes us feel ashamed understanding our envy is important.
Envy is a call to action. It guides you as to what you want to be? Study it. Who do you envy and why? Don’t be too hard on yourself, not everyone can have success and there is a lot of luck and talent involved, which you may or may not have.
Your envy contains messages.
What is it you envy about certain people?
What can we learn from it?
Most likely you will find you envy certain things about someone else and be sure that there are other things about them you don’t envy at all. Envy is your ally.
What can you learn from it?
Are the qualities you admire restricted to one specific, attractive life? Or can they be pursued in lesser, weaker (but still real) amounts? Are their countless places you could do so?
This perhaps could open up possibilities for certain more manageable and more accessible versions of the lives we desire.
From the insights of envy, childhood and our current likes and dislikes, jealousies and pride there is perhaps the semblance of what to do with our working lives.
The mind is vague. It is tricky for us to piece together the answers to these complex but important questions about our futures.
It is going to take time and will have many stages. Reaching for an immediate answer may back fire. You may never get the answer you want. Indeed there may be no one answer. We are not destined to have a vocation.
Nevertheless it is a noble task to try to work out what one should do with the rest of one’s brief life on earth.
Explore you envy. Explore your likes and dislikes. See what you find.