Have you ever met someone who absolutely LOVES what they do? You can tell who these people are, even when you just meet them. Especially the minute the conversation takes the “what do you do?” turn. These are the people whose eyes light up and they almost stumble over their words with excitement trying to describe to you what it is that they do. It’s almost as if you’ve imposed a 25 words or less response limit on them, and it’s the cruelest punishment imaginable for all that they want to say.
My advice for you… be that person!
They say that the person who loves their job will never work a day in their life. Whilst I think this may be a teeny bit of a stretch, I can indeed attest to times in my life when I have worked ‘jobs’ and when I have been doing what I am “meant to be” doing. Stay with me… you can relate to this, I promise! Take it back to the simpler times, when we were younger and we were at school. Which subjects did you excel in? Which assignments were the easiest to complete? Which homework was the first to be undertaken? This is generally a clue in determining what it is that drives you; and from here in simply determining your interests and your values, you are on your path to determining exactly what your passion is. Can you just imagine… bouncing out of bed each day to do the thing that was meant for you?
My first foray into the workforce was at the age of 15 and included the phrase “would you like fries with that?” Was this my calling? Had I been set upon this earth to work my way up this multinational’s corporate ladder? Or to become a franchisee? No, I was not destined to spend my days with Ronald and the gang; but I did take a very important skill and many lessons from my time under the golden arches. And possibly the most important was that as it turns out, I am a kick-ass party hostess! This was not just from witnessing the joy on the little people’s faces, but was also evidenced by the $10 tips from the parents! Whom I now see, should have been handing me a $100 note for taking this annual event off their hands. But I digress. Anyway, skill development … check!
Since becoming a parent myself…
I have thrown Wizard of Oz Extravaganzas, Hawaiian luaus, Princess and Pirate soirees and not a Maccas party in sight for my children. Life lesson #291: there is absolutely nothing better than seeing those little faces light up, and hearing them say “Mum, you made me a pink princess castle cake!!!” Now, I don’t mean to offend here but no mass produced, boxed ice-cream cake, is gonna illicit that same warm fuzzy feeling from either you or your child.
So, have I gone on to become an event planner? No, I have not. While I did do some work in event management during my uni days, this is a skill that I prefer to satisfy as a hobby and a way of engaging with, and entertaining my family and friends. As you can see, not all of your skills and loves will lead to careers but some of them just might!
Enter my ‘other skills’
I have known that I wanted to study Psychology and help people since Year 10. I had talked to Psychologists, I had researched what they do and while this may be a little Type A for a 14-year-old, I had an idea where I was heading. I still remember clearly the day in Year 12 when we had to complete our university preferences. Girls who I had known for years coming up to ask me, “What do you think I should do?” or even “What have you put down, maybe I should do that too?” Can you even begin to imagine how this went with my Type A traits? While my head didn’t explode, there was an awful lot of questions rattling around in there
“What do you mean you don’t know? Surely you’ve talked to someone about this before now? You really have NO idea what you want to do?” Oh dear, I’ve got to move on, this is taking me back!
As for me, enter four years of university studying Psychology and Human Resource Management. OK finished… so, now what? My first professional job and where I had my “aha, this IS what I’m meant to do” moment. I was working in a Government department assisting people with disabilities and injuries to determine new career options and help them to re-enter the workforce in safe and suitable occupations. I can remember the very first assessment I sat in, listening as my colleague helped their client identify some suitable vocational options, and I (internally, of course) said to myself “Thank goodness, I did study the right thing.” I stayed with this department for almost 10 years, and cannot explain properly the satisfaction you get from helping someone improve their lives by managing their condition and getting off the insurance or Centrelink conveyor belt, to once again become an independent worker.
Since then, I’ve gone back and done further study…
And I’ve taken time off to have children and throw those amazing parties. A few years ago, when they were both settled at school, it became time to get back to gaining my own sense of self and becomes an independent worker again too. And how have I done that? Well I went into doing what I know best but in a slightly different setting. But I also felt the need to do something else. Of course, I still want to help people, but I have decided it is not just in my previous field, but rather to broaden my scope. I feel I have not only qualifications and letters behind my name, but I now also have enough life experience to expand my net and to help people with all manner of major life and career transitions.
You know why?
Because this is who I am. This is just what I do everyday. Every friend or family member who needs help, who needs someone to listen, who needs help remembering how amazing they are, that’s what drives me and lights me up. So here I go! So if you come across me over the next few months, you know what you are going to get, don’t you? Verbal diarrhoea!!! I can absolutely and categorically promise you that I will rush over myself to tell you the amazing job I have, and how in giving back by sharing knowledge and experience to help others is what makes me the best version of myself.