Finding a Career You Love

About a year ago I read a scathing book titled Do What You Love and Other Lies.

The author excoriated this method of obtaining a job.

Her most famous analogy was that of individuals with PhDs who can’t get tenured positions at colleges and universities. They’re hired as adjunct professors making barely above the minimum wage. They’re forced to pay their own expenses to attend academic conferences.

We cannot ignore the reality that some jobs pay a dismal salary.

What is the remedy? Having a “side hustle”–a second source of income–is imperative when your primary job isn’t high-paying.

It’s better to have two jobs you love than one soul-sucking job.

The point is you should not hate your job as a matter of course. Continuing to show up to a job you hate you might be tempted to numb how you feel with food, street drugs or alcohol, or expensive vacations you can’t afford.

How might you figure out the kind of job or jobs that earn you a livable salary that you’re inherently happy to go to?

I created a method to do this which is predicated on promoting The Business of You.

The first step when you’re collecting SSI or SSDI or attending school is to create what I call an Action Grid: doing work in a variety of fields first. You can get experience in one field for three to five months then move on to another field for three to five months.

Here’s how:

Getting an internship or doing volunteer work in one field and then getting an internship or doing volunteer work in a second field and then a third field can help you narrow down the job or career you want to work at first.

Conducting an information interview with a person working at a job you’re considering doing is also a method for ruling out or verifying what you want to do.

This isn’t an interview for a job. You’re asking the person for advice on what they like and dislike about their job, what skills, traits, and experiences they have that benefit them on the job, and other salient questions.

Armed with this information you’ll get a clearer sense of the path you might like to go down.

People who collect SSI or SSDI are in the perfect position to do these things while unemployed.

Taking these action steps can help you determine what career is the right fit for you right now.

I recommend doing more than one internship while you’re searching for a full-time job. I helped a woman with a career search who listed 3 internships on her resume to account for what she was doing while unemployed.

Eighty-five percent of hiring managers think volunteer work is impressive according to one study. Doing volunteer work linked to a future job or doing an internship can set you apart from scores of job candidates without this kind of experience on a resume.

I’ll end here with this positive advice:

It’s not ever too late in life to get a job you love.

It wasn’t until I was 35 years old that I found my ideal career.

I worked with a guy who had collected a disability check. When he turned 55 he said: “This is it. No more. I want to get a job.” He was able to obtain a job as a peer advocate.

In coming blog entries I’m going to talk about promoting The Business of You, which is a visionary method of finding the job you love that can pay a livable salary.

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